Teavana, fragrant, natural teas

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Great Gray Charles infinito, with a word by Basenji

This link will take you to an amazing creative 'post'. It is one of the best I've read on "Gray", and I must add I have read many, many good posts and ideas pandered about on the gc site. Scroll to #412. Have a tissue handy.

Just Wow.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Great F-Bomb Debate, with a word from CONFUSCIOUS

Actually this whole matter brought a Shakespeare play to mind, "Much Ado About Nothing". I think it's an appropriate fit for the topic at hand, one of my favorites by the bard.

There I was, innocently visiting the American Idol Boards this a.m. as I am wont to do on Monday mornings, to discover that a conversation between the Great Gray Charles and Taylor Hicks, a snippet of dialogue created a "tad" bit of havoc on the board.

A few of us came up with a solution; "flexy633" and "pokerjoni" and myself commenced as such:

"Can someone PM me a message board where we can discuss Taylor without being censored and where there aren't a bunch of Church Ladies?"

(which invited the response)

"Wish I could, BUT that would make a great SNL segment!!
They should bring the chuch lady back (Dana Carvey) and have her interview Taylor. That would be one hilarious skit! "Could it be....SATAN???"

The Great F-Bomb Debate
Carvey would be sitting there primly carping on and on about offensive language in today's world, and the SNL Taylor Hicks guy would be shouting WOOO! everytime Carvey, in his rant inadvertently dropped the Bomb.

(SNL, you are free to contact me, speaking for all of us, yes, we would accept funding for the rights for SNL to utilize our material.)

Controversy included some "poor innocent dear" who wandered into a thread discussing the F-Bomb and followed it through to Gray's then promptly had to express her dismay. I searched for the smelling salts to waft beneath her sensitive nostrils, alas none to be found. But a note to her and those like her in the future, "Confuscious" say,
Let Common Sense be thy master; let Foolish Play be thine disaster.
(OK it's really me, not the ancient Chinese seer and intellect I doubt he'd say thy and thine. Guess it's a combo Shakeespeare and Confuscious. But do check out the quotes in the link *wink, wink* .)
*bowing in my terry-cloth bathrobe*

Coming from a gal who as a wee 3 year old, hospitalized with bronchial pneumonia following a transPacific flight to Manilla, Phillipines, who vociferously cursed at nuns while held captive in a Catholic hospital, from between the bars of my crib, I just don't get the fuss. My beloved Grandfather was a copper miner in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, who believed curse words were just how one spoke. I practically lived with he and my Grandmother until Mom and I travelled to Manilla to join Daddy stationed at Clark Air Force Base. Needless to say the nuns were probably thinking an exorcist was needed as I spat expletives and took the Lord's name in vain to scare them away from my cage, er crib.

According to my poor parents, I roared at the nun/nurses and told them I was a tiger and going to eat them. (Sadly to say, I have been a complete embarrassment to my folks my entire life.) But, seriously, those black hooded nuns kept coming at me with - to me - giant shots, I was fearful, enclosed in an oxygen tent which made everyone look wierd, so I had to bluff them. (I have actual memories of that experience.) Well, that did not keep them at bay for long, so I went into the language "Bupa" used when "Bible Thumpers" rang our doorbell. Now I substituted 'crib' for 'porch', which is what Bupa actually said. "Get the Hell away from my crib" was a good line. Poor nun/nurses recoiled the first time I shouted that one. I kept up the growling, you know, just in case. But later, I had to step it up a notch, so I put into use his favorite invective, "Jesus Christ!" followed by, "I said, get the Hell away from my crib!" Yes I saw the look of horror when I used those words, very effective. I remember fighting with every painfully drawn breath each time they'd reach into my cage, er crib, and hold me down for a shot. After a few weeks in that place, I did eventually bond with one of them and calmed down.

Bottom line, the whole situation is crazy, and really Much Ado About Nothing.

Swear Groove on Soulman.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chyna Black - lyrics. Nice tune.

Chyna Black is like an open road
Takes me places releases my soul
Ain't it funny how life goes
Takes a turn through a journey unknown

No hesitation no tug no pulls
Aint no need of fighting for what's yours
A little smile releases old smoke
Just take the ride read the signs and hold on.

You're what I want
You're what I need
Give me reason to just to breath
You're everything I'm hoping for give me love and so much more
You're what I want
You're what I need
You touch the deepest part of me

[Verse II]
Chyna Black is like my old ford
Picks me up helps carry the load
I can depend on when times are cold
Soothes my body like mom's old robe.

No hesitation no tug no pull
Ain't no need of fighting for what's yours
A little smile release old smoke
Just take the ride read the signs and hold on.

You're what I want
You're what I need
Give me reasons just to breath
You're what I want
You're what I need
You touch the deepest part of me
You're what I want
You're what I need

Give me everything
Give me everything
Give me everything
That I need
Give me everything
Give me everything
What would I do without you

Chyna Black is like an open road.

Reminds me of The Soulman.

Gray Charles (.com) Scores Exit Interview!

You go Gray! Taylor Hicks has been in contact with the Great Gray Charles (.com) "blogmaster" in the initial stages of the interview bidding adieu to the blog that began in the very early stages of season 5 American Idol. We'll stay tuned for updates on this event.

"Gray" and WOOO Radio "Official Soul Patrol" (the first one, not the one melded into the TaylorHicksfan.com site), were my two favorite hang-outs in the competition phases. "Gray's" site I loved for the obvious and I loved the simplicity of WOOO Radio with the shout box and the tunes. I tried forums, (American Idol message boards became one I can hang with, they've had some excellent posters hanging out over there and "Tuestays" were a fun cyberride) but overall standard forums aren't for me, too much inside drama, complete with backstabbings, sometimes high schoolish clique-ishness exclusionary tactics, complete with snide and unnecessary personal attacks I'd witness in between sitemembers; who needs that - I don't - with a family like mine I can witness that first-hand and not watch and listen as it happens in and amongst complete cyber strangers.

