Wednesday, December 31, 2008


As 2008 draws to its close, many memories flood through us. We reflect on our lives thus far....some content with what they see and others still seeking. Dreams may be found in every walk of life and those that come true are the pure gravy to our past feasts. The Dreams which remain elusive are the tantalyzing ones...will we reach them in 2009?

One of our Dreams at TTHC was to create a comprehensive and comfortable community for Taylor Hicks fans. That dream has been realized and we will celebrate our first year anniversary on January 20th! The collaboration of so many wonderful people, plus the perfect melding of two Taylor Hicks sites, has made this possible. Happy First Anniversary this coming month, TTHC!

Taylor Hicks has achieved his Dreams and some he never knew existed until they found their way to his doorstep. This coming year offers Promise for even more success for this dedicated artist, who we all have come to adore and support. Never have his words hit home as well as they do at the close of one year of our lives, and as the portal of a new one looms near. From Taylor Hicks ~ Heart Full of Soul....

"As I stood on stage night after night, singing that song, 'Soul Thing,' 'The Deal,' 'Just to Feel That Way,' and so many others, I experienced the stunning sensation of being smack in the middle of a dream come true. After all those years of feeling slighted, ignored or just flat-out rejected, I felt at peace with myself in a way I never had before."

The last line of Taylor's words is what stands out to me. Success is measured in many ways, but at the end if you can say you are at Peace with yourself, that is the full Dream come true. As we begin our Journey into 2009, let us never forget that to achieve contentment and peace with one's self is the highest level to which one can climb, the place where you stand inside of your Dream and say...I HAVE ARRIVED.

The Taylor Hicks Community would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has made our home a warm and fulfilling Dream come true. To all Taylor Hicks fans everywhere, TTHC wishes you a Healthy and Happy 2009, and may you all find yourself standing at the entrance door of Peace with yourself, because that is the Beginning of the Dream come true. Thank you Taylor, for bringing that home to us!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Believe to your soul...

If Taylor Hicks has one word to live by, I think it is…


At the end of his autobiography, “Heart Full of Soul,” Taylor describes 10 songs that mean a lot to him. His last selection is “I Believe to my Soul” by his idol, Ray Charles.

“This is my last selection in my Top 10, but it’s the number one message I want you to take from my story. Believe in yourself. Believe to your soul. Be confident. As Joe Namath once said, ‘When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.’

“If you believe in yourself, anything that comes your way—good, bad, or really ugly—can’t knock you too far off track. Believing in yourself is the thing—sometimes the only thing—that will carry you through any situation.”

It’s so easy to get knocked off track. So much is going on around us. Many people face this new year with little more than their beliefs. A formidable future lies in front of them just as it did for Taylor Hicks, the young blue-eyed-soul singer who had already traveled a challenging road when he wrote “Heart Full of Soul” at the young age of 31.

As I was thinking about these words, I picked up the unopened mail on my desk. I opened the first Christmas card. It had only one word on the front…


It didn’t tell me what to believe or in whom to believe…just to “believe.”

What I believe is that we are stronger than we know. We can find the strength to do what we must. In the words of a popular little toy…”I think I can, I think I can.” There in lies our grit and resolve and our success. We may believe in ideals, a higher power, or other people. Not until we believe in ourselves can we persevere, prosper and achieve our dreams.

In the words of the French poet and novelist, Anatole France, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.”

Taylor Hicks dreamed and acted and planned. He also believed. He believed in his music and never gave up. Now, he is living his dream.

If Taylor Hicks has three words to live by, I think they are…

“Don’t stop believing...”

Happy holidays and may you believe in the best for the coming year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Taylor Hicks~A Taylor Christmas!

Christmas is a time for many things. Receiving and giving, visiting and sharing, renewing and reflecting, and looking ahead to the New Year. Taylor Hicks has inspired many of these, especially in the past year. With the several charities working in his spirit to help children and families, the giving and sharing is in full swing.

Giving and sharing is what Taylor Hicks is all about. Devoted to his music, he offers his gifts to everyone for their enjoyment. When I reflect on this last few years, I think how much my life has been enhanced by music and new experiences. It's not only Taylor's music, but he has been such an inspiration to explore new musician worlds. When I think about my own adventures this last year or two, I am grateful to someone like Taylor Hicks, who always says to take a risk or you may never get ahead. He is a true role model of how Hope and Determination and Devotion to a Dream can bring so much to a life.

