Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ "View from my wine glass"

I stepped into Twitter like Taylor Hicks stepped onto Broadway—easing in just to get my feet wet.

Taylor says of Broadway, “Never in a million years did I think I’d be starring on Broadway. It is a way to get my feet wet in a small role.” He did all right on Broadway and beyond.

Never in a million years did I think I’d have Tweet Deck search columns spread across my computer screen looking at multiple accounts and, of course, following Taylor Hicks. I think I’m doing all right.

Taylor Hicks uses Twitter—the world uses Twitter.

Early Saturday morning as Chile reeled in a deadly earthquate, Taylor friend and fellow Idol, Elliott Yamin, tweeted from Chile that he was in the middle of the earthquake and that there was chaos in the streets.

Only a couple of hours later and a continent away, Taylor tweeted as he was returning home in Milwaukee in the wee hours:

“just got home from hanging with some really talented cool and nice people. i am blessed.”

After his evening performance in “Grease,” Taylor had said he would be hanging out with Rascal Flatts.

The connections we can make now are mind-boggling. Taylor tweets almost every day often with pictures included by Twitpic.

Dinner in Washington, DC last week brought a stunning view of the Capital:

“View from my wine glass. I am blessed.”

For fans who follow the artist, it is like going along and being involved in a small way in his daily life.

For someone who only has one active email address, Twitter was an uncertain step into the big world. I was still trying to organize emails and find things on my desktop. I was still learning to navigate websites, download from sendspace, and setup online banking. iTunes, YouTube , and weii games were rarely on my radar.

I made the big jump onto Broadway though, and found it really was easy to set up a twitter account. I just wanted to follow Taylor Hicks. That’s what you do. Find people you are interested in and “follow” them and you receive their tweets. They might even “follow” you back. No, Taylor didn’t follow me back.

As things sometimes do, my twitter took on wings and flew. There were apps like Tweet Deck where I could watch tweets from different people or accounts. I could RT (retweet) tweets if I liked them so that more people would read them. If I found a picture, I could send it with Twitpic. For an important article or review, I could include the url link. Twitter would even squash the url so that it didn’t take up too much of the precious 140 characters of each tweet. Yes, you have to be succinct. Okay.

I could bring attention to things I wanted to. There was a certain power in the connection, not that people were waiting for my tweets, but it did seem like a “voice” that reached further than I had ever imagined.

I received surprises. When a picture of Taylor and friends in the White House appeared (because “Taylor Hicks” was in the photographer’s tweet) I started a search column for that photographer, got any other tweets he was sending, and found out about him. That picture was quickly circulated in Taylor world even though it started with a White House photographer. I kept my search column up and “followed” for a few hours. Late that evening, he tweeted a picture of the White House from outside with, “Good night from the White House.” It was rather surreal to see our nation’s house at that very moment. And rather cool.

I searched "Elliott Yamin" last tonight and found out that he was safe and on a bus making his way to Santiago, Chile, tweeting along the way. That was surreal too—how easy it was to find his latest words and go back and read his tweets during the harrowing experience.

Twitter is a place to learn, share, and connect. A new interview or picture of Taylor is quickly tweeted and RT and spreads out like ripples on a lake. It goes to one level of followers, then to their followers, and so on.

It’s easy to start, and it can be whatever you want to make it.

Taylor started very simply with, “Hello, is this thing on” in California. Where else? Now he’s tweeting in the moment with pictures as well as purpose. He was one of the first to appeal for help for Haiti.

Twitter can be a lot of things, just like our dang-fangled computers! You should check out how it can make your life brighter, broader and connected!

Life is all about connections. Twitter gives you the ultimate umbilical cord to the world.

You might start with a connection that I can highly recommend.

Follow TaylorRHicks on Twitter.

After all, TaylorRHicks is on the Twitter Wall of Fame! Now, that’s another whole story!

My Tweet Deck is beeping…

From Milwaukee last week: "Elvis in snow storm."

Friday, February 19, 2010

I Knew I Needed that IPhone !!

Being a Taylor Hicks Fan has
Gone High Tech !!


If you have been fighting that urge to own one of Apple's I-Phones, this may make it irresistable. Taylor Hicks is the newest artist with his very own app. I've had my eye on the white 3GS ... and if all else fails, I can always wrestle my 19 year old son's away from him.

To learn more about the app, and to purchase it, click on the graphic above, or visit Taylor's application home page.

The app is only .99 cents to purchase (not counting the tiny cost of that new IPhone I NEED now). Blackberry had better get moving ...

If you haven't discovered ILike yet, you will find another place to stream Taylor's music. It interfaces with MySpace and ITunes. Members can create their own playlists, either from their Itunes library, or combining their favorites with some from other listeners. Any time I have my computer and Itunes up, anyone can listen to my Taylor playlist. It is only for listening, there is not any file sharing, unless an artist releases their own work.

So even if you aren't ready to run out and grab a new IPhone yet, you will find lots to do at ILike. Besides the music, there are games, and any time your favorite artist updates their profile, you are notified.

We have another great way to enjoy Taylor's music, and even better, another way to share his music to new fans.

Enjoy !

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ On my musical radar--Who? and What?

Who knew what would show up on my musical radar this week?

Classic rock legends, The Who, rocked the world as they entertained at halftime for the Super Bowl. I was with them heart and soul when I heard the familiar sounds of a harmonica. I excitedly asked the twitter community, “When was the last time you heard a harmonica at Super Bowl halftime?”

A fellow tweeter, Taylorsezine, who knows a thing or two about music, tweeted back the harmonica stats and said “…the ghost of The Who past LIVES!!!”

The blogging community review was immediate and widely mixed with its reaction to the performance of the rock superstars. The Lefsetz Letter instantly judged that “The Who just killed classic rock.” Others said “Great.” The debate went on. Even one reviewer suggested all that was needed was to add the question mark.

