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.
On sale now! Pick your copy today!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taylor Hicks in Pre-Production For New CD Due Out Feb. 10, 2009

Taylor posted this audio blog from France (where he is doing some pre-production with producer Simon Climie) on his myspace for his new album with some interesting background music! How crisp and clear and hauntingly wonderful it sounds! I hope that we get a full studio recording of a song from the album on or before he debuts it with the Grease show Dec. 2 in Providence, Rhode Island! This new CD is definitely going to rock some ass I do believe!

Audio Blog - Taylor Hicks

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Touring Cast of Grease Announced, Starring Taylor Hicks!

Kate Morgan Chadwick will star as "Frenchy".
She will play the 'Beauty School Dropout' to which Taylor sings to!

According to Broadway.com, the producers of the Tony Award nominated new Broadway production of GREASE announced the full cast today for the national tour of the show, launching at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, RI on December 2, 2008.

As was previously announced, "American Idol" Season Five winner Taylor Hicks will star as "Teen Angel." Taylor Hicks made his debut on Broadway in the role this past summer. He achieved widespread fame in 2006 as a contestant on the hugely successful FOX singing competition "American Idol."

Starring with Taylor Hicks will be Eric Schneider as "Danny" and Emily Padgett as "Sandy." Eric made his Broadway debut in Jersey Boys. His previous credits include Altar Boyz (Off-Broadway) and the national tours of Altar Boyz and The Full Monty. Emily made her Broadway debut in GREASE™, where she understudied the role of Sandy. Her other credits include the national tours of CATS and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Starring as "Rizzo" will be Allie Schulz, a contestant on NBC's "Grease: You're the One That I Want." Allie comes directly from the Broadway company of GREASE.

The tour also stars Scot Patrick Allan as "Eugene," Will Blum as "Roger," Bridie Carroll as "Jan," Kate Morgan Chadwick as "Frenchy," Brian Crum as "Doody," Kelly Felthous as "Marty," Dominic Fortuna as "Vince Fontaine," Erin Henry as "Patty Simcox," Roxie Lucas as "Miss Lynch," David Ruffin as "Kenickie," and Nick Verina as "Sonny."

The ensemble features Joseph Corella, Preston Ellis, Melissa Larsen, Ruby Lewis, Lisa Maietta, Dayla Perkins, Mark Raumaker, Mike Russo, Matthew William Schmidt and Brooke Stone.

This new production of GREASE, which opened on Broadway on Sunday, August 19, 2007, was born out of NBC's landmark talent competition TV series, "Grease: You're The One That I Want." The weekly talent competition drew 90 million viewers, and America voted for its favorite contestants to play the lead roles of Sandy and Danny on Broadway. Directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town), GREASE features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, Danny Zuko's world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n' roll celebration of growin' up, cruisin' with friends and goin' steady. The new production of GREASE features songs from the smash hit 1978 motion picture for the first time ever in a Broadway production including "Sandy," the Academy Award nominated song "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Grease" and "You're the One That I Want" - both of which were #1 hits on the Billboard Top 100 list. These songs will be heard in addition to the Jacobs/Casey songs made famous by the original stage production including "Summer Nights," "Greased Lightnin'" and "We Go Together."

GREASE features scenic design by Tony Award nominee Derek McLane (The Pajama Game), costume design by two-time Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Kiss Me Kate), lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Wicked) and sound design by Brian Ronan (Spring Awakening, Curtains).

GREASE is produced on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian, Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and Terry Allen Kramer by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.