This year, whether you are buying gifts for your family or sending items to our troops or helping charities, remember to put a little "silver" glow in those so that others can experience Taylor Hicks music. The Holidays aren't always that special for many who are not able to give their families all that they would like. Stress levels go up and often the Joy of the holiday season is affected by this.

For me, music is a comfort when those feelings float around me. If you need some Holiday to fill your Soul this season and remind you what the Giving and Hopeful feelings are, just listen to this Soulful voice lending its magic to Christmas! We have created some Christmas Taylor Love for everyone. Click here to sign our card for Taylor:

Click Here for some Musical Holiday Soul:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


For the non-musician, the intricacies of the live stage performance is an onlookers’ game. It is sights and sounds, fun and interaction with the artist. As I learn more about what putting together a show involves, I am aware that it doesn’t just happen even though it may seem spontaneous and innovative.

My musings were prompted by a question blogcritic Sherry Lippman asked Taylor Hicks recently.

“My husband and I saw you when you played Seattle in 2007 and we were surprised by parts of your set-list - such as combining "Another Brick in the Wall" with "Hell of a Day". How do you come up with those ideas?

Taylor responded, “Well, I think it's just comes from years and years of playing live music. If a song has some space where you can perform another song within it - and it fits the style of the song you're already playing - there's a creative aspect to that. That's the spontaneity, and there's a creative outlet for all of that. And that's what I love. I enjoy being able to have songs within a song. I just think for me, I try to put myself outside and look inside. I know I would want to go to a show where that type of spontaneity and creativity were present.”

No, it doesn’t just happen. It’s taken “years and years of playing live music.” I went back to an interesting thread created originally on Whomp Swamp and now on TTHC message board about Taylor’s covers and tags to look at some of the combinations. It’s impossible for the non-musician to understand the puzzle of fitting these musical styles, sounds, keys and tempos together. The musician would be impressed with that aspect. I only know that from the audience you are delighted to be into one song and there you are suddenly hearing “Brown-eyed Handsome Man”…not where you thought you were! The easy seque is impressive and brings freshness to every performance. It creates that setlist that is taped unceremoniously to the stage floor with duct tape. It doesn’t just happen…there is an art and skill and years of learning that went into every performance.

There is so much to this business. We have recently heard about the creative process of writing the music, producing it, and getting it out there. That’s only the beginning. Taylor has learned to do all of that very well. Taking his music to the people and making it “his story” is what Taylor Hicks has excelled at on the live stage. Whether it is carefully rehearsed sponteneity, or true adlibbing with the audience, he’s learned that craft. I think it goes beyond a craft. His music offers him the comfortable connection with people. I have wondered if Taylor Hicks takes his harmonica with him when he goes out to dinner with friends. He so often pulls it out of his pocket. It seems like a “smooth stone” ….a touchstone to which he is grounded—his music.

I realized how much I don’t know about the shows I go to see and how much Taylor does know about making the stage home. It isn’t that I am just impressed. I am getting to know what Taylor Hicks is really about. Music, yes, but more. He is about reaching out to people with his music…on stage. That is where the connection is easy and real. We may put on the headphones and connect to a degree with the sounds and emotion of the recorded music. On stage it becomes a dialogue of artist, music and listener—the final connection. This is when the man and the music touch its intended receiver and each grow in the experience.

The more I learn about music and Taylor, the more I change my priority list. In Las Vegas in 2007, I watched Taylor come out of his sound check and walk through the busy casino with three uniformed security guards. I thought…how cool is that! He’s getting the rock star treatment! It WAS cool! I am taking a word out of the Taylor Hicks equation….”star.” I am realizing that he did not dream of being a “star.” He aspires to be the best songwriter, musician and entertainer that he possibly can. For many years he has been working very hard, learning, and evolving to make that happen.

It becomes less and less important to me whether or not Taylor Hicks is a singing star topping the charts. It is more important to me that he continues to be a songwriter and working musician living his dream on the live stage. I think that is what’s really important to him too.

