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Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Good Wednesday Morning to You!

Whatever happened to instrumental songs? They were once so popular that they became pop hits, and many are cemented in our memory banks for eternity. Yes, some were sappy or trendy or just plain awkward by today’s standards, but others have stood the test of time.

While in high school in the 1980s, I made a cassette mix tape of my favorite heavy metal or hard rock instrumentals, which included “Eruption” by Van Halen, “Battle Axe” by Quiet Riot and “D.T.” by AC/DC. Of course, there are many other instrumental songs that connected with larger audiences for decades. How about 1963’s “Wipe Out” by the Surfaris, which has been featured in more than 20 films and television series since 1964?

Who could forget “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from “Rocky” that was composed by Bill Conti. Hearing this 1976 classic conjures images of Rocky Balboa running up the stone steps in Philadelphia and raising his arms in the victory pose.

Another classic instrumental came from the Edgar Winter Group in their 1972 album, “They Only Come Out at Night.” “Frankenstein” topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in May of 1973 and sold more than one million copies.

Break out the bell bottom pants, jackets with wide lapels and platform shoes and do what seemingly everyone was doing in 1975 — “The Hustle.” This disco instrumental by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony went No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 during the summer of 1975 and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance early in 1976.

And while we are on the disco theme, let’s give a shout-out to “A Fifth of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band, adapted from Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. I learned that the “Fifth” in the song's title is apparently a pun, referencing the liquor bottle. The song debuted at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and climbed to No. 1 within 19 weeks. In 1977, it was included on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

I didn’t know Booker T. & The MGs’ “Green Onions” by name, but I certainly knew the sound, as this iconic instrumental R&B hit from 1962 has been featured in the movies “The Sandlot,” “Get Shorty,” “American Graffiti,” “Happy Gilmore” and more.

“Tequila” is a 1958 Latin-inspired surf instrumental written by Chuck Rio and recorded by the Champs. It became a No. 1 hit on both the pop and R&B charts, but all I can think of when I hear it is Pee-wee Herman knocking over a row of motorcycles and then winning over the angered bikers by selecting “Tequila” from the jukebox and dancing on the tables to it.

Most anyone who was an Eddie Murphy fan and watched “Beverly Hills Cop” would recognize “Axel F,” an electronic instrumental by Harold Faltermeyer. The song became an international No. 1 hit in 1985.

“Love's Theme” is an instrumental written by the great Barry White and recorded as a single by his Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973. It was one of only a handful of purely orchestral singles to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S., which it did in 1974.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and thanks for reading.

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

CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best New Local Bar

1. Big Grove Brewery & Taproom

2. Alleged Lee’s

3. Paws & Pints


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Chances for storms, some strong, with be with us this morning, and a few more storms aren’t out of the question this afternoon. Rain chances return on Friday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
605 SE Little Beaver Drive
Grimes, IA 50111
This highly unique 5 level split has 4 beds 3 baths. Updates were made in 2022 to the master shower, roof, gutters and downspouts, sump pump with battery backup, interior doors. New HVAC in 2023. The upstairs bedrooms feature walk-in closets. Newer stainless steel appliances and ample cabinet space. The kitchen opens to the living room with wood burning fireplace.
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: 64 new foods on the menu for 2023 Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa State Fairgoers will have 64 new menu options to try this summer. In celebration of National Fair Food Day, fair officials on Tuesday released the always-anticipated new foods list, which includes everything from Amish Donuts to Raspberry Chipotle Grilled Cheese to Walleye on a Stick..READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa Republican lawmakers pass bill restricting access to abortion

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Republicans successfully passed new restrictive abortion legislation in the state after only one day of the special session. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: 75 years after historic sit-in, legacy of activist Edna Griffin lives on in Des Moines

Seven years before Rosa Parks' historic refusal to move for white passengers on a Montgomery, Ala. bus, Edna Griffin stood up for her rights in Iowa's capital city. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Soy bean prices keep outpacing corn prices because of more demand in Asia for soy and less demand here for livestock feed, plus better than expected corn yields anticipated.

Opening day for MJ's Hollywood in Adel will be Aug. 12. This bar, with Lebanese/Greek cuisine, will feature a "glory years of Hollywood decor" and play classic movies like "Casablanca" and "Metropolis." Owner MJ Gazali himself has a role in this fall's premiere of the latest Princess Di film, on Netflix.

Wednesdays and Thursdays means Tacos Mariana's (1305 University Ave., Des Moines) has fabulous discounted tacos.

— Jim Duncan


Four Seasons Festival

Tap your toes to live music. Lace up your tennis shoes and run — or walk — a 5K, or start training for that 8K. Chow down on food from your favorite food truck. Or, bring your toddler to the corn pool and blow some bubbles. Whatever your festival go-to activity is, you can find it at the Four Seasons Festival in Polk City.

The festival takes place July 14-15 on the Square and various locations around town.
The Four Seasons Festival began in 2007 as a way to bring residents together. During the pandemic in 2020 — like other events, it was canceled. The past two years, organizers offered a mini festival, with only one day of activities.

But, this year, the full festival is back and better than ever with two days packed with fun.

Read more in the June issue of North Polk Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday to Christina Anderson, Terri Brandt and Robert Roethler!

These celebrities were born on this date: Christine McVie, Richard Simmons, Mel Harris, Robin Wilson, Kristi Yamaguchi, Jeff Glor, Alison Wright, Kyrsten Sinema, Steve Howey, Topher Grace, Michelle Rodriguez, Kristen Connolly, Kimberly Perry and Matt Cook.

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


A cuddle of cats. Photo by Paul Houston

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What did the bailiff serve when he moonlighted as a bartender? SUBPOENA COLADAS! - Gail Tomlinson, Rex Post. Or "Cuff"tails! - Carolyn Rogers

Today's Riddle

What did they name the film of a woman who had amazing revelations while eating cereal?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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