In keeping with Al Sikes’ Midwestern modest ways, most people on the Mid-Shore know him only as the devoted leader of the popular Monty Alexander Jazz Festival. But like so many other individuals who have decided to retire to the Eastern Shore, Al’s background is remarkable not only for the positions he has held but the unique political times he has lived through.
From a small city of Sikeston in the Southeast corner of Missouri, Al Sikes rose to become Assistant Attorney General in Missouri, owner of a media corporation, and later appointed by George H.W. Bush to be Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was during that time that Sikes sparred with the likes of radio shock jock Howard Stern and even former President Jimmy Carter on the rights and responsibilities of America’s broadcasting media.
Now, with a few decades behind him, Sikes has had some time to reflect on being in a remarkable front row seat to observe American culture and politics. And very recently, he put them into a new book “Culture Leads, Leaders Follow” published this month by Koehler Books.
Al sat down with the Spy last week to talk about the book but also about the cultural impact on one of America’s most bizarre primary elections in its history.
This video is approximately eight minutes in length. “Culture Leads, Leaders Follow” can be purchased locally or at Amazon.