Al Cole Radio Broadcaster
Inspires His Fans (“Al Cole-holics”)
His unmistakable rich and sultry voice has captured the attention of thousands of fans who refer to themselves as Al Cole-holics. Al Cole is known for more than just his great voice. His success spans several careers, to include an outstanding background as a CBS broadcaster, a public speaker and singing career. As an author, his book, Romance for Women…And for All Mankind has endeared him to thousands of women and men who trust his insights and advice on relationships. Growing up in an affectionate home environment and watching the loving interaction between his parents provided a powerful first-hand experience for him on how to build successful relationships. His fans may have inspired him to write Romance for Women, but his parents provided a model for living in harmony and helping others. In addition to hosting his own radio show, People of Distinction, he is also a successful speaker and author. Cole has changed the lives of men and women, giving them
To Rekindle the Romance in Their Relationships
hope, while inspiring them to build solid relationships and live exceptional lives. Monica: What was life like growing up? Al: Monica, I like that question because life growing up with me was exceptional. I come from two wonderful parents and it’s a little different than the tragic stories we hear these days. My upbringing had a lot of diverse elements, a lot of different people who were wonderful. We communicated very well. It was in the Northeast, in the Boston area and I have a mother and father who were deeply in love at a young age. My heritage is
Cape Verdean which is a Black race. The Cape Verde Islands are a group of islands on the West Coast of Africa. My people started coming to America sometime in the 1900s and my mother and father were first-generation Cape Verdeans born in this country; I’m second. They made it so wonderful for me. I always had the security of love in my background. My father, a very romantic guy loves my mother very much and loves his children. I have three wonderful sisters who married three great guys. It was a great place to be brought up. I’ve learn so much from my family, friends and women that I’ve known throughout my life and I love to give it back. That’s the reason that I do the things that I do with my book ‘Romance for Women’ and my radio show, ‘People of Distinction’. I’ve been blessed to talk about some of the things that really matter to the human family and it all comes back to my roots and the way that I was brought up and I appreciate that and thank my mother and father for it. Monica: You have a speaking career, a singing career and you’re also an author. Would you say that some of those things that you experienced while growing up helped you to form the foundation for your success today? Al: Absolutely. That is the number one reason. Another reason is because I traveled a lot. I made it my business after graduating from high school to wait before going to college and getting my Masters Degree in Philosophy. I love thinking, I love ideas and I love exploring human beings so I decided to take time out to travel. I was lucky enough to get a gig with a band as the lead singer and that made it easy for me to travel. Sometimes I think I’ve met half the American population so I feel very comfortable when talking to anybody. Monica: It’s wonderful when you can get the opportunity to travel and experience the culture of other people. It can only enhance your life. What got you started in broadcasting? Al: Actually, that came later. I am a singer and musician and that’s what really inspired me to create my own music and put together bands of my own and also become an author. When I was in Los Angeles, there was a CBS executive who came to one of our gigs and he loved the band and he got us a major deal. It helped us make a pretty good splash but we had management and promotional problems. We
were very close friends and he told me he would help me get another deal but in the meantime he recognized the quality of my voice and told me that I had the type of voice that would carry well over the airwaves on CBS Radio. I relocated to the East Coast and started broadcasting at CBS. Over that period of time most of my listeners were women. They began calling in an asking me relationship advice. I had been used to that with my speaking career but not as a radio broadcaster. They were asking me questions just on the basis of my voice. They liked the way I was expressing myself. So, I started giving them relationship advice and that caused a really big stir. All of a sudden I was asked to write the book, ‘Romance for Women’. That’s how it all got started with CBS radio. From there I moved on to having my show syndicated on a number of other networks. Monica: How did Al Cole become such a romantic person? Al: That goes back to the roots. My father has been the biggest influence in my life. As an immigrant family, he had no money; he met my mother and knew that it was love. He was such an industrious person. He loved painting. He’s an artist but not the artist you might think. He doesn’t paint pictures; he paints houses. What a beautiful artist he is at painting houses. He started his own business, the only Cape Verdean who was contracting his own business. He did that out of love of his art, his wife and his family. Through that dedication, he reared four children with a dream. September-October 2011 | Exceptional People Magazine | 47
At home he used to give such inspiring talks. For example, he used to tell me, “Albert, always remember, everybody has a heart.” Those are small words, but they are big sentiments. I’ll never forget that. He would say things like, “Never make a fool of a woman.” Again, short a sentence, but I remembered that. Men and women need each other. My father gave me such wonderful direction in life. And that is the essence of romance and formulating great relationships. So, it is primarily from my father and many other people that I learned to become a romantic person. Monica: What would you say are four or five key elements that are necessary to establish and maintain a great relationship? Al: Lifestyle is one. After love is lifestyle. One of the things that will break up relationships most is not love; it’s lifestyle conflicts. It creates a communication block. Another element is support. What does it mean in the family or in that relationship? Support could mean in a man’s mind going to work, coming home, being very faithful, being a good bread-winner and caring for the family. When women talk about support they talk about emotional support. That’s another lifestyle conflict that two people have to work out. Another element is sex. What does sex mean to us? Sometimes what you do outside the bedroom help you communicate better inside the bedroom. There are a many other things but one other top element is becoming best friends with each other. Monica: What are your thoughts about what’s happening today with 48 | Exceptional People Magazine | September-October 2011
the family structure? Divorce seems to be answer to everything. Al: One of the reasons divorce is so high is because marriages don’t start the right way. People start out so young in marriages. The average age is about twenty-four. They’re not equipped to conquer the world yet. So marriages go into survival mode right from the beginning. They celebrate and party at the honeymoon then when they get into the everyday mode of living they struggle just to make ends meet. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, that will take a lot of your time and energy and that time and energy will be taken away from your relationship, which leads to a lot of negativity in the relationship. Another reason is that we spend too much time outside the household, away from the one we claim to love. If you’re spending a lot of time away from the one you love, you’re not going to love them too much anymore, because love takes work. If you’re going to work yourself to death at the expense of your relationship because you want that extra car or house that’s going to make you look valuable to others who don’t value you, you’re making a huge mistake because in the end you will be one of the statistics -- one of the over 50% who gets divorce. These are some of the things we have to face in our present life in the 21st century. Monica: You have such great insights for other people and you are able to help them in their relationships. What is your perspective on life? Al: My perspective has to do with a higher power. I don’t consider myself to be outside of the realm of everybody else’s destiny. We all have a common destiny. One of the things I live for is to investigate what happens after my life and how do I best prepare my lifestyle now for the living that I’m going to do in a different body or different form someday. We also have to think ahead. I like to think universally. Monica: What words of wisdom can you give people about life in general? What can you say to them to get them thinking about who they are, where they’re headed and how they can get there? Al: The first thing that is obvious to me is that there are so many ways that we can help ourselves and there’s only one way that we can hurt ourselves. That one way we can hurt ourselves is just not caring about who we are.
When someone doesn’t care about themselves, ironically, that sometimes makes them a big deal in their world. A lot of the things we see in the heroes that we have in our lives, heroes that we’ve defined as very successful people. Don’t pattern yourself after that sort of success because we also know the flip side of that type of success. We know about break ups, we know about alcoholism, we know about drug abuse. We know many of the terrible stories that have sold many magazines and we foster in ourselves some of that negativity instead of the positive things. Sometimes, in order to love yourself, you sometimes have to isolate yourself from the things that will cause you not love yourself. You want to have a relationship with yourself, to become your own best friend. When you have a relationship with ‘you’, then it’s going to be easy to have a relationship with somebody else, without the diversions, with just straight talk.
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