The more I know, the more impressed I am at Taylor’s mastery of the art of music and performing. And the stage is where it all comes together. Would Taylor write music only for himself? I guess that artists may do that sometimes. I think Taylor Hicks writes music to share. It is the connection he makes with people. That’s where we come in. The final part of the equation. The circle and connections are complete.

And we each grow in the experience.

(Source credit for quote: Sherry Lippman,

~~SHARE THE SPIRIT! Sign our virtual holiday card for Taylor Hicks. View and add your name at:

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Thursday night, I had the good fortune to see Taylor Hicks and "Grease" in East Lansing. What a fabulous evening! The theatre is gorgeous and the right size so that every seat is good. I had a seat right up front, so I got an excellent view of everything. And when that Teen Angel flies down, he sweeps the audience along in complete delight!

Taylor Hicks set that stage ablaze! I have seen the play on Broadway and he was awesome there. I wondered how the traveling cast and set would compare. The set was a bit less glitzy, but very well done. The new cast is superb, especially Frenchie and of course, Rizzo who remains my favorite "bad girl with a heart" character of all time.

To say Taylor Hicks stole the show is an understatement. The audience was appreciative and responsive to the entire play, but in a somewhat refined manner. When that ice cream cone opened, all bets were off! They LOVED him and rightfully so. Taylor has this role polished to perfection, yet he never loses that genuine audience connection and charm. And when Frenchie turned to him and said "I Voted For You," it brought the house down!

Taylor Hicks new music was not yet introduced, so those lucky theatre goers after the New year will be treated to that extra treasure. If you have not seen "Grease" with Taylor Hicks yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????????

My full recap and other photos can be found on The Taylor Hicks Community on our message board and media board. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Taylor Hicks announces "The Distance"~~

The new sounds of blue-eyed soul…

“The Distance” is the new soul sound of Taylor Hicks, who says he is taking vibes from classic soul artists like Van Morrison and James Taylor.

Taylor recently announced the album title “The Distance” which is being released on the artist’s own recording label, Modern Whomp Records, in collaboration with independent music distributor, Artist To Market. “The Distance” is a record that Taylor has had complete control over—the music, recording and marketing. The title of the single has not been released yet, but often it is the title track from the record. But with Taylor, we know that nothing is ever “business as usual”, so we will just have to wait to see what he has chosen for the single.

And the backup’s not bad either! Taylor hired an A-list of musicians to record this album. Among them are Nathan East, Eric Clapton’s bass man, Doyle Bramhall a Grammy-nominated blues songwriter and musician from Texas and Abe Laborial, Paul McCartney’s drummer. His musical collaborations include renowned Nashville songwriter Gary Nicholson and friends Wynne Christian and Alan Little.

Taylor knows distance, traveling with his band throughout the South as an unknown blue-eyed soul singer. And he has gone the long distance from Birmingham to Broadway with a few hundred cities in between. From the Hollywood stage where he won American Idol in 2006 to his first Modern Whomp Solo Tour in 2007, distance has been a constant companion for Taylor, much of it traveled comfortably for the last couple of years on his own luxury tour bus. He is traveling again with the National Tour of Grease starring as Teen Angel now through May, 2009.

For someone who loves making music on the road, distance is a way of life. Lots of us have traveled the last year with him. I am looking forward to seeing where those distances have taken Taylor Hicks musically. I think this will be a fascinating contrast and comparison of what “the distance” from there to here has done to the heart and soul—the music—of Taylor Hicks.

This promises to be the best of Taylor Hicks. He recently told Blogcritic Sherry Lippman, “I can honestly tell you that it is a great record. I'm really excited about it.” Taylor is truly proud of this work. He has said, “The best is yet to come.”

“The Distance” will be worth the wait!

Source credit for quote: Blogcritic Sherry Lippman

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taylor Hicks and Teen Angel Are Winging It Across America!

If you haven't been hibernating under the nearest rock, you know that Taylor Hicks is making big news flying into cities all over the USA with the national tour of "Grease."  Recreating his starring role as Teen Angel, Taylor opened to smash reviews in Providence, R.I. on December 2.  The audience went wild for him and when he added his harmonica talent at the end of the show, even the cast loved it!  The media and fan reviews are in, and the TV interviews are plentiful.  IT'S A HIT!