The Who?

Then a very unexpected bleep flew onto my radar. I was introduced to hard core metal this week when a young college student wrote an essay about his favorite music genre—one not in the mainstream. No kidding.

Of course, I thought he was talking about some kind of new “heavy metal,” which I had actually heard of. No, this was definitely not the heavy metal of the late 20th century.

In the ensuing discussion after I had read his composition, other students eagerly joined in, one calling it “screamo” music since the musicians scream. I asked if there were actually lyrics, and they said yes, if you could understand them, or wanted to. They seemed to mumble something about bad language. Okay, that’s not new in music.

He explained also that hardcore metal concerts featured hardcore dancing where attendees take fake swings at each other in aggressive “dance” moves that often ended up in fights and brawls.


If someone accidentally gets hit, well, it’s what you expect. One popular dance move is throwing your arms out and if someone is in the way…well, it’s the dance. “It’s fun. We meet lots of people and make friends.”

Everyone at the concert rushes the stage. I said that I had stood at the stage and had to stand my ground. It was painfully evident that they were not impressed and that I had been no where near a stage like theirs and “standing my ground” was no where near hardcore metal’s “standing your ground.”

Since most young students today learn by laptop, I asked for him to show me hardcore metal on his laptop…in a few seconds we were on YouTube and I was listening to, yes, “screamo” music. “There is a beat,” I lamely commented. And there was.

These were not young people with lots of body piercings and green hair.

Punk rock is so totally passé.

These were intelligent young people working on their education.

Where have I been?

Then I received an email with the link to a promotion with the picture of Taylor Hicks on the cover of a “Hot Metal” Hohner harmonica for sale.

Now we are talking “ metal.”

Taylor Hicks playing a screaming harmonica is hardcore metal that I can embrace! I have been there at the stage and heard that kind of metal…

Now, I know that I should have some kind of lofty and worthwhile point to all of this. I don’t.

It was just an interesting week of extremes on my musical radar…from classic to not so.

Speaking of radar…there was still a lot of snow on the radar.

Just ask Taylor Hicks.

Taylor and Hohner have been friends for years:

The Taylor Hicks “Hot Metal” Hohner harmonica is available here:
Photo credit:

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Ghost of The National Theatre...

Who will welcome Taylor Hicks and the cast of “Grease” as they move into the National Theatre in Washington, D. C., February 9-21?

Could it be the eerie apparition of John Edward McCullough?

The theatre’s website weaves a ghostly tale:

“EVERY RESPECTABLE THEATRE has a venerable ghost, and the National Theatre in Washington, DC is no exception.

“The shade of Actor John Edward McCullough, a popular American thespian of the 1800's, is said to roam the premises of the theatre in the dark of night.

“No longer thirsting for an audience's applause, the once famed star performer has taken on the lonely role of ghostly custodian and spectral overseer, checking to be sure that all is in readiness for the next performance.”

Legend says that John McCullough, a classic Shakespearian actor, fell into an argument with a fellow thespian over the attentions of an attractive actress. The confrontation led to shots being fired. John McCullough was dead, and theatre lore says he was buried in the dirt beneath the stage.

“SOON AFTER HIS DEATH, strange sightings of McCullough's restless spirit began. On the opening night of a new show, the silent ghost was reportedly glimpsed in various parts of the house, checking the props, scanning the scenery -- roaming abroad to make certain that all was in order before the curtain rose. Some reports have the apparition garbed as Hamlet, the first role he ever played in Washington. Others claimed to have seen the phantom attired for his most famous role, the ill-fated Roman centurion, Virginius.”

There is much more to the ghostly tale of the ill-fated John McCullough. Reported sightings place him roaming the stage and sitting in the audience. There is also a 1984 update when a rusty pistol, circa 1850, turned up in the dirt beneath the stage!

Might Taylor have company in the ice cream cone? Might theatre goers witness a new sighting?

Besides its sinister side, The National Theatre has a storied history with every American President since Andrew Jackson attending performances there. The Theatre’s website announces: “American Presidents attend the National free.”

“This historic playhouse was founded on December 7, 1835, by William Corcoran and other prominent citizens who wanted the national capital to have a first-rate theater. The theater's initial production was Man of the World. The theater has been in almost continuous operation since, at the same Pennsylvania Avenue location a few blocks from the White House. …The structure has been rebuilt several times, including partial reconstructions after five fires in the 19th century. The current building, at 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, was constructed in 1923, opening in September of that year.” (From Wikipedia)

Despite its name, The National Theatre is not a governmentally funded endeavor; instead, it is funded and operated by a private nonprofit organization.

Taylor and the cast of “Grease” will follow in the footsteps of greatness as the alumni of the National is a megastar roster. Just a few on the who’s who list includes: Pearl Bailey, Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore and John Barrymore, Warren Beatty, Sarah Bernhardt, Claire Bloom, George M. Cohan, Claudette Colbert, Lillian Gish, Julie Harris, Rex Harrison, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, Eartha Kitt, Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Laurence Olivier, Annie Oakley, Robert Redford, Will Rogers, Rosalind Russell, George C. Scott, Sting, and Jessica Tandy. Winston Churchill once spoke from the stage.

As the people in the Washington area dig out from this weekend’s snowstorm, they can celebrate at The National Theatre with Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel, Ace Young as Danny, and the whole cast of “Grease” in the fun Fifties musical party!

Might they see the shade of John McCullough hand jivin'!

Grease” opens Tuesday, February 9th and plays through February 21st at The National Theatre just down the street from the White House.

For more about the ghost of The National Theatre, visit the website:

Join Taylor Hicks, the cast of “Grease,” and “others” for all the fun!