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Happy New Year!

First and foremost, we want to wish all of our readers a prosperous, healthy and happy 2005.

We broke away from our regular format for the past two weeks to be able to spend the holidays with our families and we hope that you were able to do the same. Last week we took a look back -- this week, we are looking forward.

There have been several changes in the personal lives of our staff this past year. Some have moved to new locations, some have lost loved ones, one has gotten married, but all of us have enjoyed working in an industry that is always interesting and the personal feedback and photos from our readers is what keeps us motivated.

Our basic format (breaking news, interviews, album reviews) is going to stay the same but for the next few weeks we will be fine-tuning the website. We invite you to take a moment to tell us what you liked or didn't like from this past year. We DO listen and we DO realize that the fans are the oil that keeps this machinery running.

Our "Fan Site of the Week" showcases the websites of country music fans but this past year you told us that you wanted to have a better forum for your opinion so we expanded our "Brush with Fame" and added "Real People Reviews." You can now add your comments to our staff reviews OR you can submit your own review. As much as we would like to be able to feature every artist, review every album, cover every concert; it just isn't possible so we have done the next best thing, we have given you a place to showcase your own features. If you haven't seen something about your favorite artist on CSO, what are you waiting for? Hit that keyboard and if writing reviews isn't your thing then just send us your favorite photo.

We are considering adding a new feature called "Waiting in the Wings." If you know of an artist that you think is going to be a big star, just send us their name. That's all, just their name. Simple, huh? If they have a website, we'll link to it. If they don't, we will still post their name and credit you as the person who "discovered" them. [It will look similar to this: "Ima Countrygal predicts Joe Singer is destined to be a superstar."] 

In the new year, we hope to be able to better connect our resources with the International Fan Club Organization (IFCO). No one has done more to promote country music over the past four decades than the dynamic, and adorable, Johnson sisters (Loudilla, Loretta and Kay). They are the undisputed ultimate resource for country music fans and artists alike and we intend to better utilize all that info they have accumulated. At the bottom of every new feature, you will find a link to that artist on the IFCO site. 

My entire staff joins me in wishing you a happy and prosperous new year. Country music fans really are the best fans in the world so in this final feature of 2004 we only have one thing left to say, THANK YOU. 

Producer/Webmaster - Jim Weaver
Senior Staff Journalist - Cheryl H. Hill
Contributing Journalists:
Helen Neal
Helen Peterson
Leah Anderson
Christy Cowan Baker
Melissa Loncaric Miller
Jim Moulton
Chris Macon
Apprentice Journalist/Photographer:
Wolf Austin


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