I was very sad to see (and hear) the folks with WOOO Radio leave (and hand over their boom box to another site) and now will sorely miss Gray's sometimes ironic, mostly always informative, intelligent and entertaining posts. I loved his coverage of other musical acts, some I wasn't aware of, but now, that "Gray" introduced me, am a fan.

It is fitting that Taylor provide "Gray" with an interview upon the exiting of the site from cyber-Hicksdom. "Gray", for many months provided a classy intelligent site for Soul Patrollers to haunt and post to one another. It is generous of Hicks, and so very right that he's doing this and reinforces my impression received of the man over the course of his famous beginnings.

Regarding the graycharles.com site, there are posts that I need to catch up reading which when new material no longer manifests, I will have time to return to read through. I am glad that in physical form at least, the site will be available for reviewing.

I am looking forward to the interview and will attach links to it on my blog as part of the chronicle I, compared to "Gray", lamely work to put together about Taylor and his progress. Taylor is scheduled to talk with "Gray" again today. I'm certain he will prepare a concise and insightful interview, staying true to the format we're all used to from the man.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good-Bye to the Great site, Gray Charles.com

In a posting on the great site that has been GrayCharles.com, I left him a good-bye note. It goes like this:

Hi Gray. I've not been a regular poster but always check in. The only time you and I really made contact was right before you had to stop with the cool t-shirts. I had come across the info that sites were going to be getting hits to advise them to stop any promotional material sales with or about Hicks. I had expected this to eventually happen. I had tried to market Bo Bice tees in AI 5 and had to stop - same scenario. Anyway I had contacted you about the news; then you were indeed contacted.

You and I were the first bloggers about Hicks. When I began there was not one website on Taylor - I checked. So I fashioned my modest blog, and then found you. Loved your take and your 'voice' immediately. You were my first link outside of A.I. I used to carry a link to you on the top of my site "Visit the Great Gray Charles Site!" Right below you was the WOOO Radio site link - that was a cool site too.

I became a fan of yours immediately. I figured you could possibly be a famous writer in the music world "someplace out there" who took a shine to Taylor Hicks. Love your taste in music. I always loved the fact you did not go forum. Your site was set up much more user friendly, with an intimate feel you miss out on when there is a forum to navigate.

I will miss your internet presence - good luck to you and I know your family will welcome having you around more. I can only imagine with as famous as your site became what you had to go through in maintenance time. It was so very generous of you to have the format you did that welcomed and featured the visitors comments, that had to be a drain on bandwidth, a drain on your personal time as well. That the reason I had to keep a simple blog, but as simple as mine is it is still work to keep news fresh and keep a current chronicle going about The Soulman.

Groove on Gray Charles, whoever you truly are.

He will be missed.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Taylor Hicks Proudly Soars to Number One

Taylor Hicks, the silver-haired soulman who became the Season five "American Idol" winner, now has a number one selling single. His American Idol single CD released June 13, "Do I Make You Proud" with the flip-side "Taking It to the Streets" is soaring to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, flying to the tops of the charts, stopping pretty much every pop ranking single in sight as of the June 22, 2006 charts.

Simultaneously, his single hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the Billboard Single Sales chart and the Billboard Pop 100 chart making it the best selling song in the country with over 190,000 copies sold in its first week of release.

Soul Patrollers everywhere will be glad to know that not only are they promoting Taylor with the purchase of his single, but sales of "Do I Make You Proud", benefit the American Red Cross. For every CD sold, $0.25 goes to the charity, as well as $0.15 for every digital download sold, and $0.20 for every ringtone and ringback. This marks the fourth "American Idol" single to provide financial support to the mission of the American Red Cross and the people it serves. Sales of the past three recordings generated more than a quarter million dollars in donations.

All I have to say is, Simon Cowell, how is that for commercial talent?

This single released June 13 by 19 Recordings and Arista Records, adds more gravy to ladel over the top of the list of accomplishments the Soulman has racked up since winning American Idol. Since his win, Taylor Hicks has signed the record deal with Arista Records, shot a smoking hot Ford commercial and then featured in People Magazine as this years current Hottest Bachelor. Taylor Hicks scored the cover, as well as a multi-page interview and a glorious eight page pictoral spread.

Regarding the Ford commercial, "Possibilities", the song that Taylor Hicks belts out in the new promotional commercials was written and produced by Harvest Music and Sound Design. Three folks from the Lansing, Michigan company created the tune. They are Julie Magsig, Mark Miller, and Steve Curran. Music houses from around the country were asked to pitch songs and Harvest drew the long straw, had the best tune and won. After Taylor Hicks won Idol, the song was then adapted musically to fit his style. This is not the first song that Harvest has had featured in other national commercials, but this first one in which they had a singer that could draw instant attention. An interesting combination, an Alabama singer, some Michigan songwriters - and with the drive of Ford, the song is heard everywhere; plus The Soulman does a dynamic job.

"It's been an exciting time for us," Curran said.

As added by Magsig, referring to Taylor Hicks and the fact their song was chosen, "That's what the song is about, anything is possible."

Returning to the intitial topic, Tay's standings in the charts. Reviewing true perspective in the real world of music, I must point out that Idol standards are downright stratosphereic when you compare the statistics with other musicians. One prime example I gleaned from the charts, Nelly Furtado, listed as selling just 6,000 copies of "Promiscuous."

