Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ The Top Ten for 2010!

2010 was a good year for Taylor Hicks from his kick ass Summer Tour to raising money for cancer research to singing for Clint Eastwood.

I said I wouldn’t do it. It’s that tradition—looking back before we look forward.

I did reflect on the past year, however, and decided on a Top Ten List.

My pick of the Top Ten Taylor Hicks Experiences of 2010:

10~ Closing of successful National Tour of “Grease”
Teen Angel’s portrait hangs in the lobby of the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA
(Photo by san)

After almost two years in the ice cream cone as Teen Angel, Taylor’s last performance in Cleveland, Ohio, as the mentor for beauty school dropout, Frenchy, marked a closing and a new beginning. He got back on the road that started this journey…his own brand of unique music and stage performances.

9~~New connections with fans
A laid-back Taylor answers “fly-by” questions from fans on UStream.
(Screencap by Cath from UStream)

With an increased social networking presence and behind the scenes video productions, Taylor upped his connection with fans. He became a consistent twitter presence, staged several UStream online live chats, and produced “Riding Shotgun with Taylor Hicks” taking fans behind the scenes of his travels and appearances. His most frequent tweet: “In the twair!!!”

8~~Hometown Holiday Show at WorkPlay for fans and Toys for Tots program
Taylor shares a “dream of a lifetime” with young Carson James, opening for him at WorkPlay. (photo by ABC TV Birmingham)

Billed as Taylor’s Hometown Holiday Show, a sold out WorkPlay was also an effort on behalf of the Marine’s Toys for Tots program as fans brought a mountain of toys to the show. The concert opened with an outstanding performance by teen-aged Carson James, and fellow Birmingham Idol, Ruben Studdard joined Taylor for a funky duet of “Woman’s Got to Have It.”

7~~Six shows in two days at Epcot Center to diverse audience
Taylor and the band make Epcot a magic kingdom for six shows.
(photo by san)

In a kind of last hurrah for the 2010 concerts, Taylor didn’t disappoint fans who traveled from as far away and the United Kingdom to see six shows in two days at the Disney venue in Orlando, Florida. Every show was a little different. Most fans happily returned for all six shows and Park visitors were treated to the unique talents of Taylor Hicks.

6 ~~New music on the set list

Taylor and band kill it with “Bulletproof” that debuted at The Highline Ballroom in New York City. (Photo by Joe Marzullo)

What seemed like a most unlikely choice at first listen, “Bulletproof” blasted onto the stage at the opening of the 2010 Summer Tour in New York City and never backed off its instant popularity. “Scarlet Begonias” made its debut at Epcot Center. “Back to Louisiana,” “Stay With Me,” “Love the One You’re With,” “Not Fade Away,” and “Running on Empty,” were only some of the additions or tags in 2010.

5 ~~“Kick ass” tour band
With rock star glam and sound, Taylor and kick ass band rock FOX and Friends plaza in NYC. (photo from FOX and Friends)

Old friends and new joined the Taylor touring band of 2010. Brian Less, long time friend and band member, became his music manager. Brian, Jeff Lopez and Sam Gunderson were part of the pre-Idol Taylor Hicks Band. Brandon Peeples, Leif Bondarenko, and the late Matt Kimbrell rounded out what Taylor himself described as a “kick ass” band. They lived up to the name.

4~~ A voice for the Gulf Coast aid in concert and promos

A photo shoot on the Alabama beach produces stunning pictures of Taylor in the sand. (Photo from taylorhicks.ning)

Taylor Hicks became the voice of Alabama tourism and gained national attention with interviews and a blog on Larry King Live blog. He made a promo from the beach in Alabama for the return of tourism and appeared in a huge star-studded free concert at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, MS for Gulf Coast aid.

3~~Performance of “Gran Torino” for Clint Eastwood at Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival

Taylor performs Gran Torino: “…Beats the lonely rhythm all night long.”
(photo from MJSBigBlog)

It was a one night charity appearance honoring film makers, particularly Clint Eastwood on a Sunday evening. Then a somewhat excited tweet from Taylor said he had been asked by Clint Eastwood personally to sing the title song from his highly acclaimed movie about a troubled Detroit, “Gran Torino.” It quickly became a night to remember. Someone in the audience tweeted the next day: “@TTHC @TaylorRHicks one of the highlights of the night, he owned the song, and the audience.”

2~~ Charity appearances for good causes
Taylor supports cancer research at Dawn of a Dream Gala for cancer research
(photo by RagsQueen)

Taylor met children who had little to smile about, but he entertained them and raised money to help their plight. He supported ten different charities with appearances and performances. He spoke often this year about how blessed he was. In giving back to causes and communities, Taylor went beyond the music and shared his name, his time, and his heart in making a difference. This should perhaps be Number 1 on this list!

