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Mr. Cole is 55 years old, has been married to his wife, Sandy, for 32 years. He works for Tony Orlando and recently took a trip to Asia. He has been a member of the church with North National for 21 years.
Q: When did you start singing?
A: Very early the first time I remember was when I was 3 or 4 years old, trying to match my mom’s voice as an alto.
Q: How came you to love singing?
A: I don't know. It has always been a part of my family, my dad was a song leader, all of my dad’s family and my mom’s family are very good singers. I just grew up that way.
Q: When did you decide to pursue a career in the music industry?
A: When I was 7 years old. Actually I saw the Everly brothers on the Ed Sullivan show in 1958. Since then that is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Q: When did you become a Christian?
A: In 1960.
Q: Was attending a denominational church that uses musical instruments ever a temptation?
A: It never entered my mind. My grandfather was a Church of Christ minister, my dad led singing, my uncles were elders and deacons. I grew up in the Church of Christ. The thought of singing in a denominational church didn’t appeal to me.
Q: How did you end up in Asia?
A: I travel with Tony Orlando. The agency sent us over there to try some new territory and it was very successful.
Q: How did you get started with Tony Orlando?
A: I knew some of the band members that had been with him for 20 some years. They would come see us when we would play. At one piont Tony needed a keyboard player for a Veterans Day show. That is how I met him innitially.
Q: What counties did you visit?
A: Just Taiwan and Malaysia.
Q: What was the purpose of your trip?
A: Strictly business, to perform. We did one show in Taipei, Taiwan for 3,000 people and in Malaysia for 6,000 people there.
Q: Who did you meet over in Asia?
A: We met different dignitaries, more so in Malaysia than in Taiwan. We met the American, Canadian and French ambassadors. They went to our show.
Q: What happened on your trip?
A: We flew for 14 hours, got to Taiwan and did a show. Left the next morning and flew 6 hours to Malaysia. We had five days off and we were at a resort area so we were able to take in the scenery. We went down to the nearest largest city which was Kuala Nepor. It was like an Asian Manhattan. We took in the sights and sounds, we visited some factories, and some interesting places.
Q: Did you have any time to enjoy the surrounding areas?
A: Yeah we did. Actually, it was strange. The first day we were there we said, “ man, it is really foggy!” Well, what we didn't realize is that we were on a mountain top and it wasn’t fog. It was clouds!
We were at a place that was their take on Disney World. They had an amusement park. Inside it was filled with different shops and eateries. It was huge.
Q: What foods did you eat?
A: Oh man! I ate some things that I wasn’t sure what they were. Some of it was OK and to me some of it wasn’t very good. I was ever so happy when I got back to the airport to have a McDonald’s hamburger. It just sounded very good after eating over there. We had Indian food, Taiwanese food, Philippine food, every type of Asian food. When I got home I told my wife I didn’t want to eat oriental food for a couple of weeks.
Q: Where did you stay?
A: In Taiwan we stayed at something like a Crown Plaza and we stayed at the amusement park resort over in Malaysia.
Q: Sounds like you’re glad to be back?
A: Yes, especially since I was able to be home for the Holidays.
Thank you Mr. Cole for your time and patience.
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