Watching the SoulPatrollman ride his wave of destiny is proving to be the most interesting and fascinating endeavors I have undertaken. I'm proud to add my name to the list of Soul Patrollers and I'm notoriously not a "joiner". Proud to have began writing about the man when this past season of American Idol began. Proud to watch him metamorphose from the quiet man in a polo shirt belting out Sam Cooke, accapella in the Idol auditions, (and wondering where in the heck had he been all my life) to the person he is supposed to be - with a number one on the Billboard charts.

You can watch Taylor on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this Thursday, June 22nd (his second visit to the show). The songs on this CD will featured by Hicks in the American Idol Tour which begins July 5 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Taylor has said in numerous interviews, "I've been a hard working musician for the past ten years trying to become the best singer and harmonica player I could be and I'm thrilled that I can now focus entirely on my music," says Hicks. "Having a number one single is only the beginning."

Life is full of beginnings. Ask the next butterfly that flies by.

Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Caution, Buckle your seat belts...

Caution, buckle your seat belts tight, dangerous curves ahead, sharp and unknown angles in the track to navigate, hold tight when screaming through the loops - but at the tiptop of the roller coaster ride ahead for the Soul Patrol - the view will be amazing.

After reading some of the controversy on the Soul Patrol forum fronts regarding Hicks performing with Snoop Dog in B'Ham, I became motivated to address this topic.

I discovered much of the negative controversy stemmed from the ultra conservative small town factions who still view Snoop as just a gansta rapper. To set the Snoop Dog record straight, granted the man's early days in the rap music world were rooted in the "gansta" mythology, but the man has morphed, grown up, altering the lifestyle he became known for in the beginning. Gansta ties, and recreational drug use have been delegated to past tense for Snoop Dog, as is already known to those of us wading through the waters of current times. What has come to the fore, Snoop has emerged as an incredibly creative, talented and versatile guy with a schtick that has worked to jet him to fame and fortune; who can seriously slam that in any way? Granted if not a fan of rap, one might find it difficult to get into the vibe, but as a closet rap fan - not hardcore rap mind you, I'm more of an Eminem kinda gal - I can appreciate rap for the poetry, the passion. Here's a background piece on rap in a report published by Yale University.

I've also enjoyed Snoop's tongue in cheek performances on the big screen and find the man definitely not one to take himself as seriously as those who don't get him might. I too, can appreciate growing and changing bad lifestyles for better. Circumstances happen, situations occur whether happenchance or out of necessity that influence how you live your life. What you do with the knowledge gleaned from experience is what makes you the person you become.

The Soulman's appearance with Snoop did much to elevate and validate my opinion that Tay is going to do what HE wants to do and will not be pigeon-holed and forced into a set musical genre' by anyone. Taylor is his own man ladies and gents. I absolutely love that about him.

Being a Libra, I understand.

So, fellow Soul Patrollers be aware now, be ready now, make sure you buckle your seat belts, get ready for one of the most entertaining, fun, and wild rides of your life. (Don't forget the dramamine darlin's, and oh, hang on tight.) This is going to be great fun!

Groove on Soulman

Monday, June 19, 2006

PEOPLE magazine - Send them a thank you note!

Letters to the Editor
Time & Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York, N. Y. 10020

Include full name, address, phone number. They will not publish these if they use your letter.

Or e.mail them at: editor@people.com

Send a postcard, letter, whatever to voice your thanks at their wisdom in chosing Tay as the Numero Uno Bachelor. Let's get this man some more good press. What about Sexiest Man of the Year 2006 issue? Not a longshot for our guy!

Groove on Soulman.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

B'Ham Next American Idol Stop?

Taylor Hicks an American Idol? More accurately, Taylor Hicks redefines the face of Idol. I have see Hicks' influence over this talent show splattered about in so many places. This article just out in al.com sums up what I think happened on Hicks' "hometown" visit during the Idol finals.

Simon Lythgoe, producer Nygel Lythgoe's son, accompanied Hicks to B'Ham. Witnessing the burgeoning crowds present at all of Hicks' appearances in Alabama sufficiently impressed the producer's son, Simon, that it swayed the opinion and the stance Hicks had held on the show. Simon L. went along with Taylor, I think, to see and feel out the impact Tay was having real world, for the show. Taylor's presence on Idol this season was felt by the numbers - the number of viewers and voters, all on a substantial increase, not to mention all the internet on-line buzz generated largely by the Silver haired Soulman. I think Simon L. was out to see exactly what "they" had in the real way of possiblities with their initially unlikely favorite.
These two photos provide representation of the Hicks at home fan base. One other issue that hit home with Simon L. is the fact that at the venues in Alabama that Tay visited, with posters being waved by folks from all over the country and some from even other countries! These were people that thought enough of the Soulman to drop what they were doing, fork out the money and travel to see him!

I imagine the producers of Idol had to suck in their breath at the magnitude of this revelation. It shut up the other Simon, Simon Cowell, once and for all. He smiled and was polite throughout the rest of the shows. (Anyone notice that besides me?)

Taylor filled the largest Mall in Alabama, located in Birmingham; there were what looked to be 1,000 people outside the Rick & Bubba Show radio broadcast studio, (complete with a groundhog in tow, the parade route was filled, the FOX 6 stage, and his stop in Montgomery drew in a massive groups.

Think about this, when Puxatawney Phil's cousin shows up outside of a radio station decked out in her Springtime bonnet, you had to know who the next winner would be on Idol. Simon Lythgoe saw the painting on the wall and the bonnet on the groundhog and the rest became Idol history.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Behind the Scenes; a running compilation

Here are a few clips compiled into one little post covering some of Tay's "behind the scenes" interviews. I love that whole terminology. "Behind the Scenes" yeah, that's why it's broadcast across the 'net' and everyplace else.

