President Scott Olson’s annual radio show covers The Beatles

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Elly Herrick

For the 21st time, On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Winona State University President, Scott Olson, hosted his own radio show, “Working on a Dream.” From four to six p.m on KQAL 89.5 FM, Olson and Westerman talked about and played The Beatles songs with a special guest, Tim Hatfield.

Elly Herrick, Features Reporter

From writing songs on a bus to singing in front of Michelle Obama, The Beatles members have moved through and through the musical world.

For the 21st time, On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Winona State University President, Scott Olson, hosted his own radio show, “Working on a Dream.” 

“It’s great to be back,” Olson said on the radio. “In the past, it’s been [Doug Westerman] and me kind of just making stuff up about music, but today we have one of the world’s great experts on our musical subject.”

From four to six p.m on KQAL 89.5 FM, Olson and Westerman talked about and played The Beatles songs with a special guest, Tim Hatfield. 

Hatfield is a professor, author, Chair Emeritus of Winona State University’s Counselor Education Department and lifelong Beatles fan.

“I’ve heard him talk before at various venues around Winona about the Beatles and every time I learn so much,” Olson said.

 Hatfield taught a four-week class called “The Beatles and Us” to high school seniors through Winona State. At the end of the class, they ranked and compiled a list of the top 13 Beatles songs.

For the radio show, they played that ranked list. Number 13 on the list was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

  “It’s my favorite backstory of all time of all the Beatles songs,” Hatfield said on the radio. “George Harrison was very into eastern philosophy and one of his prospects was that nothing happens by chance. As an experiment, he got a book, opened it up, and pointed blindly to the book with his index finger. The first phrase that he landed on was ‘gentle weeps’ and he went right out and wrote the song [“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”].”

The list continued on with number 12 being “The Long and Winding Road”; 11: “Help”; Ten “Let It Be”; nine: “If I Fell”; eight: “Drive My Car”; seven: “All My Loving” and six “A Hard Day’s Night”.

After sharing stories about the backstories of songs, Hatfield talked about the book he wrote about The Beatles. From March 2020 to the beginning of Dec. 2020, Hatfield wrote about almost every Beatles song. Hatfield wrote his book, “The Beatles: All their songs with encouraging words for challenging times”, during the pandemic as an uplifting book for anyone going through hard times in life. 

“It helped me during the pandemic to stay focused and to have something positive every day,” Hatfield said on the radio. “Apparently it helped some other people too which makes me feel good.”

The countdown continued with number five being “Michelle”; four: “When I’m 64” and three: “Here Comes The Sun”.

After those songs played, Tim chimed in with the origin of the song “Here Comes The Sun”.

“George Harrison escaped to Eric Clapton’s house outside of London and was staying there because it was so unpleasant at work,” Hatfield explained. “He got up early one morning, walked around in Eric Clapton’s garden with his guitar, and wrote [“Here Comes The Sun”] because he was so relieved to be out there.” 

The countdown ended with number two being “In My Life” and number one being the world’s most covered song, “Yesterday”. 

After the countdown, Hatfield and Olson picked out some of their favorite Beatles songs for the last hour.

“Their songs showcase the incredible versatility these four guys had in terms of being songwriters and their validity to put songs together,” Olson said on the radio. “The Beatles could honestly do it all.”