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One of the most eagerly awaited Web sites in Australian Country Music is finally with us - www.slimdusty.com.au has arrived, and there is plenty for fans to explore. The biography page includes highlights of Slim's career listed year by year. The official 100 Slim Dusty albums are all listed for you, as are the details of all 31 of Slim's Golden Guitar awards. The Slim Dusty Family page details his real family, plus the extended family that is the Travelling Country Band. Be sure to check out the page with some of Slim's favourite sites on the Internet…there's at least one surprise in there! The Slim Dusty Web site is bound to attract a lot of attention from overseas surfers who know that his name is synonymous with Australian Country Music.
Many of those overseas fans are checking out our Web sites and listening to Web broadcasts such as John Nutting's extremely popular ABC Radio show 'Saturday Night Country'. Judith Williams is one of those fans, and she regularly tunes in over the Internet from her home in New York. Judith enjoys the show so much that she has created a John Nutting Web site! It features pictures of John with many of the CM stars he has interviewed over the years, and even snaps of his beloved 1963 Holden EH sedan. Other recent Web listeners have included Frank Ifield fans from around the world, who tuned in to hear John chat with Frank. John and Frank talked about many things, including Frank's very first professional show with Tim McNamara, fifty years ago! If you missed the interview, do not fret. It can still be heard via the Frank Ifield Web site. Listening in from Tennessee to the original live broadcast, were Bud and Joan Gray who are responsible for the Unofficial Frank Ifield Web site, which contains many pictures and sounds that are different to the official site. John Nutting spoke to Bud by phone, later on during the broadcast. Bud remarked that although we all remember Frank's enormous success in the U.K., such was his popularity, that Frank was made an Honorary Citizen of the State of Tennessee for his promotion and furthering of Country and Western Music throughout the world.
The Web is a great place for information to be collected, and often this happens to a greater depth than can be imagined in any other format. I have referred you in other articles to the excellent unofficial Emmylou Harris site created by Kate. I was reminded of how that site links to many of the musicians and artists that have worked with Emmylou, while I was listening to "Singin' With Emmylou 1". This amazing new CD compilation from Australia's own Raven Records label brings together 20 tracks by different artists - the common thread being that all the recordings feature the duet or backing voice of Emmylou Harris. From the opening song with Willie Nelson (possibly the only person to rival Emmylou in the duet partner stakes), through George Jones, Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill, the list goes on. I was personally delighted to find a track from the ultra-rare Mary Kay Place album - an album from the Seventies that features that actress singing with the entire Hot Band. Marvellous liner notes from the pen of Stuart Coupe complete the package.
The first time I saw Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band was at the U.K. Wembley Country Music Festival in 1977, which was also my first experience of guitar legend Albert Lee. He had joined the band the previous year, replacing James Burton. Earlier that day at Wembley, Albert had appeared on stage with Don Everly, picking up a storm, and even providing the missing 'Phil' harmonies when Don sang some of the classic Everly Brothers songs. Before joining Emmylou's band, Albert had played a large part in the recording of Don's second solo album 'Sunset Towers', which has now been released on a 2 for 1 CD along with Don's first self-titled album. These two albums, which also feature amongst others Ry Cooder and members of the Flying Burrito Brothers, are very important (as well as enjoyable) in the development of what became known as Country Rock. The 1970 album blends touches of psychedelia left over from the sixties, with the haunting pedal steel of Sneaky Pete Kleinow and a bunch of Don's compositions with some Country classics. The second album brings in Albert Lee and a few of his English mates, some L.A. session greats, and legendary steeler Buddy Emmons. Again, comprehensive liner notes, this time from the label's Creative Director Glenn A. Baker, provide great background material. You can find out even more about Don (and his brother Phil) at the Everly Net Web site, see how it fits into the Albert Lee story at his Web site, and check out the albums at Raven Records Web site.