Access Hollywood's video clip on the bachelor shoot short but sweet.

ExtraTV.com let's us in on Taylor's wanting to meet Van 'the Man' Morrison and record with Aretha Franklin. (Now I could definitely feel that one!)

Rolling Stone, no Hicks did not make the cover (yet) but he did have an interview with the Stone. AUDIOclip from the magazine interview. Sounds like he's fidgeting around in the studio. Uncomfortable seating arrangement possibly? He also sounds tired but he is also very honest and candid. I love his voice; singing or talking. He's smooth. Oh and he's not doing "Just for Men" commercials.

Groove on Soulman!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Where in the World is Taylor Hicks? Ford...that's where

You go baby, click the link and read the article about Hicks and Ford.

Check out this quote in this article from the celebrity cafe:

"We've been following Taylor closely (along with the rest of the world) this whole season on Idol, and jumped at the chance to work with him," Lydia Cisaruk, Ford's Dealer Communications Manager, was quoted as saying.

Groove on Baby.

WHere in the WORLD is Taylor Hicks?

Try the cover of PEOPLE MAGAZINE!
Wanna get my picture on the cover...

Great photo of Taylor and he looks better than Jake "Brokeback" GYLLENHAAL! We don't even need to mention that Lachey guy...Wow Soulman, you are SMOKIN' baby! Love that silky gray shirt.

Age: 29
Height: 6'1"
Next up: The American Idol winner kicks off the show's summer tour July 5. The first thing I notice about a woman is ... "her eyes." My favorite love song is ... " 'I'm in Love' by Wilson Pickett. Also 'Giving You the Best That I Got' by Anita Baker." I'd marry a woman if I could find one who ... "can be entertaining. So I don’t always have to be the one to entertain."

Every man's Dream come true. Wooooooo!

Groove on Soulman!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Where in the World is Taylor Hicks?

Taylor enjoying some down time at a (beach) resort area. Obviously not in the latest hurricane's path so let's see...possibly Cozumel/Cancun? Puerto Vallarta? Jamaica? St. Thomas, St.Bartts?
Reportedly Taylor is vacationing someplace ... perhaps getting a little sun and fun and beach time.

People Magazine is going to be on Today Show tomorrow talking about the 50 most eligible bachelors issue that is coming out....today show showed two shots of Taylor being photographed for the issue, talk is the bachelors featured will be present in one way or another. Possibly Taylor will do a remote interview. I'll be watching.

Reported from the American Idol Boards from
IDOLWATCHER33 (a recap on the radio interview Hicks' did do this morning from his 'secluded location)
- Taylor is hiding out at an undisclosed location. When he goes out to eat, people ask him for autographs and pictures.
- Walking on the beach and people see him and say, "hey! I know who you are!"
- Regarding all the media interviews, he enjoyed the Today Show. He watched it growing up, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. Willard Scott. They have a huge crowd for the people that perform. CBS Early Show was great. Radio interviews - he enjoyed talking with different radio stations around the country.........
- After 10 years in trying to get publicity as an artist, he finally has it.
- Regarding his album: If they really want Taylor to sing a song, they will have to pry his mouth open - if he's not willing to sing it. People in the record label knows that if he doesn't believe in the product, the product will not sell.
- He got a chance to chat with Michael McDonald. He is really excited about the incredible interest he got from some artists willing to work with him.
- He is going to get some free time to visit some record stores and get lost in the jazz and blues section and try to locate the DIMYP album. He is hoping that is what he sees when he walks in the door.
- Talking about 1st song rumor (not wanting to sing the 1st one they suggested). It is true! Taylor says you can't make me sing a song that he can't identify with. It didn't jive too well with him and he found DIMYP.
- Taylor says DIMYP can be sung anywhere - can be applied to anything in life that anyone is proud of.
- Regarding the familes of other idols, they were great.....
- Regarding who he got close to: He says it's hard to get close to those who were let go in the early stages of the competition. He mentioned getting close to Chris, Kat, not sure if he said Elliott - but we know they are close.
- Top 4 or 5 are the main ones he got close to. He mentioned Paris. They all had a good time.
- His favorite performance and least favorite: He liked In the Ghetto. He arranged every ending to every song he sang on the show. That was his way of getting his creative juices into somebody else's music. He wrote all the endings for audience reactions. In the Ghetto sounded a little bit like Aretha sessions.
- He said country week was hard for him. It was too quick. He was starting the show off. Things were flat. He got through each week. Luckily he was still standing.
- Regarding judges. He sat down with the judges, had a drink. Simon congratulated him. Gave Paula a hug. Saw Randy on Larry King. Very cordial and nice people.
- Host said Taylor smiled a lot, liked his dancing. Taylor said thank you. Said some people like it and some don't. Regarding those who don't like his dancing, he says they don't have to watch it if they don't like it, it's a free country. LOL!!! Go Taylor!
- Regarding the AI band, he loves them.
- Radio host makes comment about it sounding like Taylor is in the water. Taylor responds, "it sure does doesn't it..."
- Regarding his future: He doesn't know where he is going to live (LA or AL. Says he's kind of like a musical gypsee. He kind of likes it. It was his lifestyle before. He will be on a tour bus for the tour.
- Regarding performing in bars - would like to visit them. That's where he learned how to perform in front of different kinds of people.
- Do not know when his album is coming out. Hoping 3 months. He wants to make sure his album is good.
- Regarding his management team pitching him for TV and movies. He says he's just trying to work on his album, stick to music righ now. Maybe later. Shampoo ad for Head and Shoulder IS NOT TRUE. If it is, he hasn't hear anything yet.
- Regarding Chicken Soup for the Soul Patrol. He would love to do that. Regarding Michael McDonald, he called Taylor and they chatted about some things. MM going on tour. It was a good conversation. Maybe they can write together soon. Taylor has been listening to him for a long time.

