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Cowboys In Cyberspace - November 2003


Keeping the flame alive and lighting some new ones.

During October, The GRAND OLE OPRY celebrated its 78th birthday and the stars turned up for their annual Homecoming Celebration. Now known as the longest-running live radio show in the world, the Opry is also available to you on the Web and you can always listen to the broadcasts of the previous four weeks via the Radio WSM audio archives. There are always great guest stars, along with some of the regular cast of around seventy members that include Clint Black, Vince Gill, Connie Smith, Trisha Yearwood and Ricky Skaggs.

Guitar maker ALLAN TOMKINS is pictured here with Opry members and husband and wife MARTY STUART and CONNIE SMITH, backstage at the GRAND OLE OPRY earlier this year.

CD cover Wildwood Flower was the last album recorded by JUNE CARTER CASH. It is now available in Australia, as is her Grammy Award winning 1999 CD Press On. To say that these recordings are historic would be an understatement. Press On is very autobiographical and includes her composotion Ring of Fire, which June sings with banjo and guitar accompaniment and a hilarious ode to granddaughter Tiffany Anastasia Lowe, warning her to avoid the film director Quentin Tarantino. Among the stellar contributors to the music are Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Marty Stuart, and Norman Blake. What makes Wildwood Flower even more special is the inclusion on the enhanced-CD of four video clips, shot during the recording sessions at the Carter Family Estate in Virginia. June and Johnny are shown singing in the makeshift studio and June reminisces about her childhood while strolling around the grounds. Magic!

Traditionally, for guitar lovers, the TOMKINS GUITAR SHOWCASE is always a highlight of the Tamworth Festival. Now a new tradition has developed and the show has made its third annual appearance in Sydney. The Tomkins Web site has a photo gallery where you can see which surprise guests and pickers made an appearance.

Charlene and Crystal Bailey
Above: Charlene and Crystal Bailey
on stage at the Tomkins Guitar Showcase.
Thanks to Terry Phillpot (Eyeball Photoimages) for the photo above.

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.

Don't forget to listen out for cyberBob each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country, 4AAA (98.9 FM in Brisbane) and Barbara Morison on 2SER (107.3 FM in Sydney and on the Web).

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barbed wire
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DVD cover
The AV Channel / Umbrella Entertainment

MARTY ROBBINS was notoriously shy of TV cameras early in his career, but there is no evidence of that here in these 1959 appearances on the renowned TOWN HALL PARTY broadcast. We see him in a jolly mood and really enjoying his time on the stage. He deserved to be happy, having just crossed over from topping the Country Charts, followed by three Pop successes; A White Sport Coat, The Story Of My Life and Just Married, all of which are included here. He also sings two songs from his first Hawaiian LP, Song Of The Islands. Shortly after these shows he went on to record his first collection of Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs that began yet another era of success for him.

Also featured on this DVD are TOMPALL GLASER & THE GLASER BROTHERS, not only as backup singers for Marty, but also as an act in their own right. They were signed to Marty's own record label at the time and toured with him as well, although they later went on to larger notoriety with the Johnny Cash Show. Another Robbins label act, JOE HUDGINS makes a one-song appearance on the DVD, performing his single Where'd You Stay Last Night. It's MARTY ROBBINS that commands the show though, whether singing his hits or joking through the interview segments with Johnny Bond. Some marvellously informal moments and some magic music.

Umbrella Entertainment DAVID0178
(60 Mins plus extras)

February 21, 1959
1. Introduction by Jay Stewart
2. I Can't Quit
3. Medley: I'll Go On Alone / Pretty Words / Time Goes By
4. A White Sport Coat
5. The Story Of My Life
6. Just Married
7. Interview With Marty Robbins
8. Down Where The Tradewinds Blow
9. Interviews With Marty Robbins, Part 2
10. My Isle Of Golden Dreams
11. Nothing But Sweet Lies
12. When I've Learned
13. Joe Hudgins: Where'd You Stay Last Night
14. Stairway Of Love
15. The Hanging Tree
October 3, 1959
16. Introduction by Jay Stewart
17. My Isle Of Golden Dreams
18. Oh, How I Miss You (Since You Went Away)



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