The schedule for the national tour of GREASE is as follows:

- December 2 - 7, 2008 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI
- December 9 - 14, 2008 at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, East Lansing, MI
- December 16 - 21, 2008 at Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH
- December 30, 2008 - January 4, 2009 at the Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
- January 6 - 18, 2009 at the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
- January 20 - February 1, 2009 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, OH
- February 3 - 15, 2009 at the Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, MD
- February 18 - 22, 2009, Omaha Performing Arts Center, Omaha, NE
- February 24 - March 1, 2009 at the Music Hall, Tucson, AZ
- March 3 - 8, 2009 at the Civic Theatre, San Diego, CA
- March 10 - 22, 2009 at the Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
- March 24 - April 19, 2009 at the Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco, CA
- April 21 - 26, 2009 at Keller Auditorium, Portland, OR
- April 28 - May 10, 2009 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA
- May 12 - 30, 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA
- June 2 - 7, 2009 at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, WI
- June 9 - 28, 2009, Fisher Theatre, Detroit, MI

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Taylor Hicks' 'Do I Make You Proud' Hits One Million Views

Check this out. There are over 1 million views of this video of 'Do I Make You Proud' on YouTube. 1,037,404 to be exact. It's one of the most inspirational songs I've ever heard and perfectly accompanies this video which honors our servicemen and women. I never get tired of hearing it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hey, Hey, Simon Fuller Plans Revival of '60s Monkees

Many of you know that I'm a huge Monkees fan (yes that pre-fab group of the 1960s). While not exactly Taylor Hicks news, I just found this unbelievable bit of information from the producer of American Idol (okay there's your Taylor Hicks connection). Seems like Simon Fuller, one of the Executive Producers of the show wants to resurrect The Monkees in a new reincarnation - four 'surfer dudes'. Yep, you heard right. Surfer dudes. Tell me, do we really need this? Was Simon aware that there already was a "New Monkees" that surfaced and failed on TV and on record in 1987? Sigh! Please, if there's a musical God up there, please make this go away before it even surfaces. You can't improve upon the originals - Micky, Peter, Mike and Davy, so don't even try. Anyway, here's the article -

Simon Fuller, the music mogul who created the hit Fox television show “American Idol” and its British equivalent, has now set his sights on another uniquely American institution.

Hey, Hey, he wants to re-launch a modern version of the hit 1960s show, "The Monkees". Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork played the original band and actually parlayed the show into some musical success. Fuller, however, has a few twists in mind.

First off, Fuller wants four hunky surfer dude types to play an updated version of the original boy band. The man behind The Spice Girls, wants the new Monkees to play their own instruments and effectively become a real band.

But unlike the squeaky clean original gang the new group will be much more rock ’n roll. “This will be 'The Monkees' for the 'Gossip Girl' generation and a lot more raunchy,” a source told the UK tab The Sun.

“We are looking for some charismatic lads who are up for a bit of mischief. The show will be much grittier than the original with more sex, drugs and rock ’n roll. Producers are auditioning in California seeking “great, offbeat character types with energy, charisma and humor”.

The original foursome starred as a boy-next-door band in what was an obvious take-off on the popularity of The Beatles. The show was an unexpected hit and ran for five years from 1965 through 1969. Although it was conceived as a scripted drama, it aired as a zany sit-com. The Monkees became so popular they began to cut records and, for the most part, sang and played their own instruments.

"It was a winning formula back then, and if it's done correctly, I can't see why it couldn't happen again. However, it was perfect casting... and, it was perfect music by the likes of Neil Diamond, Carole King, Harry Nilsson and Paul Williams. It's a herculean job, but, I've learned never to say never," said David Salidor who represents Dolenz. The Monkees star still performs and makes appearances regularly.

Fuller, who owns the rights to "The Monkees," attempted to put together a revival show five years ago without success. The new show, which may not use the Monkees name, will launch in here and could also air in the UK.

Source: The Improper

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"The Forge" Entertainment Complex in Birmingham Pushed Back to 2010

The opening date of The Forge, a proposed downtown Birmingham entertainment district, is being pushed back until early 2010, a Memphis developer said.

John Elkington, CEO of Performa Entertainment Real Estate, said a the nation's credit crunch has delayed financing for the project, so will not be able to meet his self-imposed opening deadline of August 2009.

He vowed to Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex board members earlier this year that he the district would open by then.

