Evans’ favorite music takes him back to ’60s high school years

Natalie West

Sam Evans prefers more tangible forms of music.

Evans, the dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, has no music on his iPhone, but has CDs, tapes and records instead.

He considers the music of the 1960s as his favorite, because he was in high school during that decade.

When he has time to listen to music, Evans said he routinely plays music by Elvis Presley and ABBA.

“I listen to Elvis more than anything else,” he said.

Evans said he will always the remember the year Elvis died. It was Evans’ first week back to work after his honeymoon.

At the time, he was working in southeast Missouri, where Evans said Elvis got his start. People there took the news exceptionally hard.

“You would have thought the world had ended,” he said.

Other than Elvis, Evans said he also enjoys Billy Joel, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the more contemporary Shania Twain.

He has seen artists such as Elton John in concert. His first concert was to see Johnny Cash, but Cash never showed up. Evans guesses that it was because he was “inebriated.”

Now, Evans said he usually only gets time to listen to music at home after work, but when he does, he said he likes to because it’s very soothing and nice to have background music.

Here are some of the dean’s favorite songs:

Neil Diamond’s “Kentucky Woman” (1967)

Evans said he likes this song because of the instrumentation that goes with it.

Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Berets” (1966)

The dean said he was in the military when this song about the Vietnam War was released.

Though he never had to go to Vietnam, Evans said it wasn’t a pleasant time to be in the military.

“It’s one of the few pieces that the artist recognized the contributions of the military,” he said.

Bob Carlisle’s “Butterfly Kisses” (1997)

Evans said that he and his daughter both like this song, and he enjoys it because it makes him think of her.

Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” (1984)

Evans said it is a song that stands up for America and it especially has special meaning for those in the military.

“I like it because it is very patriotic,” he said.

Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (1961)

Evans said he really enjoys the nature of the song and how Elvis really brings some soul into what he sings.

“It’s not just a message, but a feeling,” he said.