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Laura Cantrell, Musician

Laura Cantrell
Laura Cantrell

One book: A good dictionary, mine's a Webster's
One newspaper: New York Times
One Web site:, for fun
One gadget: Blackberry of course!
One plane ticket: Early flight to San Francisco

What are you reading?

"The Time Of Our Singing" by Richard Powers.

Who's been your biggest influence?

The staff of WFMU in Jersey City, NJ; very creative people who all have day jobs and find time to volunteer to do great radio programs.

What's your biggest mistake?

Underestimating my own capabilities.

Is management an art or a science?

A lot of management is just common sense and instinct, but it helps to have a scientific or analytical approach to back up your gut feeling. And the ability to say "no" without making people feel turned off can be quite an art!

What do you reach for on your desk when the fire alarm goes off?

The basics -- blackberry, wallet, housekeys -- all in my handbag ...

Curriculum Vitae

  • Born in Nashville, and worked as a tour guide at the Country Music Hall of Fame before moving to New York to study American literature at Columbia University.
  • Begins her radio career at student station WKCR before moving to WFMU in New Jersey in 1993 as the "proprietress" of the "Radio Thrift Shop" show on Saturday afternoons, playing classic country.
  • Supports her music and radio career by working at the Bank of America on Wall Street for 11 years, rising to the position of vice-president and business manager of the equity research department.
  • Quits her financial career in 2003 following the release of two critically-acclaimed albums, 2000's "Not the Tremblin' Kind", and "When the Roses Bloom Again" in 2002. Both earn four stars in Rolling Stone magazine.
  • She says: "I never thought of being a musician as a proper career for whatever reason. But I always really loved to sing and I felt like I should try to figure out a way to have more time for that in my life. It ended up being a career but I never anticipated that several years ago."

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