"I'm very optimistic we'll be able to do this, we're just changing our strategy to target smaller banks," Elkington told board members of the BJCC this week. "We are having good talks with our lenders and I am confident we will get things worked out."

Performa is best known for the Beale Street entertainment district in Memphis. On Wednesday, Elkington said Atlanta comedian Jeff Foxworthy will open a restaurant in the $42 million district, joining previously announced tenants that include nightclubs by "American Idol" winners Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard.

The 136,000-square-foot BJCC entertainment district will include more than two dozen nightclubs, restaurants and retail shops, and will be book-ended by two $20 million hotels on Richard Arrington Boulevard between 22nd and 24th streets North.

Elkington, who earlier this year said he had secured $10 million in equity from an investment firm, said he has brought in another partner putting in an additional $10 million in financing.

Source: AL.COM

Just as well this is pushed back. Taylor will be so busy in the next 12 months with the touring company of Grease and the release, promotion and tour for his new album (due out February 10, 2009), it would be difficult for him to do any sort of promo for his new nightclub. If, indeed, it is opened in 2010, he might have more time to put into opening his 'hot spot'. More details posted as they become available!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Simon Climie, The Songwriter

As many of you know by now, Taylor's working with Simon Climie as his producer on his upcoming CD. I was doing a bit of web surfing, and discovered that Simon co-wrote a song for one of my other "Idols" back when I was just a tyke - David Cassidy. Recently, David put out a new album called "Old Trick New Dog", and one of my favorite songs from that album, "No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross" was co-written by none other than Simon Climie. Now, I don't know if Simon wrote any songs for Taylor's album or whether he and Taylor collaborated on any song, but it's a great pop song - maybe too pop for Taylor, but I love it. Take a listen and tell me what you think...

No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross - David Cassidy

Other songs by Simon Climie can be found here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Taylor Hicks Mention on the American Idol Website

I wonder how much A2M Records or Taylor's publicist had to pay them to have Taylor included in their news section? You know darn well they wouldn't promote him out of the goodness of their heart. Anyway, nice mention, nice picture. I'll take it.

From Christmas to Country, the season five Idols are still making headlines in music news. Billboard reports that Elliott Yamin’s holiday album, My Kind of Holiday, dropped just last week on 10/7. The album reportedly gives some holiday classics the funky, soulful spin for which Elliott is known. Taylor Hicks has aligned with Artist to Market, the artist services company, for the release of his next album, which is due out February 10, 2009. Those who fell in love with Taylor by seeing him perform live on AI will also be glad to know that he is releasing "Whomp at the Warfield," a live DVD taped at a San Francisco venue. Kellie Pickler proves that her successful debut album wasn't just beginner's luck, as her sophomore self-titled CD debuted at #1 on Top Country Albums and #9 on The Billboard 200. Kellie is the sixth artist in the Nielsen SoundScan era to debut at #1 with her first two studio albums. All of her predecessors were female, one of whom was Carrie Underwood. By entering the country chart at #1, Kellie's second album is the 205th chart-topper to come from American Idol.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Re-Rerelease of Taylor Hicks' "Early Works" Now Available On-Line Everywhere

While we wait for Taylors Hicks' brand new album of new music, due out on February 10, 2009, his re-mastered compilation CD "Early Works" will be available everywhere, including all on-line retailers on October 28, 2008, including Amazon ($11.98) and finally Target ($11.98) and Walmart, currently for sale at the bargain basement price of only $9.00.