What impresses me is the versatility Taylor Hicks shows as a performer.  His onstage presence elicits fantastic appreciation at his solo tours, because of the genuine and high energy music he offers.  He has not trained for acting or made that an early goal, yet he stepped into "Grease" and his sequined suit as easily as one steps into a comfortable pair of slippers, and literally *elevated* himself to a new level, ice cream cone and all.  And he did it with typical Taylor Hicks moxie and style, descending to the Broadway stage via the cone, and now "winging" his way into the hearts of present and new fans in cities everywhere in our nation.

What is the draw Taylor Hicks has?  He is just so darn HAPPY up there!  You can see in every performance, be it on  the concert stage or the theatre stage, that this is one excited guy!  And this oozes out to the audience in buckets, and keeps them returning night after night watching the play, hanging out at stage doors to catch a glimpse or get a smile and autograph.  And they are not disappointed, because Taylor Hicks knows the value of his fans.  He gives them all of himself, onstage and off.  Fans are faint with anticipation, waiting to hear the new song which will be added to the end of the "Grease" performance and chomping at the bit to get his new CD, due out February 10th.  And they are lining up for the shadow tour planned in each venue city, starting at the new year.

"Grease" may be folding on Broadway, but it is ALIVE AND WELL in theatres everywhere across America, and the success is due in large part to its Teen Angel, whose wings draw in and enfold every fan in the house.  


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hairspray with soul...

Or…Taylor Hicks is back in the ice cream cone!

We knew we were in for a fun ride when we were introduced to hairspray with soul...

One of the first things that Taylor Hicks did when he went to Hollywood for the American Idol competition in 2005 was to ask a friend where he could get a haircut. After all, AI was all about hip and cool, gel and such. That first Hollywood haircut would begin an ongoing debate among fans… should Taylor gel or not. Personally, I liked the gel—so Hollywood cool!

We hadn’t seen anything yet. This blue-eyed soul singer from Alabama, who could often be found eating a barbecue sandwich at Dreamland in Birmingham, was about to be transformed into the 1950s Pat Boone-type Teen Angel in Broadway’s Grease! Pat Boone and Taylor Hicks? I’m not seeing it. But there was a much bigger teenage heartthrob in the 1950s. I should know. There was none to compare with Elvis! How many times had we Taylor fans said that Taylor looked like Elvis…the pout…okay, I won’t get sidetracked. The Elvis vibe could work!

Enter the hairspray and the Elvis pompadour and here was the channel for Elvis with soul. Fans checked the dressing room photos carefully. A friend told me she finally had something in common with Taylor…they used the same brand of hairspray.

Broadway’s Teen Angel was wearing white. What devoted Elvis fan could forget the white silver-studded jumpsuit worn by Elvis in Hawaii with a bright red neck scarf. But I’m sidetracked again. Even Taylor said…maybe not the white. He makes everything his own…taylorized. Make it midnight blue and stud it all over with rhinestones and New York’s got a new Teen Angel! And theatre goers packed in every night and had as much fun as could be found anywhere in the summer of 2008!

But this Teen Angel was not just stage eye candy. From the floating ice cream cone came an enticingly smooth, Broadway-rich (not exactly the “Medicated Goo”) voice that would melt the heart of any Beauty School Dropout. And what was already a fun show was about to go off the fun meter. Taylor had worked the crowd before in clubs and bars throughout the South. He had met tougher crowds than the beautiful people on Broadway. Well, who knew the antics that lurked in this soulful Southern singer? Elvis never had so much fun!

The summer ended but the fun didn’t. Taylor Hicks is still Broadway’s harmonica wielding Teen Angel with wings of rhinestones. And he’s packing the hairspray and hitting the road… Hairspray with Soul…has that Broadway ring to it, doesn’t it? There’s a twist. Taylor hands off the hairspray and plays himself at the end—the soul part! He sings the single release from his new album due out in February, 2009! You didn’t really think hairspray would trump soul!

Hairspray with Soul, or as its Broadway producers prefer, The National Tour of Grease is on the road. The show debuts today in Providence, RI!

Don’t miss all the fun! Pack the hairspray and savor the soul!

