By this time next week, half of the acts for the 2016 Mississippi Valley Fair will have been made official.
I've been threatened with an inch of my Fun Card not to divulge who the three grandstand acts already signed are until general manager Bob Fox makes the announcement.
What I can say is that, among the three acts, there is so far a good generational balance. One act could even be called an established legend. Another is a proven crowd-pleaser.
With the help of his talent buyer, Bob Romeo, Fox has hit the target with grandstand acts for many years. Inevitably I will hear a few people say the fair's lineup isn't as good as in previous years — we all like to look back fondly — while others say the current year's roster is the best yet.
The lineup works because of the combination on the six nights: Five country acts and one rock act. There have been variations on the combination, which haven't always worked out.
In 2009, Kenny Loggins headlined the grandstand on a Wednesday night. I was excited for that show. Loggins has been a longtime favorite, I had already interviewed him once to help our former sister paper in California, and I was looking forward to finally seeing him live.
If the Mississippi Valley Fair were known like many other fairs for their musical variety of acts, Loggins would have fit right in. He stacked the ballads at the beginning of the show — it's hard to get someone with a cowboy hat and boots, holding a Miller Lite in his hand, to get excited about hearing "House at Pooh Corner" — and saved the bigger bangs ("I'm Alright," "Footloose") for the end of the set.
If it was an Adler Theatre crowd, they would have given him a standing ovation. Alas, it didn't work out that way. Somewhat ironically, Loggins has branched out into a change in musical sound since then, joining with two other musicians to form a folk-country trio called Blue Sky Riders. Maybe that would have gone over better.
I will take the blame for another fair misstep. For years I have compiled a personal wish list of acts I'd like to see in the grandstand. Most of them never surface, a few do.
One of the requests I had for several years was Dwight Yoakam. It's not that I have been a major fan of Yoakam, but I enjoyed quite a few of his songs and he'd never played in the area, at least in the past 15 years.
Fox got him signed in 2013, for a Thursday night show. Yoakam got a few songs into his set before the realization hit me, if not others: All of his most recognizable hits came before the year 2000, and he'd had four albums since then. Most of the songs he was playing came from his 21st century releases. He wrapped up his show with those hits, but it felt like a long night — although I've heard from at least one musician friend that Yoakam was one of the best concerts that he has seen.
The anticipation, the waiting and the second-guessing are all a part of the fun in any Mississippi Valley Fair grandstand lineup.
A newly minted Radio Hall of Fame voice is retiring from broadcasting.
Bob Kevoian, half of the "Bob & Tom Show," announced his retirement last week, as he and partner Tom Griswold entered the Hall of Fame at a banquet in Chicago.
"When I was a teenager, I was a real smart ass," the Indianapolis-based Kevoian said in his acceptance speech. "I didn't get along with my Dad. And he said 'If you continue this behavior, you'll amount to nothing. But you will make it to the big mouth hall of fame.' I made it, Dad.
"I always thought you had to die or be retired for five years to be considered for any hall of fame," he added. "Thank God I'm not dead, but I am going to retire at the end of this year and walk away from the mic. Thank you for this great honor."
Griswold added that Kevoian would be part of the show for years to come, indeed in the duo's library of hits and interviews. The show is heard on stations nationwide, including Q-106.5 (KCQQ, Davenport).
Taylor Ridge, Ill., native Shane Partlow gets more TV exposure next week.
The veteran of "The Amazing Race" and several Garry Marshall movies has a role in "Scream Queens," the new Fox comedy horror series, airing at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
He plays Paul Cameron and, according to messages he's sent me this week, he can't divulge anything about his character or even if the role goes beyond a one-week guest spot.
Partlow can say that he also taped a commercial for Exxon with NASCAR driver Tony Stewart last weekend, in the middle of the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.