And word forthcoming on whether Hicks is "Head and Shoulders" above the rest - I guess that's a Not Gonna Happen for Now deal. I know a lot of Soul Patrollers were not giddy about the idea of Hicks doing the commercials.

Heck I just wanted to see him emerge from the shower.

Groove on Soulman.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

June 22 Jay Leno

Taylor will be on Jay's show June 22 - but hey that leaves several days open for him to go to Florida...(see post beneath this one).

Will he have his band L*M*B*O along?
L*M*B*O's schedule:

Jun 17 2006 10:00P
Innisfree Birmingham, AL
Jun 18 2006 4:45P
City Stages-Local Stage Birmingham, AL
Jun 20 2006 8:00P
Birmingham Heart Assoc.-private Birmingham, AL
Jun 23 2006 11:00P
Marty's Birmingham, AL
Jun 24 2006 8:00P
Mello Martini Birmingham, AL
Jul 7 2006 10:00P
Lesters Orange Beach, AL
Jul 8 2006 10:00P
Lesters Orange Beach, AL
Jul 14 2006 9:30P
FloraBama Perdido Key, FL
Jul 15 2006 9:30P
FloraBama Perdido Key, FL
Jul 16 2006 3:00P
FloraBama Perdido Key, FL
Jul 21 2006 8:00P
The Lumberyard Auburn, AL
Jul 28 2006 6:00P
Lulu's Gulf Shores, AL

We plan to stop into LuLu's in Gulf Shores on our our way home from Tuscaloosa (University of Alabama - roll tide!). Picking up daughter - she's been working on a Biology lab experiment funded by a Howard Huges grant that is ending so she can come home to Texas for a few weeks prior to the next school year resuming. Should be fun.

Taylor Hicks, got a date for June 25th?

Taylor let's go to Florida!

A little school, the "Apple" in the eyes of parents and students, deperately needing some Soul Patrol help.

I am posting in this an off-chance (probably real off-chance) that anyone in contact with Taylor Hicks happens to come across this post. I know in the past Taylor has worked to benefit the school for autistic children (in my link column) and perhaps he would have time to visit the little town of Lakeland near Tampa, Florida. What a blow out that would be; and for a great cause - possibly save a small school for kids with ADD and ADHD. It would also send a message for the necessity of these schools.

I came across this article today written by Julia Crouse in the on-line publication, The Ledger.com. She covers the story of a small charter school in Lakeland, Florida, deperately trying to stay alive. This school benefits children with Attention Deficit Disorders, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders that are too extreme for the students to gain eduation through regular classroom curriculums.The Apple School has apparently been riding in the Red for quite some time. Initial news of the school's struggles surfaced on May 25th.

The story titled:
Parents Seek Star To Polish the Apple
Group trying to schedule lastminute concert to save charter school.

LAKELAND (Florida)near Tampa, Florida

-- Parents are pinning their hopes on a benefit rock concert to save the Apple School from closing.
So far, no big-name acts have been booked, the venue isn't secured and tickets haven't been printed. But the concert is set for June 25. The charter school's charter ends five days later on June 30.
Apple's supporters are buoyed by hope and a profound desire to keep the school open.
If the parents can come up with $80,000, there's a chance the charter school won't have to close, said Lea Williams, whose eighth-grade son attends the school.
The Apple School opened 10 years ago to serve children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. It was the county's first charter school.

Musicians such as Garth Brooks, Keith Anderson and the Bellamy Brothers, and Bo Bice, of American Idol fame have been contacted. Bo Bice has said he can't perform due to concert dates already booked; he is scheduled to perform June 24 Logan, WV and then in Tampa on June 27, figuring in travel time on the tour bus, time won't permit him to be there but he is donating CDs and T-shirts to sell, all proceeds go to help the school. There are some local bands currently set to perform. Word has not been forthcoming from the other invitees whether they have time to perform.

William J. "Bull" Robinson, of County Line Road Recordsin Lakeland, has been chosen by the parents to book this concert, and he's narrowed the venue choices to Cypress Gardens, the Lakeland Center or Tiger Town. Tickets are to be around $20 per person, depending on who performs. She hopes to attract at least 2,000 people.

(This concert will not guarantee the success in maintaining the school as there are other hardships for the district to work out, but it would send a clear positive message that schools like this are needed, important and necessary to exist for kids that without them may fall through the cracks and lead less productive lives.)

I personally can attest to the challenges of manuevering through a world while dealing with my own Attention Deficit Disorder, focusing on everyday and regular activities most folks take for granted, a real challenge at times. When I was a kid, ADD and ADHD not even heard of (I'm no spring clucker) much less any form of specialization to work with the challenges available.

It would be amazing to have the kind of talent to donate to causes such as this to benefit the programs for children by just showing up and performing a few songs. (What a difference a single life can make, and a single day.) This would send to fans the message of what Taylor Hicks is about - not just a guy driven to riches through putting out music - CD's and concerts for personal gain; but a man with Real Soul, the kind of Soul that is apparent in his music, translated into real life works and actions.

I immediately thought of Taylor when I read this article; trying to rescue this school as maybe being something he'd want to be involved in if he knew about it. (Plus the Idol Tour won't be underway quite yet.) It speaks very well of Bo Bice, that he is providing materials to donate at the show to benefit the school.

contact information for the original article:
e.mail: julia.crouse@theledger.com telephone: 863-802-7536.

