The Official Taylor's Angels Weblog

Taylor Hicks Fans Taying it Forward One Soul At A Time

Seven Mile Breakdown

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taylor Hicks Inspires The Soul Connection

Meet Connie Leinicke—Taylor’s Angel’s Hero of the Month

Two years ago, many of us, including myself, had probably never heard of an ezine—a magazine that is delivered to your email address. Now though, many among the Soul Patrol anxiously await their copy of The Soul Connection in their email box each month.

Over the past year and a half, Connie Leinicke has worked tirelessly to bring us The Soul Connection. Connie has put together not only a wonderful ezine, but a fabulous group of people who help her write articles and keep the publication fresh each month.

Not only is each issue full of information about what is going on with Taylor Hicks and his fanbase, but we have also learned a lot of information about other influential artists who have inspired Taylor Hicks, such as Ray Charles.

Because of Connie’s dedication and allegiance to the Soul Connection, Taylor’s Angels thought it only appropriate to make her our Hero of the Month. With everything that Connie has going on, we felt very fortunate to learn more about this amazing Soul Patroller when she sat down to answer a few questions:


TA: Tell us about Connie!
Connie: My husband and I own a marketing/advertising agency in the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area. We have 3 beautiful daughters who also are Taylor fans (and receive The Soul Connection!). I have been a musician all my life. I sing and play four instruments. Keyboards are my specialty. I share Taylor’s passion for music, for hearing and creating sounds. Music has always been my passion. My viewpoint? I choose to look at life from a positive perspective and enjoy celebrating all the good things life has to offer.

TA: How much time does it take to put The Soul Connection together?
Connie: A lot of planning and preparation goes into publishing a 14-20 page ezine each month. We begin planning our next issue immediately following publication of our current issue. Decisions must be made early each month regarding writing assignments. The last week of each month I take all of the gathered information and create the issue at my office computer after hours. Because this ezine is emailed, everything I include (photos, articles, graphics) must be email friendly and a small enough file size to deliver through cyberspace.

TA: How many people help you?
Connie: The Soul Connection is the voice of the Soul Patrol and Taylor’s fans worldwide. We receive story ideas, photos, news, and input from fans all over the globe. However, our 4-person editorial board plans each issue and provides the guidance necessary to keep information relevant, current, interesting, and fun. We also have an extremely reliable and dedicated group of reporters/writers who are staunch Taylor fans and are willing to meet the necessary deadlines each month to give this gift to Taylor and his fanbase. We’re very happy, too, to give a voice to the charitable organizations that have evolved from Taylor’s fanbase.

TA: Where did you come up with the idea?
Connie: The idea for a Soul Patrol newsletter originated in the Soul Patrol Support Group from the AI5 message boards. Although I was not a member of that group, I decided to help the original editor create/publish the first issue because she was having health problems and I didn’t want that group to be disappointed. And I’m still here 18 issues and 265 published pages later. From the outset I could see that this was not merely a newsletter. . .it was an electronic magazine (ezine) without advertising clutter. When the original editor bowed out shortly after the first issue, I began to include my own vision in the content.

TA: What has been the most gratifying part of The Soul Connection?
Connie: As a musician myself, the most gratifying part of this experience is highlighting Taylor’s music and talent on a regular basis and learning more about his musicality. I am also having the time of my life meeting Taylor fans from all over the world who have the same interests as I do. I am grateful, too, that The Soul Connection reaches fans who are not necessarily internet users.

TA: How do you come up with new concepts? Are there any new features of the newsletter you will be adding soon you can tell us about?
Connie: All of our ideas start with Taylor. Since our two-fold mission is (1) to promote and support Taylor in his musical journey, and (2) to keep Taylor’s fan base united, necessarily all of our ideas are measured against what they have to do with Taylor. From that point we work out the story angles and details. Sometimes it takes a few months before we can include a special feature. We project what Taylor’s expected activities will be throughout the year. For example, he is busy writing songs for his new CD now, then he will rehearse it and go into the studio to record. We want our readers to understand these processes in the music industry, so we will focus on those areas in upcoming issues. Once Taylor’s new tour begins, we will focus on topics surrounding that tour.

TA: How many people receive The Soul Connection each month?
Connie: Our current subscriber list is approximately 1,500. Many subscribers tell us that they forward each issue on to their friends. So our unofficial guesstimate is that approximately 2,000 people read The Soul Connection each month.

