Music Memories Podcast Inspired by Professor UM, Alumnus


By JB Clark

University of Mississippi

Hunter Taylor and Ryan Miller became friends through their mutual love for music. Their new podcast, Same Side of the Tracks, invites prominent UM figures to explore their lives through the prism of shared musical experiences. Submitted photo

Hunter Taylor and Ryan Miller have built a friendship around shared musical memories and experiences – they now hope to do the same for others with their new podcast.

The podcast episodes, titled “Same Side of the Tracks,” feature conversations with guests focused on the music that has played a significant role in their lives.

Taylor, clinical assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Mississippi, and Miller (BA 02, JD 08), executive director of the Mississippi Office of Workforce Development, created the show because they came together in talking about the ’80s country music – especially their love of the Strait of George.

“Ryan and I have a lot in common as fathers and professionals, but we really love to talk about songs,” Taylor said. “Music is one of the things that tends to bring people together faster than anything else. We use music as a Trojan horse in order to bring people from different backgrounds together. “

The first season of the podcast will feature four of Oxford / UM’s most interesting personalities – retired Deputy Provost Donald Cole, retired journalism professor Curtis Wilkie, Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill and coach Chief Women’s Basketball Officer Yolett McPhee-McCuin.

“We start each interview by talking about the impact of music on the guest over the years and that often leads to significant life events,” said Miller, former associate director of external operations at the Haley Barbour Center for Manufacturing Excellence from UM. “Then we can ask questions about the songs and artists that resonated at those times. “

Cole talks about his siblings’ struggle for control of the boombox, Wilkie talks about listening to Dire Straits while covering the Lebanese Civil War, Tannehill talks about the early days of the Double Decker Arts (and Music) Festival in Oxford , and McPhee-McCuin reflects on the music she listened to growing up in the Bahamas.

“These are people in our community who are living inspired lives,” Taylor said. “And every time we left an interview, we naturally texted each other like, ‘Wow, that was amazing.'”

The first episode, which stars Cole, is available now. Subscribe through a favorite podcast app or the Same Side of the Tracks website.

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