Friday, June 09, 2006

American Red Cross benefits from proceeds

American Red Cross benefits from 19E's generousity. Part of the proceeds from Taylor Hicks' soon to be released single "Do I Make You Proud", will go to the organization in his name. For every CD sold, $0.25 will go to the American Red Cross, as well as $0.15 for every digital download sold, and $0.20 for every ringtone and ringback.

Remember each time you invest in Hicks' music, you'll be benefitting others through the Red Cross. Gives me the warm fuzzies.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Taylor Standing Head & Shoulders Above the Rest

Proving that Taylor Hicks is 'Head & Shoulders' above the rest, the shampoo maker is trying to get a Tay Tay endorsement.

I can visualize the "TeeVee" commercials...Taylor in a steaming shower, sudsing up with a bottle of "Head & Shoulders" on the side of the shower. Cut to Tay emerging dripping wet from the shower, a towel strategically swathing his wet and dripping man-self, panning the length of his long legs, then back up to a devilish smile as he rips a towel through his hair, shaking off the water...Cut to the combe through, all fluffy and dry, salt and pepper silvered hair. Another Taylor smile - then he pumps his fist and says "Soul Patrol!" Director (of the commercial) yelling, "No, NO! I've told you, that's NOT in the script!"
Taylor would just smile.

Just don't go Ms Clairol and do one of those, (*singing*) "Gonna wash that gray all outta my hair". No that would not be cool.

Groove on Baby.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ellen Degeneres Show - Taylor Hicks

These are three pics I found off the American Idol boards and can't remember from where they came? Anyone wanting to claim these are yours give me a shout so I can put a name to them!

Loving the jeans and uhm, belt buckle. Nice. Taylor looks gorgeous.

For some reason the old Motown-esque tune, "Hot Fun in the Summertime" began playing in my head when I saw these...random I guess.

Little Memphis Blues Orchestra

Little Memphis Blues Orchestra, the band that Taylor Hicks helped to assemble's space on myspace.com has three of their tunes to listen to...

Band Members Brian Less-Piano Vocals Mitch Jones-Bass Zippy Dieterich-drums Vocals Sam Gunderson-Guitar Vocals
Influences Allman Brothers Band-Jerry Lee Lewis-Widespread Panic-Stevie Ray Vaughn-Jimi Hendrix-B.B.King.

This is the myspace.com location to find Tay's band LMBO (LiMBO) whom we saw him perform with while visiting B'Ham (Birmingham, AL) during the latter phase of AI5. Talented group of guys. This is ironically the type of band I used to tour clubs to find to spend time listening to B.B.K. (Back Before Kids)

Tay did a great job finding and putting together this group. They compliment him so well, will be great to hear them do more recordings together. If you haven't bought their album, "Under the Radar", scroll down on my site and click the link. It's a great listen, great buy, will give you an idea of what to expect later with Taylor Hicks. Good tunes. Nice band.

Click here to visit their space.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Taylor Hicks Signs on the 19E Dotted Line

It's true Taylor Hicks, winner of American Idol, season 5 has signed on the dotted line and now 19E Owes Hicks no more. It is as it should be.

Now before some of the more timid of Taylor's fans begin pitiful cries of, "Wooo is me, "THEY will change him, re-arrange him, train him to be someone or something he isn't..." Take a deep breath and repeat after me, "Taylor Hicks is Nobody's Fool, Taylor Hicks is Nobody's Fool, Taylor Hicks is Nobody's Fool."

Feel Better? Good..

Taylor began to gain attention of many of his fans in this season's American Idol, during his performance of the song, "Taking it to the Streets" by the Doobie Brothers. (Although we true die-hards were grabbed by the throats during his initial audition.) I estimate it's after that performance that the Worry began for the A.I. producers. Worry that Taylor Hicks, the young man that was thought of as too different to last for long on the show, but definitely a ratings draw, might just pose some surprises; that because of his differences possibly pose a threat - a threat to the established A.I. "Pop Star Theory".

My man Taylor, so the generated story began, was not a marketable talent. This statement voiced in an obvious attempt to stop Taylor Hicks and slow the momentum being generated by his fans, self-dubbed as The Soul Patrol. (Anyone with this goal in mind might just as well have tried to stop a diesel engine train with a pineboard road block.)

One thing I find interesting in the reality TV genre is how seriously the fans take to heart their perspective and their picks. Some fans, for a loss of a better term, seem to engage in a form of media guerilla warfare. Spreading the words, Hicks was not marketable, no one would buy his records... and one of my personal faves, that Hicks really shouldn't win this because...'it'll change him' and make him compromise his integrity. This last story that began seemingly innocently in the on-line fan forums, but was in actuallity a thinly crafted attempt to coerce fans to not vote for him, to 'spare him' from the indignity of winning. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you so desire, but I read this 'concern' in various forums and watched Doubt try to take hold. Uniformed readers of forums were taking these statements and giving them life and merit. In this type of concept lies the real appeal of reality television, whether it is a talent show, such as American Idol, or a study of how folks can interact with one another as seen in the Survivior series. The viewers at home through their forums and on-line discussions feel they are integral to the program, playing a vital role. It is the genius of American Idol, to have the viewers voting to keep the contestants in the running. (Crafty consumerism in advertising entertwined with Cingular pretty darn clever as well.) Reality TV shows are basically highstakes games with outcomes resting on loads of moola to be made by the networks,the promoters and the victors.