1~~ 2010 Summer Tour
A set up stage waits in Laughlin, NV
(Photo by san)

It was the little tour that started quietly and grew into a big road trip that rolled across the country to 25 cities in many sold out venues in about two months ending with the appearance at Epcot Center. On “the monster” of a tour bus, Taylor and band opened in New York City at the Highline Ballroom on July 25th. They crisscrossed the country from New England to the gold hills of California and the beach in Florida.

An integral part of each concert was his tribute to our military with his song, “19.” He spoke for all of us in thanking our troops and received standing ovations for this emotional story of “an American hero.”

New music, new band, and the “same old” Taylor Hicks passion for his music made the shows of the Summer Tour Number One on our 2010 events to remember list!

Taylor Hicks once again pushed the entertainment envelope with new music, new connections, and new possibilities. His TV appearances on Celebrity Ghost Stories and Don’t Forget the Lyrics (for charity) led to talk of further TV and movie work.

His “voice” reached new audiences and entertainment communities, championed new causes, and honored our military men and women. He became a serious spokesperson and fundraiser.

He was always a serious musician!

2010 was a good year.

2011? Taylor Hicks will find a way to push the envelope more, launch new endeavors, and make 2011 even better than 2010.

This IS a marathon…one year at a time!
Taylor at Epcot by a little smart phone that was smart enough to know who to take a picture of!
(photo by san)

While I’m sure not everyone will agree with my choices or their order (I couldn’t agree with myself and even changed the order at the last minute!), I looked at the possible effect on Taylor’s career and what he perhaps considered important, and also how fans seemed to react to the events. There were certainly other memorable moments—he sang the National Anthem, returned to the American Idol Finale, visited the White House, and watched snow pile up and flood waters rise. It was an interesting year!

What’s Number One on YOUR 2010 Top Ten list?

Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy and music-filled New Year!

The Taylor Hicks Community

For a complete Timeline of Taylor events in 2010, visit out Timeline of the Journey on Connections Anthology:

Our boards began this Timeline in 2006 and several people have worked to maintain it as a chronological history of the Taylor journey. Thank you for reposting only the link to it.

Thanks to all who share their photos!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Taylor Hicks~~Just for Fun!!! Take our 2010 Favorites Poll!!

2010 with Taylor Hicks was a fun year!!! Take our poll of "important" questions about your favorites!!!

It's unscientific, randomly chosen answers. It's our first ever TTHC blog poll!

It's only for FUN!

Speak out about your choices!! What was your favorite Taylor shirt? I know...there was also the white linen on the beach...the brown checked many choices, so little space!

Here are the links to some of the choices if you want to take a look:

Favorite tweet pix: Never a dull moment on Music Row!! I'm at Mar-a-Largo at a wedding. This Don and I in his bar!! Joe Cocker ! It was an honor! What a great event! Benefitting an amazing museum.

Favorite Food Display Rock Shrimp Tempura, NOBU, LA Best Drink Ever !! Gates in KC !! Dinner! Coarsegold, CA

Favorite performance by Taylor
(randomly chosen video of performance)

"19" at Bay City MI

"The Fall" Bay Shore, New York

"Bulletproof" Highline Ballroom, New York City

“Back to Louisiana” Bay Shore, New York


Thanks to Cath for helping to compile poll and links.
(Tell her if you find "bugs"! )


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ The Perfect Tree...

From his autobiography, “Heart Full of Soul,” Taylor Hicks writes:

“My first memory is picture-perfect—like a postcard I wish someone had sent me.

“It was Christmastime, and I remember that my mother and I were visiting for the holidays with my aunt Katherine and Uncle Dan at their farm in Cullman, Alabama. At the time I must have been four years old. Aunt Katherine and Uncle Dan were family on my mother’s side, and they lived out in the country in a big old white farmhouse. The place was peaceful and welcoming, surrounded by a pretty peach orchard and more cattle than I’d ever seen before.

“…that December the farm had the look of a real-life winter wonderland. Strangely, though, it’s not our Christmas morning I vividly recall—or whatever presents Santa happened to leave under the tree.

“Instead, the thing I’ll never forget is the complete thrill of searching for our family Christmas tree a few days earlier. The air was frigid that day and the snow was falling gently and quietly. I recall my mother bundling me up in a winter coat. Then—along with the rest of the family—the two of us went running out into all that snow. I remember how thrilling it felt to heading off into the gorgeous frozen pine forest, which was now totally draped in white—all of us in hot pursuit of the same thing, the absolutely perfect tree.”

