Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Big Name Kentuckians are Reading and Listening to

What Big Name Kentuckians are Reading and Listening to

It's going by the book

-Johnny Cash

John Eckberg asked in his book, The Success Effect, what book business leaders had by their bedside and what music they were listening to.

I posed the questions to a number of well known Kentuckians.

(You can get the complete list of responses at Big Name Kentuckians)

A clue to personality is how they responded to the question.

Judge Bill Clouse (Madison and Clark Counties) selected books that reflected his passion for history and law. I was impressed by how he answered.

He responded well before my deadline. He neatly organized the list of books and directed where I could find more information on each.

If you ever show up in Judge Clouse's courtroom, you had better be on time and you had better be prepared.

A Civil Action Peter Perlman, former president of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), would impress Judge Clouse. They were both reading John Grisham's latest book, The Agenda.

The most popular book was Right of the Dial: The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio by Alec Foege. Joe Elliott at WHAS-84 in Louisville, Tom Leach, the voice of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, and myself are reading that new release.

Tom Leach Tom and I had almost identical picks expect Tom has Earth Wind and Fire's greatest hits. They won't make my list. A band member kept trying to pick up my date during a concert. It's been almost 30 years but I still hold a grudge.

Bill GoodmanBill Goodman, host of Kentucky Tonight and several other shows on KET, and Tom Leach were both listening to Allison Krauss. Goodman joins state representative Joni Jenkins from Louisville as Bruce Springsteen fans. Bob Dylan is on state representative Kathy Stein's playlist and frequently mentioned on others.

Trey Grayson family Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Louisville attorney Bonita Black are both Harvard educated (Bonita was Kentucky undergrad and Harvard Law School, Trey was the opposite) and have heavy books on their reading list. However music is controlled by their children.

BonitaBonita is listening to Dora the Explorer while Trey is serenaded by Hanna Montana, Enchanted Soundtrack and High School Musical 2 Soundtrack.

When Trey seeks another office, he is a cinch to get the Disney lover's vote.

Mary Jo Perino, sports anchor at WLEX TV, says her life is dominated by her two year old son. Her lead book was Curious George and music by Giggly Wiggly Rhymes.Don Hudson

Sports books were popular. WTVQ news anchor Don Hudson is reading Pistol Pete, a biography of Pete Maravich. Leach is reading Sound and Fury(about Ali and Cosell) by Dave Kindred.

Joni Jenkins Re-reading classics is a popular activity. Lexington Vice Mayor Jim Gray was re-reading John Adams and Anna Karenina and Joni Jenkins was re-reading Truman.

Inspiration books were on many lists. Don Hudson was reading When Times are Tough by John Bytheway. Bonita Black read In the Grip of Grace and Facing Your Giants, both by Max Lucado. (She also was reading my book.) Joni Jenkins was reading Eat, Pray, Love.

A Civil ActionJoe Elliot touted Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to Seeby Robert Kurson.

Joe had Kurson on his radio program and Bill Goodman is also boning up for an interview. He is reading Hezbollah by Richard Norton. Norton, a noted Boston University professor, will be a guest on Bill's One to One show.

Goodman, Stein and Judge Clouse had excellent books for Kentuckians. Goodman was reading Kentucky's Everyday Heroes by Steve Flarity. It profiles the lives of 40 lesser known Kentuckians. (I read it after Bill's recommendation and it is an excellent book.) Stein took a break from Michael Moore and Bill Bradley to read Secrets of a Kentucky Gardener by Karen Angelucci. Judge Clouse is a big fan of The Admirable Trumpeter: A Biography of General James Wilkinson by Thomas Robson Hay and M.R. Werner.

Mary Jo Perino Wide ranging taste was a common denominator. Although classic rock dominated the list, many selections were all over the map. Typical was Mary Jo Perino who along with Giggly Wiggly Rhymes goes for Kid Rock, James Taylor and a guy on American Idol.

Don McNay is the Chairman of the Board for McNay Settlement Group and the author of Son of Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What To Do When You Win the Lottery. You can write to him at and read all of the well known Kentuckian's selections at


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