Ultimately in the season 5 American Idol game, The Soul Patrol and common sense won out; the man's own independently produced CD, "Under the Radar", has been selling well, and with his exponentially expanding fan base, well lets just say, where there are fans, dollars shall follow.

Returning to the initial subject, Taylor Hicks' record deal with the legendary Clive Davis and the 19 Entertainment, 19 Records group. How I would love to be a fly on the wall of that studio. (Let me indulge myself by talking in cliche's, but with just one cup o'joe down so far, so you take what you get, or in this case, read what I write.) What the machinations behind Idol had and have been concerned about is the spirit and intelligence and the stubborness of Taylor Hicks. The man has such undeniable fire in his eyes. Hicks' new album will undoubtably carry some of the Clive Davis influence, but in the end, carry a heavy Taylor Stamp. Mark my words, Davis will not be doing the steamrolling over this man.

I can almost hear Taylor singing in his growling soulful voice, dubbed whiskey tenor by Barry Manilow, a song The King of Rock 'n Roll did so well, Steamroller Blues.

SteamRoller Blues

Well, I'm a steamroller, baby
I'm bound to roll all over you
Yes, I'm a steamroller, baby
I'm bound to roll all over you
I'm gonna inject your soul with some sweet rock 'n roll
And shoot you full of rhythm and blues
Well, I'm a cement mixer
A churning urn of burning funk
Yes, I'm a cement mixer for you, baby
A churning urn of burning funk
Well, I'm a demolition derby
A hefty hunk of steaming junk
Now, I'm a napalm bomb, baby
Just guaranteed to blow your mind
Yeah, I'm a napalm bomb for you, baby
Guaranteed to blow your mind
And if I can't have your love for my own
Sweet child, won't be nothing left behind.
It seems how lately, baby
Got a bad case steamroller blues

Are you listening Mr. Davis?

(Groove on Soulman!)

Monday, June 05, 2006

WHOA! Was that Chris Daughtry?

Walking my dog Cody and daughter Daphne tonight, we passed the creek near our home. The creek divides a golf course which is currently under construction and the area looks like hell. We had just spotted a cottonmouth winding through the creek when a man walked up with his Australian Shepard. The resemblance to Chris Daughtry was staggering (the guy, not the dog - just to be clear). Daughter Daphne was amazed and whispered to me, "Is that the bald haired Idol guy?" (She's only 7 so to her it could happen.) He stopped and said hello and we chatted for about half an hour, about the snake, the bobcat that has been roaming the area; I saw it in my front yard last week and promptly called animal control; and the sad fact all the fish seemed to have left the creek and the nearby fishing hole.
(this is Cody; he's funny looking but he's a great little guy)

I've heard talk everyone has a twin - 'yo Chris I met yours today'; and a nice guy to boot. Now where is Taylor's twin???

MSNBC Craig Berman Nailed AI 5

Berman's insightful view into AI 5 begins with:

"It seems like only yesterday that Carrie Underwood was the reigning “American Idol” and Taylor Hicks was just some gray-haired geezer Simon Cowell didn’t think was worth sending to the Hollywood round. Now Hicks is the newest “Idol,” and Simon is giving himself credit for predicting it all along, much like he credits himself for the success of the Beatles, U2, and the “Da Vinci Code. ”"

Berman then points out the difference between Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks, why Hicks was able to win over the more "Idolesque" McPhee and Bice could not conquer Underwood:

"This season seemed to offer a similar contrast, with Hicks up against the more conventional Katharine McPhee in the final. But while McPhee was a lot younger and had the face of a stereotypical “Idol,” Hicks managed to personalize his performances in a way that Bice could not during the previous season."

This is well said in that it points out how Hicks waged an intelligent and well-thought out plan to win this show, whereas Bo Bice, let the pieces fall where they lay without advance strategy. Bo Bice had a delivery that was set and wrote in the style of the songs he performed. No one ever said, "he made it his own treatment", or he put the Bo Bice stamp on that song; that he "Biced it" like with Taylor, and the many references to his Taylorizing a song. "In the Ghetto" a prime example. Not that I am knocking The Biceman, I am a fan of his as well, but this season's AI with what Hicks brought to the show created a whole new phase to this program and could be the defining point where we see whether A.I. can do this again next season or if Hicks' influence may have created the beginning of the end. Taylor Hicks will be a tough if maybe not impossible act to follow. It may be what the producers had feared from the beginning. I was just glad that 19E and American Idol got the message this season.

Groove on Soulman!

Video: Jailhouse Rock performed on Fox 6 B'Ham!

This is a great rendition of Jailhouse Rock! I hadn't seen it previously on the FOX 6 site - must have somehow missed it! This would be a great version for Taylor to put on his upcoming CD! Just Great! LiMBO does an amazing job; these guys work so perfectly together. Click the title link!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

No Cowell in Attendance at the Wal-mart Meeting

FAYETTEVILLE — One day you’re winning "American Idol," the next you’re at the Wal-Mart Shareholders Meeting. Welcome to the big time, Taylor Hicks. Hicks, the latest "American Idol" winner, was part of the musical makeup of the annual event, which was held at Bud Walton Arena on Friday.

Hicks sang two songs, including a rendition of the Doobie Brothers’ "Takin’ It to the Streets." The crowd voiced its approval. No Simon Cowells in this bunch. "I think Taylor Hicks did a fantastic job," Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Mike Duke said. Later in the morning, pop diva Beyonce put on a highvoltage performance. On Wednesday, associates were treated to an indoor concert by Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. An outdoor concert Thursday night featuring Sugarland was called off because of bad weather. Later in the morning, to close the meeting, Beyonce sang a medley of Destiny’s Child songs and other songs. In the past, Wal-Mart has had artists such as Garth Brooks, Jon Bon Jovi, Brooks and Dunn, and Jimmy Buffet at its pre-meeting shareholders concerts and on the day of the Shareholders Meeting. A few years ago, Rogers native Joe Nichols sang the national anthem at the Shareholders Meeting. Nichols is now one of the hottest acts in country music.

