Kevin's blog

Sweet Philly Soul

The CD cover for the Spinners' anthology The Very Best of Spinners.

Eastern Iowa in the sixties and early seventies wasn't exactly a hotbed for R&B. Local radio stations played the biggest hits, but nothing more. The cultural landscape was changing, however, and thanks to television shows like The Midnight Special, even whitebread America had a chance to groove to such things as the oh-so-smooth stylings of Philly Soul.

Music from Manchester. England? Yeah, England.

The album cover for The Sound of the Smiths.

From time to time, a city not otherwise known for such, becomes a force in the world of music. In the eighties and nineties, such a place was Manchester, England. Known primarily as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester became a hotbed for rock and pop groups. From Joy Division to Oasis, Manchester had a steller, two-decade run of producing influential and dynamic music acts.

Jane Austen on Screen

A drawing of Jane Austen.

Jane Austen wrote just six novels during her relatively short lifetime. Dating back to 1938, when the BBC aired a 55-minute version of Pride and Prejudice, there have been over fifty Austen-related productions for the big and small screens. The Des Moines Public Library owns over two dozen of these productions.

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