Tom Shaker grew up in Poughkeepsie NY and attended Emerson College in Boston as an undergraduate student. He received a master's degree in instructional design and technology from UMASS/Boston and a doctoral degree in instructional technology from Boston University. He has been a college professor for almost 30 years, recently retiring as professor and director of the Communications Program at Dean College in Franklin, MA, where he taught for 15 years. He's also taught at Northeastern University, Boston University, Elizabethtown College (in PA.) and UMASS/Boston.
Over the years, Tom has worked in radio, television and film production. As a radio news announcer/writer, producer and disc jockey, Tom has worked at radio stations in upstate New York and New England. He's also worked in production and post-production for both television and film in Los Angeles and Boston. His credits include The Academy Awards Broadcast, various network television programs, music videos, commercials and films. Moving back to Boston in the mid-1980s Tom worked as a freelance video editor and also on the TV program "Spenser For Hire," shot in Boston.
Tom's love of music and pop culture has been the focus of his academic career. His course "The Roots Of Popular Music" covers everything from New Orleans jazz to Motown to hip-hop and rap.
For the past ten years he has hosted "The Soul Serenade" featuring classic soul and funk music on WICN in Worcester, MA. Tom has interviewed music legends including George Clinton and Solomon Burke, and has also talked with local artists and authors.
Tom is a speaker for The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and speaks throughout the state about the History of Diners. He is a board member of the American Diner Museum. He also speaks on the topic of Jazz History in Rhode Island.
Currently, Tom and Norm Grant are wrapping up work on their documentary film "Do It Man: The Story Of The Celebrity Club." Tom, along with Dennis Pratt, is also finishing up work on "A Treasury of Jazz & Swing in Rhode Island," a book about Rhode Island jazz. Tom has also served on the Board of Directors of the New England Jazz Alliance (NEJA).