Wooo! Groove on Soulman!

Soul Patrol Discussion: What's in a Name?

Rumor has it Taylor Hicks has asked producers of AI, et al, to change his moniker to a one word name or nickname. Tay-Tay. I find it difficult to believe that this was said in seriousness if at all but, hey I don't really know the lovely man.

Sunny's oh so invaluable 2-pennies worth; Tay-Tay, NO Way-Way. (if in a moment of delirium you did blurt this one out, Sweet man stick with the full name, Taylor Hicks, it's the name all Soul Patrol folk love.)

Click title on this post to follow the thread, well, at least as long as it lasts. Never know when we get "poofed".

What are your thought about his name/name change? Just bloviate at random. E.mail me as usual or post your comments.

Happy SaturTay.

Salt Lake City - Provo Utah Appearance!

My man Taylor Hicks, performs in the Stadium of Fire show July 1 in Provo, Utah. (Provo is a suburb of Salt Lake City.) This will mark his first public concert appearance and will be the first live concert gig Hicks has accepted since 43 million viewers watched him crowned as the "American Idol" winner last month, said Taylor Macdonald, executive director of America's Freedom Foundation, which stages the annual patriotic extravaganza.
"He's about as hot as they get on the planet right now," said Macdonald, who likes Hicks' cross-generational appeal. "He is upbeat. He is fun. He's got an unlikely head of gray hair. And when you hear his voice, you know it's him."
The Alabama native will make his Utah debut four days before he joins the "American Idols Live" tour, which kicks off July 5 in Manchester, N.H. That 54-city tour is not scheduled to come to Utah.
Hicks, 29, joins a Stadium of Fire entertainment lineup that also includes country singer Lee Ann Womack, Queen, The Beach Boys, Abba, LeAnn Womack, and Raven Simone also marching bands and, of course, a huge fireworks show. Nearly 50,000 people are expected to attend the event, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Lavell Edwards Stadium, Macdonald said.
Tickets are $20-$100. Call 801-422-BYU1 or visit http://www .byutickets.com

I have read and heard anywhere between 63 million votes for Taylor and 43 mil. I would imagine the 43 million votes to be closer to accurate because reports from Idol, supposedly 69 million total were cast and counted.

I find this interesting that he will be appearing at this event because previously the "Idols" were not allowed (or so I had thought) to make any concert appearances independently from the Idol Tour that starts up right after this event.

It is interesting, too that this year, winning Idol seems to pack so much more punch and carry so much more clout and positive presence than in years past when it (the show) was considered by many to be a 'cheesy' talent search production. I remember Bo Bice said numerous times after the Season 4 ended how very glad he was that he did not win. The program has seemingly entered into a new phase and has been elevated in stature from its modest cheddar roots. Personally, I attribute Taylor Hicks as playing a hand in its positive evolution. His appearance on the show re-generated the Ideals of finding a True Star and True Idol to follow in the music world.

I would love to be present to watch Hicks perform amidst the mountains and the fireworks. I have relatives in the Salt Lake area...Sandy, Utah to be exact...

Groove on Soulman!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Taylor Teams with Beyonce

According to Marshall Manson, a senior account supervisor with the public relations firm, Edelman, the firm that Wal-Mart has hired to handle their public relations needs, Taylor Hicks will perform this morning along with Beyonce' at the annual shareholders meeting today.

I imagine one reason for their performances is to highlight Wal-Mart's increasing share into today's current music and entertainment industry. Wal-Mart competes with the likes of Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobles, naming two major companies vying for the public's entertainment dollars. Wal-mart's advantage over the competition is its the ability to offer the lowest prices as well as having an abundance of local stores buyers can simply drive to, rather than wait for orders (via Amazon.com), although products can certainly be purchased on-line if that is your preference via Wal-Mart.com. Wal-Mart prices on music and videos, price-wise usually beat out the competitors' offerings, making it a more attractive buying market for many.

Another reason for the performances; casting a positive light on the mega-conglomerate. Wal-Mart has come under attack for possible issues in bad employee practices, something the late founder, Sam Walton would have abhorred. Wal-Mart is working to display to the public the greater good the stores do to enable lower income shoppers a venue to capture the most for their money and eliminate the previous bad press. Having an established and well-knowned musical artist like Beyonce' and the tremendously popular winner of American Idol, Taylor Hicks perform states to the shareholders and the public, the importance Wal-Mart has in the retail industry.

The season 5 CD, American Idol Season 5 Encores which was released on May 23, debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200, selling over 155,000 copies. This is 70,000 more than last year’s CD sold in the same time period, and an astounding 100,000 more than season three managed to move its first week. The CD also charted on the Digital Album Chart (#4), the Internet Album Sales chart (#6). This CD is notably important because of the impact sales have overall for the retailers offering this product, Wal-mart being one.

Of course, drawing in the powerfull force that the Soul Patrol has become can't hurt either.

(Thank you Mr. Manson for this information and the links in your e.mail. It's good to hear from a fellow Taylor fan! Mr. Manson wrote, "I’m a fan of Idol and Taylor Hicks, so I thought you might like this. *disclosure: I'm a pr person, I work for Edelman -- and represent Wal-Mart. That aside, I rarely get to work on stuff this fun.")

Tune in this afternoon, 2:00 p.m. EST, 3:00 CST (my time zone) to watch the performances. Click the title link.