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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!)

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