Saturday, October 21, 2006

Clay Aiken's Voice Sells ATDW

MULTIPLE CLAYS -- Amazing_CA has created a beautiful blend that is every fan's dream, a Clay at every turn.

Fan Promotion Continues

Clay Aiken's Voice Sells ATDW

Wherever you go, whatever you do,
I will be right here waiting for you.
Whatever it takes or how my heart breaks,
I will be right here waiting for you.

These lyrics from "Right Here Waiting" describe succinctly the current mood and motion on many Clay Aiken message boards. While our singer is taping TV spots and rehearsing for November and beyond, most fans continue to promote A Thousand Different Ways by sharing the CD with countless friends, relatives, and associates, many of whom have expressed surprise that the new album has been available for a month.

At the same time, the fan base is "right here waiting" ... for Clay to re-emerge onto the scene when his appearances resume in November and beyond.

The relevancy of this blog's diverse overview and the simple, elegant words of RHW collided in a "light bulb moment" Friday afternoon as I was driving home from a weekly teaching gig at East Davidson High School, contentedly listening to ATDW and maintaining the 70 mph pace sandwiched between two humongous eighteen-wheelers.

Click anywhere in Clay Cyberspace, and the experiences of Clayversity members SmartyPantsSuz and Trishcc reflect those of many fans. These Not.Just.Us stories demonstrate that some of the most effective promotion for ATDW is being powered one-on-one by loyal fans.

The Six-Hour Song

SmartyPantsSuz: Today I was sitting in my office and one of the guys I work with walked in, slammed his coke can down on my desk, and said quite loudly, "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!"

He explained that he had just been to Palm Springs and back, about three hours each way, and listened to ATDW the entire trip -- and it was my fault! I bought the iTunes version for him because I thought he would like "Lover All Alone." When he started out on the trip, he figured it would be a good time to listen to the song. He popped in the CD with the intention of skipping to the last song. However, as each song played, he found that he loved them and ended up listening to the entire album for six hours. His final assessment: "This album is AMAZING!"

People just need to hear the CD, and it will sell itself!

Suz also relayed about another incident with a manger in her workplace:

I gave CDs to a number of people at work. Today I received an e-mail back: "I just wanted to drop you a note to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for Clay Aiken's ATDW. I have been listening to it in my car, on my iPod, and on my computer at work. I love this CD. It is incredible. Thank you again and again!"

Clay, by virtue of his amazing talent, is Clayverting them one by one. It just takes a listen!

WITHOUT YOU -- Clickable graphic
by ABeautifulMind/KarenEh Photo

Recipient Cites 'Known' Songs

Trishcc: I gave ATDW to a male co-worker friend that I had Clayverted. He was very glad to receive the CD and remarked that he had listened to some of the songs via the link I had sent him. He was happy to see songs he "knew."

About a week later, this friend stopped by my office to tell me he plays ATDW in his car. He especially enjoys the fact that the whole CD is mellow and really great listening music. And he thanked me profusely.

Fans 'Claying It Forward'

In another incident, Trishcc described the experience of her sister, who has recently taken a hostess/function coordinator position at a popular restaurant catering events such as birthdays, weddings, and other festivities.

At one of the weddings, my sister noticed a beautiful video tribute to the bride and groom. When the groom's segment started, the background music was set to "Measure of a Man."

These are not breakthrough, earth-shattering stories. You never know who or how Clay's music is going to touch someone. That is why "Claying It Forward" is one of the best marketing tools that we as fans can be involved in.

If you want to help Clay in some small way, send ATDW to your local photographer with a small suggestion. Everyone at that restaurant heard Clay's GLORIOUS voice that day. Maybe your local bridal boutique or tux rental shop could use a beautifully sung gift of song suggestions for potential brides and grooms choosing wedding music.

Clay Aiken not only has enthusiastic supporters, but his fan base -- as always -- is creatively involved with promoting his new CD in a thousand different ways.

PHOTO INTERMISSION: This clickable interlude features the talents of four graphic artists, including Katt45 (1), Ambassador of Love (2), Claystruck (3, 4), and Amazing_CA (5).

So what's happening while fans are "right here waiting" and promoting ATDW? This is just a small sample from online and print media:

Ken Barnes Discusses Covers

Reflecting a query that fans and many music industry personnel have raised, Ken Barnes included the following Q&A in his 10/20 USA Today Listen Up blog:

What is the difference in Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart, etc., doing covers, and Clay Aiken?

