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Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
Good morning to you!

What defines classic rock?

I asked my Amazon Alexa device to play music of the genre for me, and her first three songs were from The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult and David Bowie. The next three were from Creedence Clearwater Revival, Looking Glass and Aerosmith. I knew every song by title and artist. Many of you likely would, too.

But what really defines classic rock? The Guardian published a great article on the subject in 2020, asking if it is “a sound, an era, or just any old track with guitars on it,” noting how the genre continues to be “a slippery one to define.”

The article asked if classic rock is linked to popularity or a certain era? Is it a genre in itself, or, as time plods on, has classic rock merely come to be defined as any old track with guitars on it? They added qualifications like being “guitar-led,” being “intrinsically linked with the adolescence of boomers,” “an amalgamation of the anthems of one’s adolescence,” and even “marketing as a means of repackaging music that is no longer deemed to be directly relevant by those of a younger generation.” Ouch.

For a more local angle, I asked a friend who knows the subject better than anyone I know: the man who introduced me to classic rock in the early 1990s as co-host of the KGGO morning show “Lou & Larry,” Lou Sipolt.

Lou told me, “Classic rock is the good stuff from the mid-1960s, 1970s and 1980s, in my mind. Artists who established themselves during that time period are also grandfathered in to having newer material considered from a classic rocker as well. Once the artists earn the title, they should always be able to wear that badge proudly.”

Best-selling writer Charles Cross told American Songwriter that nostalgia born from one’s youth also plays a major force in classic rock’s popularity.

“If we looked at the charts [today], there isn’t a rock act in the top 50,” Cross said. “So, rock is not the dominant genre in music and has not been for some time… Rock itself indeed is dead as a commercial genre, in terms of recorded record sales. But in terms of radio, rock radio is still a very successful format.”

And thank goodness for that. And Alexa. And Lou. Rock on.

Have a magnificent Monday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Warm weather will be with us through Thursday! Temperatures cool toward the weekend.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
509 25th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Perfect location in West Des Moines. New painted through out the house. Brand new Kitchen and Bathroom. New air conditioning and new water heater. Roof is only two years old. Brand new two car garage. Call your realtor and make an appointment.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Two killed in crash on E. University Avenue in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police say two people were killed in a crash on E. 27th Street and E. University Avenue Sunday.... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Local moms pack holiday cheer for deployed troops

DES MOINES, Iowa- Local moms packed holiday care boxes for deployed Iowa troops at the Baymont Hotel on Saturday. “I legit have goosebumps. This is everything, this is everything we’ve been working for. And to know that this many people care about Iowans in the military who won’t be home for the holidays, it brings a tear to my eye,” said Jen Fletcher, the Vice President of Blue Star Moms. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Central Iowa swimmers win big at 2023 IGHSAU state swim meet

Waukee junior Willa Hage and Johnston junior Faith Frantum tied for athlete of the year. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


The Asian snow crab season began over the weekend. At the prestigious Japan seafood auction, a single snow crab sold for a record $1,400. In the U.S., snow crab prices are down 60% from pre-COVID times.

In Wisconsin, dead birds are washing up on Great Lake shores in record numbers believed to be due to algae growth that  contains avian botulism.

- Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

This day in history
1982: Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated
Near the end of a weeklong national salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of veterans of the conflict. The long-awaited memorial was a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with the names of the 57,939 Americans who died in the conflict, arranged in order of death, not rank, as was common in other memorials.
Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Kathy Summy!

These celebrities were born on this date: Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Gerard Butler, Devon Bostick, Monique Coleman, Nikolai Fraiture, Jordan Bridges, Neil Flynn, Walter Kibby, Chris Noth, Neil Flynn

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What do you call a bison that is a great poker player? A BLUFF-ALO! - Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson, Kris Laurson, Lori Bluml, William Snyder, Peri Van Tassel, John Zeitler, Mike Chiston

Today's riddle

Where do bison go to the bathroom at the zoo in London?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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