Matthew Leimkuehler and Kyle Munson Des Moines Register Published 2:11 PM EDT Aug 7, 2019 Editor’s note: This list originally was published in August 2017 and updated to reflect the 2018 Iowa State Fair Grandstand lineup. Heavy metal once dominated the Iowa State Fair Grandstand. Wait, country music fans: Don’t fling your cowboy hats into the dirt in disgust. We’re talking about the legendary railway locomotive collisions staged in the Grandstand three times: in 1896, 1922 and 1932. Iron engines banged together to make a furious racket that we daresay may have sounded more musical than some of what has been heard since — in what we consider to be the “modern era” of Grandstand entertainment dominated by pop music, especially country hat acts. Below, you’ll find two writers’ combined opinion on what made some of the best (hello, Bob Dylan), worst (another Wayne Newton year, really?) and weirdest (only 7,000 showed up for Ringo?!) Grandstand lineups. Starting with 1970 and middle finger-throwing country outlaw Johnny Cash, the list ranks each collective year through Reba McEntire’s return to the Grandstand in 2018. Ranked collectively between the two writers, years marked with a “KM” were completed by Kyle Munson, the Register’s Iowa columnist and former music critic; and… Read full this story
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