Grease on Tour:
December 2-7~~Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI
December 9-14~~Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, East Lansing, MI
December 16-21~~Palace Theatre, Columbus OH
December 30-January 4, 2009~~Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis MN
January 6-18 Auditorium Theatre~~Chicago IL
January 20-February 1~~Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati OH
February 3-15~~Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore MD
February 24-March 1~~ Music Hall, Tucson AZ
March 3-8~~Civic Theatre, San Diego CA
March 10-22~~Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles CA
March 24-April 19~~Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco CA
April 21-26~~Keller Auditorium, Portland OR
April 28-May 10~~Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa CA
May 12-30~~5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA

Tickets for most venues are on sale now at:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Measure Of A Musician

It has been frequently asked, “what is the true measure of a man?” But what is considered the true measure of a musician?

Is it the music itself that a musician produces? Lyrics and melodies can make or break a song, and lyrics often are subject to the harshest criticism. They can't be too corny or too mundane, and they also have to grab a listener as something they can relate to. The melodies have to be innovative enough to stand out, yet they have to appeal to the everyday listener so that they will be remembered, hummed in the shower or on the way to work, danced to, and have the hook that will make them played and replayed throughout the day. Does Taylor Hicks’ music measure up to this?

Perhaps it is the passion and dedication that goes into producing music that will be played and replayed. There are musicians who turn out songs to sell or for commercial purposes, and this is the primary goal. Then there are musicians who create music for the pure love of it. Their goal is that their music reflects something deep in their core which they feel is primary and the commercial appeal is the partner, not the driver. I think anyone who has seen or heard
Taylor Hicks perform one of his original songs, or has heard Taylor speak about his creative process is blown away by the genuine core that runs through his music--that deep place within him from where he draws his strength and genius to pour into his production.

Do we measure a musician by his business sense? Is it the shrewd timing of the release, the presentation through the performance in concerts and appearances? Is it setting the stage for generating anticipation, both in new music previews and actual stage presence? In every business there must be some strategy, and this seems best when an artist truly knows his audience. Who knows better than Taylor Hicks how to tease his fans with new music to come, how to present himself on stage, and how to time the previews and release of his music so that anticipation builds high? The introduction of his newest CD offering through his "Grease" role, where he has so many long time and new fans in attendance, is sheer genius.

Another criterion in measuring a musician is how much he gives to his audiences. I can think of very few artists who so give so selflessly of themselves as does Taylor Hicks. Through illness, fatigue, an incredibly demanding tour schedule, even overseas, this man has given and given, and his fans continue to feel him everywhere in their world.

So what is the true measure of a musician? To me, it is all of the above and one thing more. It is the DRIVE and the DEVOTION to a DREAM that constitutes this measurement. Because once you have that Dream and push with the depths of your Soul to fulfill it, all of the above falls into place. To me, Taylor Hicks is the true measure of a artist who goes the distance and beyond...yet never leaves his past behind. It is with him always on his path, both the raw and soulful parts, shining through every corner of his craft and it is the foundation of his musical talent.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful things...

I am thankful for…

A beautiful family who likes my cooking
Caring friends who are always there when it matters
A warm home in a quiet place
A job that pays my bills and lets me travel
Freedoms that let us disagree, prosper, worship, and vote
Technology when I can make it work
People who are tolerant and forgiving

I am thankful when…

A person I don’t know very well says “Good morning” and smiles at me.
A real person answers a business phone.
I read that a child has been given much needed medical care.
Animals have been rescued from abuse.
The evening news shows our troops ARRIVING home at the airport.
A grandchild calls to tell me that he is on the Honor Roll.
Taylor Hicks sings a second encore.

I am thankful that…

We can connect with people far away.
A beautiful kitty adopted me and enriched my life.
Good music never becomes noise.
Family are always family.
I have learned new things this year.
Another Thanksgiving is mine to remember.

I am thankful if…

My jeans still fit after the holidays.
The beautiful snow doesn’t knock out my internet satellite.
The Dow is up and unemployment is down.
My bulbs in the window bloom before Christmas.
The evening news has a happy story.
Someone offers me chocolate.
I have made a small difference in someone’s life, if only for a moment.

To be thankful is to recognize what is important in our hearts and to know how lucky we are to live with the things that make us happy.

May you have your “thankful things” around you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Coming together for the children...

The 2008 Birmingham Angel Tree

When Taylor Hicks was still a struggling young musician, he gave a small donation to a Birmingham charity and said that someday he hoped he could give more. He has given much more and has inspired us all to do the same. Taylor has challenged us: “Together, we really can make a difference.”

