President Ransdell relaxes with tunes from his youth

Natalie West

President Gary Ransdell has 109 songs on his mp3 player.

He said he doesn’t have many opportunities to listen to music, but when he does have the time, he said he likes to listen to relax.

He enjoys songs from the 60s and 70s that he listened to when he was growing up in Louisville and later when he attended WKU.

“I use music that takes me back to an important time,” Ransdell said.

Most of those songs fall into the early classics and rock n’ roll genres.

But he likes a few contemporary artists such as Michael Buble and Faith Hill, he said. His all-time favorite is Van Morrison, though.

Ransdell said some of his top Morrison songs are “Tupelo Honey,” “When the Leaves Come Falling Down” and “Meet Me in the Indian Summer”.

“They are ballads,” he said. “I like his style because it’s comfortable.”

Here are some tunes Ransdell said he enjoys:

Rod Stewart’s version of “Forever Young” (1988)

Ransdell said this is one of his favorites, and WKU has played it at some of the commencement ceremonies.

“I like the words, the message,” he said.

The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic” (1965)

“This is one of my favorite songs because I have a lot of high school and college memories tied to it,” Ransdell said.

Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” (1968)

“It makes me happy every time I hear it,” he said. “It precedes my generation, but it’s timeless.”

Jimmy Buffett’s “A Pirate Looks at Forty” and “One Particular Harbor” (1974, 1983)

“It kind of struck me as I was reaching that milestone a few years ago,” Ransdell said about the first Buffet song. “He’s a little bit of a rebel and this song brings that out in me.”

Ransdell said he likes playing “One Particular Harbor” to get in the beach mood when he and his wife, Julie, are on their way to Destin, Fla.

Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red” (1986)

Though it was a one-hit wonder, Ransdell said he likes this song because of the lyrics and because it reminds him of Julie.