This year’s Herndon Playlist? We’ll do it LIVE!

When you love the Herndon Climb as much as I do, the calendar is relative. Yes, the actual event happens in May, but even though my son’s Climb happened some six years ago, it is always toward the front of my thoughts.

This year will mark the seventh time I’ve created a Herndon Playlist for the USNA’s Plebe Class and every year I look for something different. Some songs have made appearances on more than one playlist, but most of the tunes change and that means all year long while I’m listening to music, my ear is tuned to song titles or lyrics that somehow relate to the Plebe or Plebe Parent experience. I have a Google Doc that I tinker with all year long – yes, it’s something of an obsession – where I add songs with a note about why they fit and at the same time, I shuffle the order, working to create a musical story arc.

Every year I also look for a different production twist. From the first playlist largely curated from my son’s company mates to an array of guests – including Kristin Cronic, Susan Weisberg, Annie Shine, Grant Vermeer, and my family (including the Mid a couple of times) – I obsess on doing things a little differently. While discussing this project with a faculty member at Bowling Green State University (my alma mater and current employer), he made a simple proposal.

“Dude, why not do it here live and we’ll make it cool.”

You see, BGSU is blessed with a state-of-the-art media facility and the faculty member – Phil Beskid – happens to not only teach a lot of media production courses, he’s also the advisor to our two radio stations.

So this is a long way to say, I’m inviting you to join me on Falcon Radio (available online at BG Falcon Media – our student media website) for a LIVE Herndon Playlist to celebrate the Class of 2026’s big event. Phil will set me up at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, March 6 in the Falcon Radio studios and, much like Bill O’Reilly did years ago, “we’ll do it live.” While I’ve done podcast interviews, I haven’t done live radio in a long time. How long? Well, we were still spinning actual albums. So I’m a little anxious but also excited.

Now, I realize we haven’t even hit Spring Break yet and this may feel like stores that put out Christmas decorations before Halloween, but this just happens to be the best time for me to hijack the studio for a personal project. And just in case it wasn’t implied – I will post this year’s Playlist on my Spotify channel along with a blog post that will go into why I chose each particular song. The latter will give you a window into the way I absolutely overthink these sorts of things. Yes, there is a story behind why I pick each song and, yes, it is an indication that I may have a problem and, no, I am not seeking professional help for this particular affliction.

There’s plenty of time to talk Herndon as Spring rolls around but for now, I hope you will plan on joining me 10 a.m. EST on Monday, March 6 for what I hope will be a fun experience. And in the meantime, for the purposes of nostalgia or introducing you to the Herndon Playlist here are a few of the recent editions:

So proud to have had Chester Midshipmouse share his Plebe Year experience for this one.
This one was really fun and features Annie Shine.
How many playlists include Trombone Shorty, the Newsboys, and Justin Timberlake? 🙂

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