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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taylor Hicks says, "I Came From Alabama With A Banjo On My Knee"!

In a recent interview for a New York television station, Taylor Hicks was asked a seemingly routine question about life in the Big Apple. His answer was simple, yet perhaps poignant. Taylor answered, “I came from Alabama with a banjo on my knee” indicating that the life he led in Alabama prior to winning American Idol was far different and slower paced than his present.

(video credit: Barhart1)

Of course over the past two years, much has been written and even Taylor himself has discussed how dramatically his life was altered by "fate". When reading the words of the Stephen Foster song, “Oh Susanna”, to which Taylor was referring in his comment, one can’t help but wonder if Taylor has ever before linked the lyrics to the irony of his life. The words of the song go like this:

I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee;
I'm goin' to Lou'siana my true love for to see.
It rained all night the day I left,
the weather it was dry;
The sun so hot I froze to death,
Susanna don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, don't you cry for me;
I come from Alabama,
with my banjo on my knee.

Taylor Hicks did indeed come from Alabama to New Orleans, Louisiana during the midst of one of the greatest tragedies of this century, Hurricane Katrina. Yes, it rained all night the day he left in one of the last taxis leaving from the city, yet his own personal weather gauge was dry. Metaphorically, he had fallen on hard times musically and the world had yet to discover the depths of his talents. The sun was so hot he froze to death, again a metaphor relating to the despair of his situation. Yet, no one cries for him, because he turned that tragedy into triumph.

Taylor Hicks can now casually say, two years later, that he came from Alabama with a banjo on his knee, but we all know he left for Las Vegas and ultimately Hollywood with more than that. He left with the drive, determination, focus and plan that would ultimately allow the world to hear his voice….that same voice that resonated virtually unnoticed in the bars and clubs in Birmingham, Alabama and across the southeast for so many years. Jay Leno asked Taylor if he thought his winning American Idol was coincidence or fate, to which Taylor answered that he did not believe in coincidence so it had to be fate.

The odds of this man from Birmingham, Alabama winning the most prized reality show in America are staggering. Was it fate? Was it coincidence? Did America want something different musically? We would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below and let us know what you think! But first, we thought that you would enjoy reliving Taylor’s journey from his unknown early years on the “chitlin' circuit” to his triumphant return at the end of his solo tour to his beloved Florabama in September 2007 as a mega star!

(video by Samz999999)

Here is a sample of Taylor's schedule from 2005, just prior to American Idol. Well, what a difference a few months make!

And now take a look at Taylor Hicks' triumphant return to his beloved Florabama on Labor Day weekend of 2007, which was the one of the last gigs of his solo tour of that year. He had indeed come full circle!

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(picture credit: Ragsqueen)

Taylor at the Flora-Bama from Azee on Vimeo.

Written by DidNotExpectThat

Friday, June 20, 2008

Taylors Hicks ...A Declaration of Independant Soul

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Taylor Hicks will be releasing a CD of his early works in August. The CD will be produced on his own label Modern Whomp Records and distributed by Vanguard Records. Vanguard Records has a rich history in jazz and blues artists, proving to be a perfect match for Taylor.

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In 1953, under the direction of John Hammond, the company began the 'Jazz Showcase' series that concentrated on the mainstream jazz idiom, producing about two dozen recordings before it was wound down about 1958.[1] Recordings made at the Spirituals to Swing concerts in 1938 and 1939 were finally released by Vanguard in 1959. The company only intermittently pursued recording Jazz and Blues thereafter.

Vanguard diversified in the mid-1950s by challenging the blacklist and signing blacklisted performers Paul Robeson and The Weavers. The company continued to issue folk music with newly-signed artists Joan Baez, Hedy West, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Country Joe and the Fish, Ian and Sylvia, Mimi and Richard FariƱa.