This year especially we need to come together to make a difference. This could be a very dismal Christmas for families who have lost their jobs and homes, or are struggling just to feed their family. A bright Christmas is a dim hope. Parents must be preparing their children now for a Christmas without presents. What are they saying to them? What would WE say to our children?

More people every day are being forced to live without so many things that we take for granted—a way to get to work or the doctor, a warm home, or food for their family. If all that went away for us, what would WE do?

We know in this fast-failing economy that many resources are going away for good people with families and pets. What will THEY do?

The Taylor Hicks fan community is coming together to bring smiles to children on Christmas morning. It is the best way to celebrate the true spirit of this holiday season and show our own children the joy of sharing with others.

The Official Soul Patrol and The Taylor Hicks Community are teaming up with the Birmingham Salvation Army to sponsor an online Angel Tree. It works like the Angel Trees you see in the malls, but it is online. You may adopt an Angel and send gifts of new toys and clothing for that child to the Salvation Army in Birmingham. Or you may make a cash or credit card donation in ANY amount online to the Angel Tree project. Gifts will be purchased and delivered to the Salvation Army for our Angels.

The last day that you can adopt an Angel or make a donation is November 30.

Make this a Christmas to remember with presents for children who otherwise will not have them. We CAN make a difference and bring a happy Christmas morning to children in Taylor’s hometown. Adopt an Angel or make a donation to the 2008 Angel Tree!

For more information visit:

And please give generously from your heart!

Coming together for the man, the music and, most importantly, the children!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The music in context~~then and now

A recent audio blog by Taylor Hicks from France teased fans to speculate if the music playing in the background was a snippet from his new album. It made me wonder…

We have had the opportunity to place the Early Works by Taylor in “life context.” Early Works is the music that grounds Taylor to a time when he wasn’t signing autographs at a stage door. It represents the roller coaster of being on stage playing the music he loves and facing reality the morning after of being a struggling singer driving byways in the South looking for the elusive road to success. It is where he has been and the voice he struggled to find.

A very popular song from another Idol, Clay Aiken, says, “To fly I had to want to leave the ground…on my way here.”

The context for the new music is very different. Taylor Hicks has flown. He now lives in the bright light of stardom. He has realized a lifelong dream. He has performed for the masses and on the Broadway stage. When he wrote Early Works, he was looking for recognition. Now he wears a stocking cap for disguise when he jogs.

I have no idea how his creative process works…I can’t say that the muses visit me. But I wonder if the new music will reflect a different context…come from a different place in Taylor’s life? How far away from Early Works will it be, or how close? Is there a style and essence to Taylor’s music that will always be reflected and supersede the life context?

Of course, the new music will have different sounds and different vibes. It will be fresh and contemporary. Still, I am betting on one common and continuing thread in Taylor’s music—intensity. You do not listen to the sounds of Taylor’s music. Taylor’s music, you experience. This is personified in his performances where he doesn’t just sing a song. He becomes the music.

Is Taylor’s music a reflection of the time? Or is Taylor’s music a reflection of who he is, and that doesn’t change from Birmingham to Broadway?

I’m waiting. I’m betting on it not changing!

Place your bets!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Taylor Hicks joins a proud gallery at Pearl River

One year ago…

Taylor Hicks ended his 2007 touring season one year ago in very good company at the Pearl River Resort and Casino near the small hamlet of Philadelphia, MS. Proudly displayed near the box office in the Silverstar Resort along the walkway to the Golden Moon was a very impressive gallery of musical greats who have appeared at Pearl River since the resort opened in the early 1990s. Yes, Taylor’s idol, Ray Charles appeared there! There were over 90 pictures of rock and roll, country, blues, jazz, soul and pop stars. They represented all the musical genres of the late 20th century and the early 21st century. Taylor’s large concert poster was prominently displayed on the corner wall among the greats.

I sat for a long time thinking about the history of this place and the people here. The original venue on this location could have been part of the unglamorous “chitlin’ circuit” of Southern clubs and bars that was so much a part of Taylor’s early career. The long wall of pictures represented artists who were just starting on their journey and some who were getting near the end of their musical careers, as a gray-haired Ray Charles indicated. Some pretty darn good artists preceded Taylor along this road in Central Mississippi.

