‘Mr. C’ Carl Cole releases Heart 2 Heart CD

Opening his heart to the sick, local musician Carl Cole has released a new CD inspired by the Heart Hospital at SwedishAmerican Hospital.

The CD, Heart 2 Heart, includes a dozen sing-along heart songs that “Mr. C” hopes will bring hope to the sick.

“The project has the potential to bring a lot of joy to people,” Cole said.

Cole, 44, has been regularly playing on various floors of SwedishAmerican Hospital for the patients. He can usually be found there every other Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He was asked by SwedishAmerican to compose some heart songs for the Heart Hospital. The CD, composed and produced by Cole, will benefit Cole’s youth project, “The Sounds of Good News.”

His company, Sounds of Good News, has been working in the Rockford area for 26 years and offers disadvantaged youth help and hope through music. He has worked as a music teacher at Beloit College and as adjunct professor of gospel music at Rockford College. He has influenced many of Rockford’s youth, and was mentioned by Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child in her book as a major musical influence on her life.

Sounds of Good News has produced five of Cole’s albums, and continues to play at Rockford-area events throughout the year. Cole has played at the Coronado Theatre in downtown Rockford for such performances as the Christmas Medley. They work out of both Rockford and Aurora, and Cole said he has high hopes for his company’s production of Heart 2 Heart.

“We didn’t think that it would be a big hit, and it is,” Cole said. “I feel it could a national project.”

Cole said he has tried to drum up support from the American Heart Association so the CD can be made available nationally. The CD is available through the SwedishAmerican Hospital gift shop, but can also be ordered through Sounds of Good News by e-mailing Cole at csogn@aol.com. Jenny’s Gift Shop is in SwedishAmerican Hospital’s Main Lobby at the State Street entrance.

With the help of clarinetist Bill Doll and his son Andrew Cole, the engaging Cole has produced an upbeat CD that reflects the spirit of his company.

“[This is about the] continuation of a company, music business and ministry,” Cole said. “It is continuing to bring love, light and life to humanity.”

Cole has won five Rockford Area Music Industry awards (RAMIs) and is a member of the RAMI Hall of Fame. He has continued to help youth in the community and to inspire through music. Cole pointed to music as the greatest teaching tool he could ever use, as it has let him connect with younger generations. That connection has let him emphasize the importance of character building and helped countless young people in Rockford find inspiration in music.

Cole said, “I utilized my gift of music to help others.”

From the June 21-27, 2006, issue

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