In the summer of 1965 Maynard Solomon hired Samuel Charters to edit the tapes of the 1964 Newport Folk Festival. Following that project, the company sent Charters to Chicago to capture the broad range of blues musicians there. Those sessions resulted in the classic 1966 three album series titled Chicago/The Blues/Today!, which introduced a new generation to the blues. The albums included sets by Junior Wells with Buddy Guy, Muddy Water's bandmates Otis Spann and James Cotton, Otis Rush, Homesick James, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, and Charlie Musselwhite.

Vanguard released a number of important classical recordings, both domestically-produced and imported. Many of the latter came from the United Kingdom's Pye Records label, featuring performances by the Halle Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli. The recordings were so exceptional in their stereo sound and overall quality that many classical radio stations programmed them. Vanguard even released some quadraphonic classical recordings in the early 1970s, including a performance of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony with the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski. The label also released many performances by the Utah Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maurice Abravanel, as well as the earlier P.D.Q. Bach recordings, from 1965 to 1983. Vanguard was the first American label to release the complete 1944 high fidelity recordings of composer Richard Strauss conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in most of his tone poems; the recordings were made on the Magnetophon tape recording equipment in the Vienna Opera House.

By the early 1970s, Vanguard released albums by Michigan-based rock groups such as Dick Wagner and The Frost and was inspired by an off the wall novelty hit they released, "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell, to release albums of humorous music inspired by Dr. Demento. Tom Paxton recorded two albums, New Songs from the Briarpatch and Heroes, on Vanguard Records near the end of the 1970s.

The label stayed dormant for most of the mid- to late-seventies, re-emerged briefly with some disco releases in the eighties, and was finally sold to the Welk Music Group in 1985. The Welk Group sold the classical music catalog back to Seymour Solomon. Welk Music Group revitalized the label, reissuing much of its extensive folk and popular music back catalogue (a good deal of which had been out of print for several years) on CD, as well as signing a number of new artists (such as Mindy Smith), along with established musicians (such as Edwin McCain, Hootie & the Blowfish, Blues Traveler, Shawn Mullins and more).

Vanguard Classics was sold after Seymour Solomon's death to Artemis Records which reactivated the company with new releases by Leon Fleisher and Gil Shaham. When Artemis folded in 2004 the Vanguard Classics catalogue was sold to Sheridan Square Entertainment which is licensing the Vanguard Classics material with no apparent plans to relaunch or reactivate the label. ~ Wikipedia

Current artist : Blues Traveler, Carbon Leaf, Deana Carter, Edwin McCain, Greg Laswell, Hootie and the Blowfish, Indigenous, Joan Osborne, The Boxmasters, The Robert Cray Band, Shawn Mullins, Patty Larkin, The Watson Twins and more.

Taylor's earlier releases:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Released in 1997

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Released in 2005

Here is a sample of some of his earlier music.

Taylor Hicks

Taylor will also be releasing a new CD and DVD this fall. We can also look forward to seeing him on tour again !
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published by: Cydter and Taylor's Angels
photo: DNET

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Taylor Hicks is the Word!

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Taylor Hicks has taken New York by storm! Opening week of his role as "Teen Angel" on the Broadway play Grease has been incredible. Here are some of the exciting highlights!!

Opening Night

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Live With Regis and Kelly!

Bravo Taylor!

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Published by: Taylor's Angels

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Soul Patrol Welcomes Taylor Hicks to Broadway!

Taylor Hicks began a three month run on Broadway's production of Grease and the Soul Patrol couldn't be more proud of him!

Beginning tonight, June 6th, Taylor will be playing Teen Angel, a role he has promised to "Taylorize" for us. You may catch Taylor on Broadway at the historic Brooks Atkinson Theater until September 7th.

In honor of this great opportunity, the Soul Patrol would like to send to Taylor individual messages of support, encouragement, and congratulations!!! We have put these well-wishes together for you and Taylor to enjoy in this video!

Break a leg, Taylor!! We love you!!

Here is the download link:

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