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OSU President Hargis shares what's on his Spotify playlist

burns hargis

OSU President Burns Hargis poses for a portrait in Old Central.

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis sat down to talk about race issues on college campuses, good music, and his time here at OSU. In this three-part O’Colly series, we’re delving into all things “One on One with Burns.”

Last week, we talked about how confronting diversity issues require pioneers.

Next up, good music, from personal picks to the McKnight Center opening.

Hargis was featured on OSU’s Spotify account with a personal playlist of the President’s “Poke’s Picks.”

“You’ve got to check it out,” Hargis said about the Spotify playlist featuring 30 songs.

President Hargis’ playlist is eclectic, starting off with the Queen classic “We Will Rock You” before delving into various different genres and eras. It features BORNS, Hall & Oates, Florence and the Machine, Michael Jackson and more.

“Some of it someone put together when I did Burgers with Burns last year, and I said ‘Hey I really like that.’ So they sent it to me,” Hargis said. 

He spoke highly of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and Queen’s music. Hargis confessed that Paul McCartney and songs such as “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Any Way You Want It,” and “Making my Dreams Come True” are his favorite from the playlist. Laughing, he also highly recommends James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.

“Oh I love them,” Hargis confessed about Corden’s Carpool Karaokes. “Have you seen the Paul McCartney one? You have to see it.”

Aside from pop, rock and personal picks, Hargis also spoke highly of a whole different genre of music: classical and broadway.

The OSU McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will open this coming fall, and Hargis discussed its October 11th opening.

“They’re bringing in 140 players from the New York Philharmonic to perform and work with our students and faculty,” Hargis said.

For its grand opening, the McKnight Center will be hosting the New York Philharmonic for a three-day performance of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, among other incredible pieces. Its subsequent concert schedule includes pianists and Broadway musicals.

In contrast to classical music, Hargis laughed cheerily when prompted about an old song he is rumored to have written years ago. Immediately he admitted that yes, he had in fact written a song titled “The Dry Tortuga Song” while sailing off the coast of Florida with the Boy Scouts of America.

“We’d been at sea little longer than I’d like, and there was a piano on the boat,” Hargis said. “So I wrote the Dry Tortuga Song.”

Hargis laughed at the memory. From the silliness of the Dry Tortuga song, to President Hargis’ recent release of his “Poke’s Picks” playlist on Spotify, to the upcoming New York Philharmonic performance here on campus, music is a prevalent part of President Hargis’ life.

Check out Hargis’ Spotify playlist on his twitter, @burnshargis.