Music seems to evolve in circles. The folk music in the 60s, with artists like Van Morrison, was a revival of Woody Guthrie’s early folk music. Now, Taylor is bringing back music that we haven’t heard for a long time. Sure, he will always have new music, too. It all works together to make new music that is like the old and the old sound new! The music that spoke to Taylor as a child, now speaks to us…again.

As Taylor closed his 2007 tour here, I thought how appropriate that he was ending it among these great performers including his idol, Brother Ray. As many of these artists first brought music into our lives, Taylor has brought it back for us to enjoy again. I stared at an aging Ray Charles sitting at his piano and the brightly lit concert poster of a young Taylor Hicks. I was struck with the sensation that a torch was being passed.

I hope that Taylor had an opportunity to see his picture in this special company. There was a lot of talent, heart, and soul on that wall. Taylor Hicks belonged there. With his own special style and intensity, he has bought back the good soul music of his predecessors.

I think he makes them proud!
How do you think that Taylor Hicks has carried on the legacy of his idols?

Photo by san~originally published in The Soul Connection, November 2007

To experience more of Taylor's concert at Pearl River Resort visit our Pearl River Thread:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We've come so far...

Taylor has come from a young, hopeful musician recording his first album at 19, to the svelte, hand-jivin’ star of Grease! He has gone abroad, gone jamming, and gone to Broadway. He has parked the old van and has ridden beside the driver on his own luxury tour bus. He’s been in a bubble, a golf cart, and an ice cream cone. He’s been on the 5-story billboard on the corner of 47th Street and Broadway.

We have come from routines that sometimes bordered on boring to dealing with “general admission” and standing in one place much longer than God ever intended. We have boarded planes and trains, driven back roads, gotten lost, found our way and, in the end, always made it to wherever Taylor was. We know whomp, swamp rock, and blue-eyed soul. We read Rolling Stone—don’t tell the kids!

We’ve learned to live in cyberspace. We can upload, download, and overload. We blog, post, and embed. We write html, create videos, store pictures in a bucket, and respond to 253 emails while eating dinner.

What’s next? We went to Broadway to see Taylor as he invited us to do. Now, he is bringing Broadway to many of our hometowns! Spring will bring us new Taylor music. We see exciting prospects for the journey ahead. We’ve said it before…we will be there.

We know one thing for sure…our way will be inspired by Taylor Hicks. His quest for something more in his life has made our lives richer. Someone has said that it is not the destination but the journey that matters.

We’ve come so far. We still have far to go. Taylor recently wrote with the release of Early Works, “Thanks for coming on the ride.”

Thanks, Taylor, for taking us!

What do you see on the road ahead?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Taylor Hicks ~ Community Welcome!

Welcome to our Taylor Hicks blog!

We have a lot of great Taylor Hicks content on our TTHC boards. Our home page offers tons of info and latest news items, and listening to Taylor's music, plus some fabulous media and photos.

Do you like to talk with other Taylor Hicks fans? Our Connections messsage board has many discussion topics and is a board where drama is absent and Taylor is always first! Our members are a chatty group and love to welcome new folks. We have an International section there as well, and also a complete Taylor Timeline of his incredible Journey. And if you need up to date info, our Music and WhompSwamp forums are chock full of valuable data. Come on over and join us for a spell, we are glad to welcome you there :)

Our Media board has the most comprehensive Taylor Hicks library on the net. We have our Take 2 section, which contains media and memories of past concerts. Plus, our Early Taylor Hicks section is a great way to learn more about Taylor Hicks in the early days. Right now in our Early Taylor section, we are featuring an area containing interviews with his friends and former bandmates, media, and lots of cool info. We also have a virtual scrapbook to browse through. This week's interview is very is with Donna Slater of FloraBama and is a wonderful lookback and Taylor's early days at the FB, which are so much a part of his rich musical history.

We hope you will all join us on our boards and feel at home. See you there soon!

Here is a link to the TTHC Main Page and you can get to our message board and media board from here:

Link to Donna Slater Interview:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life
- Auerbach

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
- Victor Hugo

Music is an outburst of the soul.
- Delius

Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate.
-Arnold Bennett

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton