Welcome to the second installment of Cowboys In Cybersp@ce. Each month we will try to cover a different topic, as well as bringing you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet.
By Bob Howe © 1997
"Where, What and How"
So there you are, sitting in front of a computer that is connected to millions of other computers around the world. Do you know how to find what you are looking for or are you just browsing? Having a look around is easy. "Surfing the ’Net" is as easy as clicking your mouse on anything that looks exciting. You will be transported to strange and (mostly) interesting places. But what if you are looking for something specific. The World Wide Web is shaping up to be the ultimate reference and research tool of this century, and who knows what the millennium will bring!
Your starting point will be a "search engine". This is a web-site that allows you to type in the keywords of your chosen topic that it then converts into a list of sites that contain those words. Sounds pretty simple, but there are a few points to consider when choosing your keywords in order to narrow your search. For instance, searching for "Garth Brooks AND lyrics NOT pictures" will save you looking through endless fan photos if what you really want is just the words to his songs. The popular search engines (such as Yahoo!, Alta Vista, ANZwers) all use slightly different ways of processing your request. If you don’t find exactly what you want, click on their HELP or TIPS buttons for more details.
For this month’s example we will use the aptly named "Infoseek" search engine to find out more about Frank Ifield, who went from yodelling on the Regal Zonophone record label to international stardom. Typing Frank’s name alone into the "search" box returns us a list of 33 web-sites that contain his name, all with clickable links, ready for action. Top of the list is strangely an archive of a 1995 Internet "discussion" between a group of harmonica enthusiasts wondering who played the famous mouth-organ part on Frank’s million-selling hit "I Remember You" (it was Harry Pitch!). Next up is part of my own site that contains an essay on the connections between Frank Ifield and The Beatles, a discography, and details of Frank’s latest releases. Following this is the "Rare Beatles" site that has a wealth of information on one of the world’s rarest records, a sealed stereo vinyl LP of "Frank Ifield and The Beatles" with a drawing of the Fab Four on the cover, that is currently valued at over US$20,000-00. Slightly more than those Regal Zonophone 78’s I suspect!
Above: Bob Howe and Frank Ifield with a slightly less rare copy of the LP
Many more sites follow – lots of entries in music encyclopedias and list of hits of the 60’s, a European radio station that has "I Remember You" on it’s playlist for the 3rd of May, and places to buy recordings and books. The wealth of material that is generally available on the Internet can often become overwhelming. It is prudent to remember that just because it appears on your screen it isn’t necessarily accurate or up-to-date. Your own judgment must always still be applied.
Before we close for this month, a quick round-up of new and interesting sites. Guitarist Michael Fix and singer-songwriter Pat Drummond both have excellent sites that incorporate all the ingredients a fan could want. Biographies, photos, tour dates, and the opportunity to order merchandise. Further afield, "country.com" provides a gateway to TNN (The Nashville Network) and CMT for country cable-TV information and more. For some interactive fun, Virtual Nashville is an Internet game where you must collect various items around "Music City, U.S.A." in your pursuit of a recording contract.
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.
CHARTS & SERVICES ||
PRODUCTIONS, SESSIONS & RESUMÉ ||
BOB'S CABARET SHOW ||
WHERE TO SEE BOB ||
PRESS QUOTES ||
WEB DESIGN ||
MUSICAL JOKES ||
PET PUZZLE ||
WHAT'S NEW ||
FRANK IFIELD & THE BEATLES ||
LENNON - THE MUSICAL ||
ZEN & THE ART OF GUITAR PLAYING ||
© 1997 Bob Howe Productions
BOB'S CABARET SHOW || WHERE TO SEE BOB || DISCOGRAPHY || PRESS QUOTES ||
WEB DESIGN || LINKS || MUSICAL JOKES || PET PUZZLE || WHAT'S NEW ||
FRANK IFIELD & THE BEATLES || LENNON - THE MUSICAL || ZEN & THE ART OF GUITAR PLAYING ||