Derek John

Associate Producer Derek John joined Studio 360 in 2004 and is currently the show's News Editor. The Kansas native first caught the radio bug from a local doo-wop deejay who called himself "the daddio of the rad-dio." Derek eventually hosted his own radio shows at KU's legendary KJHK, before moving to New York in 2001.  He worked for PBS' Bill Moyers and NPR's On the Media before freelancing all over public radio on subjects ranging from early hip-hop to the future of books. His reporting has taken him from the bowels of Grand Central Station to a hot rod shop in the Mojave Desert and won numerous awards. Recent productions include a feature on Tea Party protest music, the first ever 3-D radio broadcast, and a documentary on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His writing has appeared in New York, The New York Sun, and the Village Voice. He holds a Masters in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU, where he currently teaches a radio reporting course.

Derek John appears in the following:

40 Years Later, The Cast Of 'Cooley High' Looks Back

Friday, June 26, 2015

After the filming finished, cast members of Cooley High went their separate ways. Now they reflect.


Classic Of Black Cinema, 'Cooley High,' Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amid the blaxploitation craze, Cooley High showed a slice of urban life rarely seen on the big screen. It is a bittersweet coming-of-age story set in Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project.


Discovering an Imaginary Soul Star

Thursday, March 19, 2015

He’s made more albums than anyone else, but you’ve never heard a note he’s played.

Comments [2]

Herb Alpert Isn’t Complaining

Friday, August 29, 2014

The leader of the Tijuana Brass kicked off a 50-year career in music by zoning out and missing his cue in an orchestra performance.


Talib Kweli's Rap With a Conscience

Friday, April 25, 2014

Talib Kweli made a name for himself in the late ‘90s as one half of the hip hop duo Black Star, with Mos Def. Since then, Kweli has carried on the tradition of socially conscious hip hop, addressing issues like police brutality and the overrepresentation of African Americans in prison ...

Comments [2]

Romare Bearden: An Artist in Winter

Friday, January 04, 2013

Probably the most famous African-American visual artist of the 20th century, Romare Bearden was best known for a singular approach to collage art that incorporated scraps of wallpaper, glossy magazines, and fabric into a kind of patchwork cubism. When Bearden was at his height ...

Slideshow: Romare Bearden in his studio

Comments [7]

Craig Marks: I Want My MTV

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thirty years ago, hardly anyone knew what a music video was. On the night MTV was launched, its founders — a ragtag bunch of music fans and rookie television execs — took a bus from Manhattan to New Jersey to watch the broadcast, because no local cable company carried the fledgling ...

Comments [42]

Marvin Hamlisch's Hollywood

Friday, August 10, 2012

For almost half a century, the composer Marvin Hamlisch made his way into our heads with ballad after show-stopping ballad, including “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line and the title song from The Way We Were, to name just a few. Hamlisch died this week at age 68 ...

Bonus Track: Hamlisch performs "Trust Me" from The Informant! in Studio 360

Comments [2]

Aha Moment: Whoopi Goldberg

Friday, June 01, 2012

WNYC listener Julie Bayley grew up watching daytime talk shows to catch comics like Rodney Dangerfield. But there weren’t any comedians like her: female and black. Then Bayley saw Whoopi Goldberg in her one-woman show on Broadway (it ran for 156 sold-out performances ...

Comments [3]

Barry Sonnenfeld's Movie Master Class

Friday, May 25, 2012

The big, splashy comic book movie has become a fairly predictable piece of Hollywood machinery. So it’s easy to forget just how radical and fresh Men In Black seemed when it came out in 1997. The franchise returns this weekend with Men In Black III. Director Barry Sonnenfeld ...

Comments [6]

Mo Willems Remembers Maurice Sendak

Friday, May 11, 2012

Best known for his breakthrough 1963 picture book Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak's long career involved one wild rumpus after another. "You have to remember, he's from a generation where picture books were considered trash," says Mo Willems, an acclaimed author ...

Comments [4]

American Icons: The Outsiders

Friday, May 04, 2012

Susan Eloise Hinton was a teenager when she wrote The Outsiders, the story of rival gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the pen name “S.E.” so readers wouldn’t know she was a girl, and bought a Camaro with the earnings. “Some of [the novel’s] faults, like its over-the-top emotions and ...

Slideshow: How The Outsiders became a movie

Comments [11]

Recession Wanes, But Artists Still Starving

Friday, April 27, 2012

We’ve been inundated with reports of corporate layoffs and manufacturing jobs vanishing. But the creative class has been particularly hard hit. In an ongoing series for Salon, reporter Scott Timberg writes that the last few years have seen a huge drop-off in jobs in the creative industries. ...

Comments [20]

Wayne Coyne's Lips Are On Fire

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back in the 1980s, the Flaming Lips were just an alternative rock band from Oklahoma. They toured for a decade before finally hitting it big in 1993 with their song “She Don't Use Jelly.” But the Flaming Lips didn’t go all Hollywood. “It never occurred to us to move to Los Angeles or New York,” ...

Bonus Track: Obsessed with Brittany, Over Oklahoma


Appropriating Images for Art: When Is It Okay?

Friday, April 06, 2012

Last year the artist Richard Prince was sued by Patrick Cariou, a photographer, for copyright infringement. Prince had used dozens of Cariou’s pictures — arty portraits of Rastafarians in Jamaica — in his paintings. This practice of appropriation, incorporating other people's work ...

Comments [20]

Herb Alpert

Friday, March 30, 2012

If you ever watched The Dating Game, you know his music — and now you can’t get it out of your head. After a half-century in the music business, legendary bandleader, trumpeter, and producer Herb Alpert is still performing and writing new music. I Feel You, his latest album ...

Slideshow: Album covers of Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass

Comments [5]

Shapeshifter Willem Dafoe

Friday, March 23, 2012

Over 30 years and 80 films, Willem Dafoe has played a vampire and Jesus Christ; a drug dealer and an FBI agent. This spring, he’s particularly prolific, appearing in three new movies: the big-budget sci-fi epic John Carter, and indies 4:44 Last Day on Earth and The Hunter ...

Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Willem Dafoe


Fighting the ‘War on Women’ with Laughs

Friday, March 09, 2012

Birth control is currently the hot button issue of the campaign season. Rush Limbaugh’s noxious remarks to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke led to a rare apology. Liberals, however, insist that his attack is part and parcel of a conservative “war on women” that ...

Comments [6]

Can Kickstarter Fund Art Better than the NEA?

Friday, March 02, 2012

Last week one of Kickstarter's founders bragged that he expected the three-year-old crowd-funding site to give more money to the arts this year than the National Endowment for the Arts. That caught Clay Johnson's eye. The author of The Information Diet examined the numbers ...

Comments [5]

Hunt Slonem's Artist Aviary

Friday, February 24, 2012

Manhattan’s West Side has plenty of artist studios, but none quite like Hunt Slonem’s. Kurt Andersen recently dropped by the artist’s eccentric space, which is housed on the third floor of a football field-sized warehouse. It’s stuffed with plaster busts, chandeliers, neo-gothic furniture ...

Video: Kurt Andersen visits Hunt Slonem's studio

Comments [5]