Following the very successful Star Chats conducted in Tamworth during the January Country Music festival, the CMAA coordinated another Web-chat in conjunction again with Telstra, and this time also with the assistance of the CMA in America. The Australian CM stars who were visiting Nashville for Fan Fair 2000, took part in a specially organised chat live from America. Talking with fans about their participation in one of America's biggest CM events, were Troy Cassar-Daley, Jane Saunders and Tania Kernaghan. They all said they were very excited at the prospect of playing the Grand Ole Opry, and when Jane sang there it was the historic last night before they changed the set of the Opry for a new one. This was done to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry! The shows were Webcast, so Troy, Tania, and Kasey Chambers were heard all over the world! They had caught up with Keith Urban who had 'put on an absolutely unbelievable performance' in town earlier that week, and Tommy Emmanuel had invited them all to play at his show. They had also seen Wayne Horsburgh, who had just finished performing for thousands of people at the 23-day Great American Music Festival in Branson, and was now manning his own 'booth' at Fan Fair in Nashville, as he has done for many years. Wayne had also been involved in a local radio program, and had ensured that the Australian artists were getting plenty of airplay. The full transcript of the chat is now available here.
- now in the WSM Radio Web archives
Did you catch Tania Kernaghan on the Friday Night Grand Ole Opry ? It is archived HERE in RealAudio under Archives June 16, 2000. If you haven't got time to hear the whole broadcast, slide your RealPlayer control to about 1hour 29mins into the show and Tania's on after the Coca-Cola ad at 01.29.55 singing 'The Verandah'. For Troy Cassar-Daley and Kasey Chambers, go HERE to Archives June 17, 2000. Troy sings 'Trains' at about 4hours 38mins and Kasey sings 'This Flower' at about 5hours 9mins. Go Aussies!
Golden Guitar finalist Karen Lynne and versatile singer/songwriter Pat Drummond are scoring lots of airplay with their duet album 'Six Days in December'. The contrast of their vocal and writing talents creates a unique style, and makes for very enjoyable listening and some thought-provoking moments. Pat has long had a formidable presence on the Web, but you can also find out more about Karen at the Karen Lynne Fan Club site. Her trips to the U.K. have won Karen great acclaim with the British CM press. Also at Pat's site, you can find out more about The Naked Poets...lie...v! album. I know some of you have been searching the Internet for 'Turbulence', Murray Hartin's amazing poem about the ringer riding his swag in the airplane, so you can find out how to order it there.
Also marketing their talents on the Web, is Victorian band The Breakers. Their debut album Gone Country continues to garner airplay, showcasing the talents of songwriter and vocalist Geoff Peterkin, who was previously the drummer for 'OL'55'. You can check out the full line-up of the band and download some of their songs.
What about fellow Victorian, Norm Burke - strummer, songwriter, broadcaster and now author! Norm's new book 'The Hillbilly Addict' threatens to confront your perceptions and 'shake Country Music to it's foundations"! Read his reminiscences from the fifties through to now, all peppered with his own wit. Perhaps you'll agree with him, and perhaps you won't. Visit the Web site or Norm will tell you how to get the book if you E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Live at the Cyber Ranch - On the full-moon evening of May 18th, Brooks and Dunn and their band loaded up their equipment and instruments into Ronnie Dunn's barn in rural Nashville and recorded their performance live - both audio and video. Every month, the Platinum-selling, multi-award-winning duo will feature one of the 14 songs they recorded on their website. Exactly which songs did Brooks and Dunn cut? It's a secret ! Check out their website for each month's feature.
It's not too late to vote for Cowboys In Cybersp@ce in the Print Music Publication Site category of the ONYA! Australian Online Music Awards 2000. Visit the ONYA! Web site before July 15th for your chance to win an Apple iMac DV computer!
Last but not least, yours truly (Bob Howe) has a new instrumental track on the loose. Click Here for a FREE download of my new single - She Loves My Banjo. (Also available to Australian Country Radio and Media on NfS 58).
Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country, 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane).
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Until next month, happy surfing.
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