Five Minutes with Benny Hester 

One day, I’ll look back over my life, and recounting a list of the coolest things I ever got to do, I’ll recall being on the phone with one of the most influential songwriting figures of the last half-century, Benny Hester. It almost doesn’t seem possible, that a relatively “local” guy like me, could not only interview, but have a conversation with someone like Benny Hester. That can’t possibly be how it works, right?!

But apparently it does. I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was when my phone rang…

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Five Minutes with Mélanie Watt 

If you have kids, chances are you’ve heard of (because they’ve heard of) Scaredy Squirrel. Your kids have almost certainly either read the award-winning series of best-selling books or watched the shows on Cartoon Network. Or both.

If you’ve heard of Scaredy Squirrel and you don’t have kids, well…maybe you’re just a kid at heart. Which is also cool. :) And I’m sure is just fine with our next FOTF guest.

Canadian children’s author and illustrator, Mélanie Watt, is best known as the creator of Scaredy

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Five Minutes with John Elefante 

I can distinctly recall, way back in “the old days” (as my kids call them) of the 80’s, I was sitting in my room just starting to play through a brand-new compilation album of Christian Rock music (Soaring Vol 2), and listening to Valerie, by Sweet Comfort Band. I didn’t even know who those guys were (shame on me), but this particular song jumped up and got a hold of me. It was perfect. The sound and the music were amazing. Definitely an aha moment for me as a musician. I grabbed my liner notes to find…

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Five Minutes with Ty Murray 

Ty Murray. Ty dadgum Murray. What guy out there does not think a world champion, bull-riding, Rodeo Hall of Fame cowboy is the most awesome dude alive? Ty Murray. Holy cow. I seriously got to talk to Ty Murray today.

In fifth grade, when asked, “If you could do anything in your life, what would it be?” most of his classmates gave the usual replies, like astronaut, firefighter, doctor.  But what did Ty have to say?  “I want to beat Larry Mahan’s record,” referring to the six-time All-Around World Rodeo…

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Five Minutes with Jeff Kinney 

I can hardly imagine a Kid’s book series more popular than Diary of a Wimpy Kid by author (and cartoonist, actor, and game designer) Jeff Kinney. Every kid knows about, owns or has read at least one of the installments, and millions have seen the movies. So when I had the chance to grab a couple of minutes with Jeff, you can bet I was all over it.

Who would’ve guessed that only ten short years ago, DWK was just an online blog-like release? But after hitting 20 million views (80 million, now), the world…

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Five Minutes with J Patrick Lewis 

How can you not love a guy whose writing includes a book called Hippopotamustn’t? J Patrick Lewis, author, poet, a twin, and a former Professor of Economics (really), is indeed the talent behind nearly 100 children’s books. And one of my very favorites.

I apparently am not alone, because the literary world has honored Pat with award after notable award, hailing from organizations like the American Library Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. The one however, that stands out to me…

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Five Minutes with Dan Gutman 

The first thing you’ll probably do when you visit Children’s Author Dan Gutman’s website ( smile. And that’s the crux of Dan’s whole persona, IMHO. He’s a cool guy. A fun guy. Not like goofy-fun, but the kind of fun dude you could totally hang out with for the entire day. The kind of guy you might even want to emulate. Definitely the kind of guy who makes you smile.

I have a special affinity for children’s authors. They’re a breed unto themselves, and one that (sometimes…

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Five On The Five intro 

Several years ago, I read a piece by Tony Robbins (yes, I’m a fan) that encouraged me to start reaching out to and interviewing personal heroes, famous personalities, politicians, business people, etc. with the goal of personal inspiration and encouragement from these people who have found various levels of success in their lives and careers. So you could say, Five On the Five has become sort of my personal vehicle for briefly getting between the ears of the people whom I admire.

Over the years, I've…

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