TA: How did you become a Taylor Hicks Fan?
Connie: I’ve been a fan since Taylor’s Las Vegas audition. I had watched very few AI shows to that point. After Taylor’s audition I told my family that HE was the real deal and should win the competition. That same night I googled his name, found his NPR interview from December 2005, and heard clips from Under the Radar.


TA: How many concerts have you been to?
Connie: Only 19. . .;p. . .I also attended the Kid One book event and the Regions Charity Classic golf tourney.

TA: What was your most memorable concert experience?
Connie: While every concert was memorable for me, my favorite memory is meeting Taylor only minutes before his first national solo tour concert in Jacksonville FL . . .he was very excited about the concert and so were all of his fans. . .it was a great moment for me to share his excitement and to personally wish him well before he went on stage.

TA: What is your goal for The Soul Connection in 2008?
Connie: In 2008 the editorial board envisions delving deeper into Taylor’s musical influences and bringing an understanding of those influences as well as a more complete understanding of today’s music industry to his fans. We are also looking into alternative delivery methods via the internet.

Thank you Connie for bringing us The Soul Connection and for taking the time to let us get to know you a little better!

Composed and published by Leslie Mozingo

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Taylor Hicks.....The Main Attraction!

Taylor Hicks described himself as the main attraction at the shopping mall when he worked as the Easter Bunny. Well, he still is the main attraction for his fans the Soul Patrol. Happy Easter to all our friends and to the "Soul Man" himself..Taylor Hicks!!

Enjoy this video and a wonderful look back.....

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Taylor Hicks Celebrates With The Children's Miracle Network!

Celebration 2008

Children's Miracle Network hospital, sponsor, and media partners and celebrities all converged in Orlando, Fla., last week to celebrate the miracles happening at 170 children's hospitals throughout the world. The annual Children's Miracle Network Celebration event brings together the organization's diverse partners to share best practices, celebrate achievements and honor the children who benefit from their tireless fund raising efforts.


Children's Miracle Network co-founder Marie Osmond and the entire legendary Osmond family were in attendance to celebrate the organization's 25th anniversary and its expansion into the United Kingdom and Ireland. Since its founding in 1983, Children's Miracle Network has grown dramatically from a televised fund raiser in the Osmond's small studio to one of the world's leading children's charities helping 17 million kids each year

The Osmonds performed during the Children's Miracle Awards Friday, March 14 as part of their 50th Anniversary World Tour. The Children's Miracle Awards presented by Delta Air Lines is a special event that honors outstanding pediatric caregivers at Children's Miracle Network children's hospitals.

Celebration concluded with a special medal ceremony for children who were selected for their courage in overcoming medical obstacles and represent every state in the United States, every province in Canada, and new hospitals in Ireland and the United Kingdom. American Idol-winner Taylor Hicks and special performance by Cirque Dreams concluded the evening.

All Children's Miracle Network Celebration evening events are sponsored by long-time Children's Miracle Network supporters Foresters, Delta Air Lines and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

About Children's Miracle Network:

Children's Miracle Network is the alliance of premier children's hospitals. Every year, Children's Miracle Network hospitals treat 17 million children for every disease and injury imaginable. Children's Miracle Network hospitals impact the lives of more children than any other children's organization in the world. Children's hospitals provide state-of-the-art care, life-saving research and preventative education for children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is a Children's Miracle Network hospital dedicated to serving children in every community across the United States and Canada. These hospitals are committed to providing the best care for children when they need it.

Your support of Children's Miracle Network helps ensure that children have the specialized care they need and deserve.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Little Memphis shares his "soul" with Taylor Hicks and his fans


It first rang out over the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta and then migrated to the streets and clubs of Memphis. It went on to influence the sound of music all over the world. Memphis, Tennessee is the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. Being raised among such rich musical history, it is easy to see why the talented Brian Less is affectionately known as “Little Memphis”. His extraordinary talent has been nationally showcased over the past two years since his good friend, Taylor Hicks, won American Idol in 2006. First as the keyboard player with Little Memphis Blues Orchestra (LMBO) and then as the organist with the Taylor Hicks national touring band, Brian Less has proven himself worthy of his nickname. His incredible musical talents coupled with his sincere appreciation of his fans have made Brian a favorite among Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol.