Let's try and pre-order from Amazon between now and release date to get the sales ranking up. If you already have a copy, buy an extra one and give it to a music lover you know. The remastering makes this collection a MUST have even if you own the two independent albums that this compilation was drawn from, "Under The Radar" and "In Your Time". You can pre-order now, so what are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Album By Taylor Hicks Drops Feb. 10, 2009

Welp, here we go gang! Put on your seatbelts because we're gearing up for the next chapter in the wild ride that is Taylor Hicks! He's off to start pre-production on his new CD in Nice, France, where his producer, Simon Climie, lives. Thursday morning, he gave an interview with Alec Harvey where he was giddy with excitement over his yet unnamed album on A2M Records . New information includes the showcasing of his first single from the album in every show he performs in on the Grease tour. That tour will last from December '08 to early June of '09! Details on the how and where he inserts his song into the show is still unclear, but I suspect it will be an add-on after the Grease performance is finished. Boy, leave it to Taylor to come up with such an innovative and unique marketing tool and intertwining both his role in Grease as Teen Angel and publicizing the CD to a new audience. How does he come up with this stuff? All I know is that you cannot knock him off his feet and he is made from some pretty tough cloth. He knows what he wants and goes out and *GETS* it, despite obstacles and the road blocks that no doubt always come up. I really admire that determination. From now on, I will never second guess his choices regarding his career. He's got it absolutely under control. Next time you have a doubt, direct all questions and concerns to the wholey owned company called Mr. Taylor Hicks, Inc.!

The article reads...

"Taylor Hicks is rarely at a loss for words.

But he's had to contain himself this year, hearing and reading that his 800,000-unit-selling self-titled CD was a one-shot deal. That he wouldn't sign another record deal. That the 2006 "American Idol" was through.

"It's about driven me crazy to hold my tongue," Hicks says. "I've wanted to talk about this for three months, but I've been patient and trying to be smart about choosing my battles."

The battle, it seems, is over.

Hicks, who turned 32 on Tuesday, announced on his birthday that he had signed a deal to release his new CD in February 2009. It'll be on his own Modern Whomp Records label through Artist to Market (A2M), which gives the Birmingham native control over his recording destiny.

"I was offered a plethora of record deals, some traditional record deals and some non-traditional record deals," Hicks says. "It's been very hard not to just hop on the first one that was offered, but during that time when there was a lot more speculation that I might never sign one again, it couldn't have been further from the truth."

He calls the A2M deal "very cutting edge."

"In today's marketplace, having the control as the artist is key," Hicks says. "I'm in control of where I spend my marketing dollars, who I want to record with, and in control of the companies I hire out. It allows me a really focused release. Basically, I am my own record label."

What that means for the upcoming CD is that the bulk of it will be written or co-written by Hicks, who cut his musical teeth in bars in and around Birmingham.

"I've always been a singer-songwriter, and that's going to be able to surface a lot more than it did on the last record," he says. "On the last one, things had to move at such a quick pace that the actual art of songwriting couldn't really be seen on the last record."

Hicks is in pre-production of the CD now, working with producer Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Faith Hill) in the studio.

"I don't have a title for it, yet," Hicks says. "I'm kind of waiting for it to hit me."

Announcement of the new record deal comes just after Hicks' stint in the Broadway production of "Grease" comes to an end, and just before he hits the road as that show's Teen Angel for the national tour beginning Dec. 1.

"It was such a success and such a great way for me to learn a new craft," Hicks says of his Broadway debut. "I feel like if I'm going to have longevity in the entertainment industry, I've got to cover all aspects. I have to reinvent myself."
The national tour of "Grease" will offer a unique hybrid for Hicks, he says.

"We're going to cross-promote this record with the 'Grease' tour," he says. "I'll be allowed to perform my single in the show on tour."

Most importantly, it offers fans a chance to experience Hicks live, which he says is crucial to his success.

"There's such a live aspect to me," he says. "You put me on the radio, and you can't see me, you can't feel me, you can't touch me, so it's easy to count me out in that regard. On the road, that's where you really make your mark and have your longevity."

So don't count Hicks out just yet. He's only getting started, he says, and he doesn't pay attention to the naysayers.

