June 18, 2009
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Here’s a recommendation that’s a little different. I’ve recently stumbled on two fan sites for two of my favorite artists that are amazingly good. Remember back in the pioneer days of the internet (the mid 1990s) when everybody had their own geocities page? Long before MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter were even words in the English language, fan sites for country stars started popping up all over the place. Most of these were neat little tributes that featured photo galleries, discographies, and the like. And back when they first started up, they would be updated regularly to include the latest news about your favorite singer. Public interest in these fan sites slowly faded though as the creators either didn’t have time to keep them updated or just lost interest themselves.
As the artists themselves began creating official pages and more and more country music news websites popped up, the need for numerous fan tribute pages dwindled. But lately more of these websites are coming back and are better than ever. They now include interactive galleries, videos, music, message boards, chat rooms, and lots more. And the best ones are updated regularly to include the latest chart numbers, concert dates, and right down to every review or mention that singer gets all over the web. For the truly devoted fans, this kind of one-stop news about their favorites is essential reading. I know they are for me. So, here’s two I’ve found in the past couple months.
The first is run by a really nice lady named Dee (hi Dee!) and is devoted to our Spotlight Artist Tanya Tucker. I learned about The Totally Unofficial Tanya Tucker Fan Site when I noticed we had incoming links from the site in the double digits several days in a row. Like a good blogger, I moseyed over to check it out and was pleasantly surprised to find a large interactive site complete with a highly detailed discography, tons of media and a hopping message board. One of my favorite things about this self-proclaimed ‘fan site to celebrate and promote a legend who ain’t done yet’ is that it is updated almost daily to include reviews and interviews Tanya does with news outlets all over the country.
Reba McEntire has had more of these fan sites than perhaps any other artist I’ve seen in the past 12 years or so I’ve been browsing online. I was sitting here trying to think how I found this latest Reba fan site, but I just can’t remember. But like the Tanya site, the administrator of Reba On Demand, a great guy I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with on occasion keeps his site updated with the latest Reba chart numbers, and complete coverage of all things Reba: in print, online, on the TV, or anywhere she happens to be. One thing Reba On Demand is doing that sets his page apart is his Reba Radio Show. This is a totally interactive and live broadcast from Blog Talk Radio where you can hear rare Reba tunes and live recordings. The last show featured her recent Grand Ole Opry performances. You can call in and chat with Jeremy or use the chat box on the listening page to share your thoughts. The next show broadcasts live Sunday June 21 at 5:30 PM Eastern time. Be sure to check it out.
Country music fan sites have come a long way and are doing some really cool things right now. What fan sites are your favorites? And what are some things they are doing that makes them innovative?