But how did Taylor Hicks come to appreciate the musical abilities of Brian Less? The story is fascinating.

The Taylor Hicks band played a gig in Mobile, Alabama several years prior to his catapult to fame with American Idol. Taylor and a friend stopped into a bar that night after their performance and took note of the keyboard player, Brian Less. Taylor immediately remarked to his friend, “I want that kind of piano player in my band”.

Coincidentally, two weeks later, the Taylor Hicks band was in Nashville, Tennessee for another important gig. This time, Taylor’s bass player tried to convince him to allow a friend of his to sit in with the band on the keyboard. Taylor adamantly refused, stating that they had to be at their best that night. But as fate would have it, Taylor finally agreed and Brian Less strolled into sound check. Immediately recognizing him, Taylor Hicks said to him, “were you playing in Mobile two weeks ago?” With the answer of “yes”, Taylor immediately asked Brian to join the band without the first note being auditioned.


The talent of Brian Less has always been evident to Taylor Hicks. Perhaps that is why, after winning American Idol and forming a top-notch touring band, Taylor once again asked Brian to join the now famous Taylor Hicks band this time on the organ. Brian quickly became a fan favorite and friend of Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol as they traveled from coast to coast on Taylor’s first solo tour in 2007.

(video credit: Catwoman52)

Recently, Brian was gracious enough to sit down and answer some questions posed by Taylor’s Angels. His words give you a greater knowledge of his musical background and insight into Little Memphis himself.


Taylor’s Angels: At what age did you begin to play musically and did you ever think it would become your career?

Brian: I started playing when I was 5 yrs old. I knew I wanted to make it my career when I was probably 10 or 11.

Taylor’s Angels: Besides the keyboard and organ, do you play any other instruments?

Brian: I play "at" the drums and bass guitar.

Taylor’s Angels: How did you get your start in music?

Brian: My parents put me in an after school piano program in kindergarten, I guess I caught on.

Taylor’s Angels: Was your family supportive of you when you decided to become a musician?

Brian: If it wasn't for the support from my family, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Taylor’s Angels: Have you enjoyed the fame? What things have you been able to do or not do because of it?

Brian: I don't see myself as famous. I am more well known which allows me to meet a lot more “music appreciaters”!

(video credit: cuckoomimi)

Taylor’s Angels: Where do you see yourself as a musician in 5 to 10 years?

Brian: Playing in a band.

Taylor’s Angels: If you were not making music, what would you be doing for a living?

Brian: Probably something in Law Enforcement.

Taylor’s Angels: We have heard that your parents live in Memphis (Cordova). Did you grow up there? Have you ever played on Beale Street?

Brian: I grew up in Germantown. My parents moved to Cordova when I left for college. I have played on Beale Street a few times.

(video credit: cuckoomimi)

Taylor’s Angels: What are your hobbies other than music? What do you do when you are not playing?

Brian: Well, my wife, family, dogs, and friends pretty much take up all of my time. I enjoy football ("Roll Tide"), and seeing the country with my spare time.

Taylor’s Angles: Do you have any advice for someone trying to make it in the music industry?

Brian: Be yourself, play from the heart, and bands come and go. As long as you keep playing you will succeed.


We thank Brian for allowing us the opportunity to know more about him, and wish him the best of luck in his career! We also invite you to leave comments for Brian or share wonderful memories of our friendship with this incredibly talented man.

Edited by Tina (DidNotExpectThat)
Media by Teri (Cydter)

Special thanks to Cassidy for arranging this interiew and for some fantastic photos!

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Taylor Hicks Fan Needs Continued Prayers

One of the Soul Patrol's favorite impromptu moments of Taylor Hicks occurred this past December when he danced with a little boy named Evan at the Liberty Bowl halftime show. Evan's mother was a guest blogger for us in January. She shared with us Evan's adoration of Taylor Hicks and his brave battle with cancer. You may click here to re-read her story.

In an effort to make Evan's story easier for the family to share with all of their friends and family, she began blogging. Evan's journey has been lovingly documented at

In a recent blog, Evan's mother informs us that some of his markers have become elevated. Although this marker alone isn't cause for alarm, according to his doctors, the family has still gone to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital for a few days of extra testing.

Please continue to keep Evan and his family in your prayers.


Thank you.

written and published by; Leslie Mozingo

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