I remember country Christmases. My older brother once wrote about trudging through the snow—see, it does snow in Kentucky but not a lot—with our father to cut a tree. There were few pine forests, so it was some kind of indescribable evergreen. He told of my mother standing on the porch with disbelief, and perhaps a little disdain, in her eyes as they dragged behind them a tree that could only be described as the “first Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

Hickory nuts were collected for a Christmas fruit cake. There were large peppermint sticks which I still insist that my children and grandchildren get in their stockings. I’m sure there were some presents but I don’t remember them except for one…a metal clown bank. When you pressed on it, its tongue stuck out to collect coins (pennies, I’m sure) and drop them in the bank. I remember going around to all the relatives for a few pennies. A real treat were oranges sent from an aunt in Michigan.

Christmas is all about family.

I wish you the perfect Christmas tree—the Taylor kind, or the Charlie Brown kind!

They were both perfect!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and those with whom you share this beautiful time!

The Taylor Hicks Community

“Heart Full of Soul” by Taylor Hicks, Random House, 2007.
Available on

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Taylor Hicks at WorkPlay~~Paying the Dream Forward...

Funny how things come together in a day.

I was having an online conversation this morning about angels unaware and when and where they may be.

And Elizabeth Edwards died.

We knew it was coming. The evening news had just said that her treatment was no longer working and she would only have weeks.

She only had hours.

But this is not about dying. This is about living.

In reviewing her life and words, the evening news quoted her as saying when she knew this was terminal that she would “own the days until then.”

She spoke candidly: “The days of our lives for all of us are numbered.”

Then I saw the unexpected interview from Birmingham with Taylor and Carson on ABC3340.

The young musician and cancer survivor, Carson James, will open for Taylor Hicks Thursday night at WorkPlay. ABC3340 called it “The chance of a lifetime to play along side an Idol,” for the Pelham, Al, teenager.

Taylor spoke about his own struggle in being heard:

“I know what it feels like to try to get your music out there, and I also know how hard it is to get your music out there and have it heard.”

Carson, who is battling stage-four bone cancer, stays positive:

“I’m just feeding my soul and playing music and making the most of my life that I actually can.”

Battles lost, battles won…

When the 22-year-old Taylor Hicks met the angel in the yellow dress which he recounted recently on Biography Channel, his life was ahead of him. And it was his to live.

Question was, how would he live it?

Which brings me to WorkPlay, 2010!

Taylor Hicks has come a long way since the first time he played at WorkPlay. Carson James is just starting his musical journey. But they share the stage and share a dream…that their music be heard!

It seems to me like Taylor Hicks is paying the dream forward!

If the message of the angel in the yellow dress was for Taylor to make changes, he made some good ones. He continues to live the dream…and share it!

I wish that I could fight my battles with the smile and grace of Elizabeth Edwards.

And Carson James.

Battles lost, battles won…

Safe travels to all going to Birmingham for WorkPlay! Enjoy it like it is the last one—it might be in that building.

And know that you are sharing a dream…and a battle won!

May we all fight our battles with a smile and with the sound of good music!

Taylor and Carson, you all ROCK!

Know that my heart will be in B’ham!


ABC3340 Interview with Carson James and Taylor Hicks:
Screencap by Cath2008.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Lady in the Yellow Dress

Who knows where Angels tread or life changers dwell?

Taylor Hicks said he met a life changer in the middle of the night in an eerie Savannah home in 2002.

It is not the event; it is what we make of it.

Taylor told his haunting story on Celebrity Ghost Stories on Biography Channel Saturday night. He said the strange disturbance in the middle of the night was a life changer for him, and the Lady in the yellow dress was a Guardian Angel looking over him sending a message to start making life changes.

It was because he made it so.

Gary Zukav says in “Seat of the Soul,” “Feel not what your mind tells you, but what your heart tells you. Rather than serve the fake gods of your mind, serve your heart.”

Serve your heart.

Taylor knew where his heart was. It was “music or the highway.”

It may be that the haunting is not important but what he did with what came to him is.

What do we do with what life gives us? Good or bad.

What do we do with negativity? Does it consume us?

What do we do with joy? Do we revel in it or let something creep in to destroy it?

Do we serve our mind, or do we serve our heart?


It was three years after Taylor’s meeting with the Lady in the yellow dress that he auditioned for American Idol. Life changers don’t happen overnight. They may start overnight, as this one did in Savannah.

They have to start somewhere, sometime. WE have to start them.

WE make life changers…just as Taylor Hicks decided to.

After the fretful night, that New Year’s morning Taylor made a choice…

“And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
~~Robert Frost

And that has made all the difference.

We choose our roads every day.

Where will your road take you today?

It makes a difference.

The Lady in the yellow dress is real if we make her so.

Just musings here on a Sunday morning…

Gypsee’s capture:

Taylor Hicks_Celebrity Ghost Stories_12-4-10 from TTHC_Media on Vimeo.

Quote from: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, Mountain Interval, 1920.
Taylor Hicks on Celebrity Ghost Stories Screencap by Gypsee44.