Cowboys in Cyberspace

Cowboys in Cyberspace
Australia’s award-winning Internet Country Music resource (Est. 1997)

September 2009 – Milestones and Magical Musicians

September 3rd, 2009

While I’m still reeling from last month’s revelation that I’ve been contributing to Capital News for almost a quarter of a century, the Cowboys In Cyberspace column is still a mere youngster, this month celebrating twelve years in that very magazine and here, online.

Les Paul in Baltimore 2004 - (photo by Bob Howe)

As the years pass we commemorate joyful milestones, but also with some sadness the lives of many who have gone on ahead. Last month we lost the legendary guitarist LES PAUL who, apart from being a musical giant and entertainer, was a pioneer of the electric guitar and inventor of multi-track recording and overdubbing. Not to mention an inspiration in terms of longevity, still playing right until the end at the age of 94. I saw him play in 2004 at The First World Guitar Congress held at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland as he celebrated his 89th birthday and he was also honorary chairman of the event. As you can see from this photo I took at his concert, he was still blazing away on the fretboard.

While many people know of his connection with country music via his wonderful duet albums with CHET ATKINS, not everyone knows that at an early age he performed and recorded as a hillbilly act under the name of Rhubarb Red! Find out more about this giant of the music world at

The internet has many uses for musical artists these days:
2009 Toyota Star Maker LIAM BREW launches his debut clip ‘Girls With Girlfriends’ to the world at
shares personal video from her very first USA trip, writing songs and visiting the Grand Ole Opry
BROOKS & DUNN agreeing to call it a day, announcing the end of the line via their website. I suppose a letter would have been more personal, but hey, when you have that many fans, it sure would take a lot of stamps!

The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) is to be applauded for their advances in the judging process for the forthcoming 2010 Golden Guitar awards. Artists can submit their entries by uploading MP3 songs (Independent acts especially will be thankful to not have to mail in 29 copies of their CD) and YouTube URLs for videos. The majority of the voting will also be done online, including that by CMAA Professional Members in the Second Round of judging.

When the Cowboys In Cyberspace column began a dozen years ago, the main reason to visit the online version of this article would have been merely to have the website addresses (URLs) already ‘hyperlinked’, ready for you to click on. Things have come a long way and I hope many of you enjoyed the media-rich online version of last month’s page (still available, like all of the last twelve years) which included additional photos, plus video and audio pertaining to the column and also a copy of the 1985 article that inspired the story.

This month we had a short video preview of Twang, the new album by GEORGE STRAIT. The clip includes a few words of rare interview footage with the quiet megastar who has sold more than 67 million albums and has achieved 57 No. 1 singles. He wears a Stetson, has a son named Bubba, and an album called Twang. Now that’s country!

Bob talked to Barbara Morison on 2SER 107.3 FM about this month’s column and more…

Until next time, happy surfing!