"I hear those things, but I'm not into the talk, I'm into the walk," he says.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taylor Hicks Exclusively Partners With A2M! Album Due Out February 2009

According to Sys-Con Taylor will be releasing his BRAND NEW SPANKING KICK ASS (I know, I'm biased! Heh!) CD on February 10, 2009!!! Yes, friends, it looks like the long wait is just about over! Excuse me while I go jump around like a friggin' lunatic! He has tapped Simon Climie to produce the album. He has worked with legends such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and BB King. Simon Climie also produced Michael McDonald's new CD "Soul Speak". I have this album and love it!! It's such a soulful album and beautifully produced! If Taylor's new CD sounds *anything* like 'Soul Speak', we're in for something really special IMO!! Billboard has a headline about this newly inked deal as well! More news to come!

Birthday Boy Hicks Signs Cutting Edge Deal Unlike Any Other Idol

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- He's "Takin' It to the Streets" on "American Idol" -- now Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks will be takin' it more directly to the people. Celebrating his birthday today, Hicks has tapped the independent artist services company Artist To Market (A2M) to release his much-buzzed-about new album, due in stores on February 10, 2009. The platinum-selling singer-songwriter will be releasing the new title with complete control of direction and ownership of his masters on his solely owned and operated, Modern Whomp Records label. Hicks is currently in the studio with producer Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Faith Hill).

"In this digital age, when artists can connect more directly with audiences, this is a partnership that makes a lot of sense," says Hicks. "I'm very much enjoying being in the studio with Simon working on the new album and look forward to releasing it through A2M early next year."

"We at A2M are very excited to be working with the team at Modern Whomp Records on this release," said Paul Ignasinski, General Manager of A2M. "As the industry continues to evolve, it's exciting to see significant artists approach the marketplace in a new way, and truly take control over their own destiny. This is exactly why A2M was built in the first place -- to provide a service platform for these artists to prosper on their own terms."

During the last two years, Taylor Hicks has seen his self-titled Arista debut album certified platinum, performed with the likes of Willie Nelson, Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers and Jackson Browne, toured through Asia, penned the brisk-selling Random House memoir Heart Full of Soul, spent time in NY this past summer for his three-month Broadway debut as "Teen Angel" in Grease, and will take Grease on a national tour beginning December 1.

In August Hicks' Modern Whomp Records released Early Works (a reissue compilation of his two independent albums, In Your Time and Under the Radar) through the Welk Music Group. Hicks is also planning the release of Whomp at the Warfield, a DVD showcasing a live performance by Hicks and his band at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

About Artist To Market Distribution:

Launched in 2005, Artist To Market Distribution (A2M) is an independent music distributor and artist services company designed to work directly with artists, labels, and content owners to streamline the supply chain, provide flexible service solutions, and deliver new product to the marketplace at a lower cost. Over the past two years A2M has partnered with a diverse group of platinum and multi-platinum artists including Dolly Parton, Tracy Lawrence, Tommy Lee, John Michael Montgomery, Sinead O'Connor, Unwritten Law, and Tracy Byrd, in addition to critically-acclaimed newcomers, The Cool Kids. More information can be found at http://www.artist2market.com.

SOURCE Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks' "Early Works" CD Now Available At Best Buy

Best Buy has a very nice endorsement for Taylor's compilation CD "Early Works" which you can read below. It will available Oct. 28 at this store as well as most other retail outlets and is available for pre-order here!

"...Early Works: Release Notes: Muze

Taylor Hicks was performing and recording music long before his glory days on AMERICAN IDOL, as fans who have sought out his two independent releases (1997's IN YOUR TIME and 2005's UNDER THE RADAR) already know. EARLY WORKS does Hicks fans the world over a great service by bringing most of the tracks from those albums together under one cover. These performances brim with the same soulful, passionate intensity that made the man an international star (just listen to "Hold On to Your Love" and "Heart and Soul," among others), making this set a must for devotees."

And finally, a very happy birthday to Taylor Hicks, who turns 32 today!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Soul Lounge is Now Open at Taylor Hicks DOT Com

If you haven't registered or even seen Taylor's newly renovated 'home', check it out at taylorhicks.com. It's coming along really nicely and has a great message board he calls the "Soul Lounge" - sorta like a melting pot for all this fans in cyberspace. Lots of great fans in there so check it out if you haven't yet.