Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Taylor Hicks Walks The Red Carpet at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Ceremony

Stars fall on Alabama on today

By Teri Greene

It's being called "Alabama's Grammy Awards."

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame's Induction Banquet and Awards Ceremony only happens twice a year, and it always brings out the stars, said Hall of Fame board executive director David Johnson.

"It takes us a good year to put it all together," Johnson said of the show and celebration. "We have to deal with so many people - and now, they're located all over the country and even out of the country."

This year, those people will include inductees such as Montgomery's own Tommy Shaw, special guests including Kris Kristofferson (who'll be present to honor his longtime keyboardist, inductee Donnie Fritts), and pop music greats from Alabama, among them Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter and the Commodores. Also on hand -- noteworthy contemporary musicians such as Beth Nielsen Chapman, Chris Tompkins, "American Idol" Taylor Hicks and "Nashville Star" winner Angela Hacker.

There will be a red carpet, Johnson said, but, unfortunately for stargazers, it will be indoors, away from the public eye. That may seem strange, but Hall of Fame board member Ralph Burke explained that the set-up is due to the layout of the hotel and convention center.

"It was a challenge to work it out, because the hotel is connected to the convention center," Burke said.

Though that keeps fans from snapping photos of the stars from the rafters, like they do at the Oscars, the public will get a chance to glimpse the "red carpet experience" - just at a later date. Burke said Raycom Media will be on hand to record the stars' entrances, with plans to air footage in the near future. Alabama Public Television also plans to record the show, with a possible air date in April, he said. But you can go to montgomeryadvertiser.com on Friday to see photos from the red carpet, interviews with the inductees and performers as well as performance clips and stories.

Johnson said the show itself is typical of the awards shows seen on television: A few award announcements and acceptance speeches, punctuated by performances by the artists attending.

To get an idea of this event's magnitude, just follow the money. The table hierarchy on the convention center floor - everything from "silver tables," at $1,000 each, to "platinum sponsor tables" at $15,000 - is sold out.

Burke said organizers expect about 3,000 people to attend the program. That includes not only those privileged table guests, who will enjoy a 6 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. dinner in addition to the awards show - which starts at 8 p.m. -- but also regular folks willing to pay $60 for a gallery ticket.

Gallery tickets will get you in for the show (no reception or dinner included) so you can watch the program from the risers. A plus for gallery ticket-holders: You don't have to dress up and you can watch the whole show, Johnson said.

"This is something you don't get to see every day," he said. "We want everyone to have an opportunity to see us honor this state's great music heritage and achievers."



Anonymous said...

I am abig fan of Taylor Hicks. CONGRADULATIONS TAYLOR HICKS. YOU REALLY DESSERVE IT. I THINK YOU ARE A GREAT GUY AND A GREAT PERFORMER. I can't wait to see you in concert again. I hope you come to Staten Island again. YOUR BIG FAN LISA

Anonymous said...

Percy Sledge and the Commodores! How friggin cool is that! Man, Taylor is in his element. Can't wait to hear more!

Anonymous said...

I like the new opening for your site , griz. For Taylor, I wish that tonight's award be only the beginning of more positive recognition and awards. It's a Soul Thing ya know. :)