The difference, as I see it, is Barry and Rod are in the twilight of their careers (or the late innings, if that sounds more polite), at which time, when the desire, the drive, and the market imperatives for producing new material tend to wane, it's a perfectly acceptable (and, commercially speaking, in Barry and Rod's case, brilliant) career move to do covers.

But when you're a young, relatively new artist and have put out exactly one album of new material (and it's closing in on triple platinum-level sales), a covers album isn't such a great idea. It arouses suspicions that the album is just a filler, that you haven't been able to come up with any good new material. That may not be true, and in Clay's case it apparently isn't, as he's stockpiled a fairly sizable amount of new material. It also makes the artist seem prematurely old and past his prime when that, in this instance, is clearly not the case. All in all, a very puzzling career move.

Clay a 'Days' Fan

Apparently, CA is a fan of the NBC show "Days of Our Lives" and, as we have heard, will make an appearance on the show. There is a little hint in the 10/31 issue of Soap Opera Digest:


DAYS is looking to beef up its musical roster. Sources say the show is now trying to woo American Idol alum Clay Aiken. Aiken is reportedly a fan of the show.

Susy McNeil

Duet Partner Speaks Highly of Clay

Suzie McNeil, featured in the 10/18 issue of Entertainment World, described her experience as Clay's duet partner in glowing terms:

What’s McNeil been up to since her Rock Star experience? Well, for starters, she’s about to premiere her first solo CD. Since the release date is still yet to be announced, Suzie’s riding high in the meantime with a duet love song she just recorded for Clay Aiken on his new album A Thousand Different Ways. “I Want to Know What Love is” is a beautifully haunting, soulful rock ballad that makes a serious musical statement with its intense blending of voices and dramatic orchestration and arrangement.

EW: What was your experience with Clay on his album? You’re just such an unlikely pair. What did you think about the whole experience of recording the duet with him?

SM: I was honored to be a part of it. I have always been a fan, an admirer, of his voice. I think vocalists are really drawn to one another because we know what it’s all about and we know what the other person goes through. I’ve always thought that his voice is phenomenal, like world class. I can’t believe this man. I was saying at the party (she attended Aiken’s CD Release party on September 19th) that one extraordinary thing I noticed during my recording experience with him was that the producer was trying to tune or just make sure his vocals were up to scratch, up to industry standard. He was blown away by how “in tune” Clay’s vocals are. I thought that was amazing. As a vocalist I can only aspire to how perfect he is. I actually think I’m pretty good at it too, just not as good as Clay. I admire him so much.

Outstanding Bio on H&HS Web Site

Bios of the 21 members of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities have been posted on the US Dept. of Health & Human Services web site. Many on my mailing list just may need a copy of this outstanding Clay Aiken bio, which begins like this:

Clay Aiken became an international sensation in the wake of his appearance on the hit television show, ‘American Idol.’ In spite of his growing stardom, Aiken has remained steadfast in his desire to remain true to the simple values he learned as a child in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I still live in the town where I grew up,” he says. “I like surrounding myself with people I know and love.” It is this authenticity that his millions of fans have responded to, an almost supernatural earnestness that feels unconventional in the cynical world of today.

... and ends like this:

Mr. Aiken’s upcoming album A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS expresses the many different kinds of love in the world, including his deep love for his fellow man, particularly the littlest ones among us. Where did such a driving need to help others come from? “The need for help!” he answers matter-of-factly. “You know, my mother has always been someone who urged me to help people in need Maybe that’s it. I don’t think it’s something you can learn. It’s just something you do.”

Well worth the read, the bio also appears on the new Clay, the singer's official RCA site where visitors are greeted by a stream of "Without You."

Clickable New Clay Aiken Site

Many fans continue to stream Clay's exclusive interview through Live@Yahoo. The link is also posted on the RCA site.

Golden Vox and Sundrop

Whew, after all that, I believe I'm ready for a Sundrop break! Eons ago, my sister and I survived 8 o'clock classes at East Carolina University with a sugar kick-and-half from breakfasts consisting of a honey bun and our favorite citrus-flavored soft drink. With the passing of years, our consumption has been somewhat reduced, however.

Every Friday after we finish teaching flute and oboe classes at East Davidson High School, Sis and I adjourn to a little country market for our weekly Sundrop break. I had enjoyed listening to ATDW via my iRiver on the 25-mile drive down; so during our post-rehearsal visit, I set the player on "Everything I Do" and handed it to her. I had a feeling the Celtic flavor of this beautiful arrangement would be a winner with the flautist.

Spot on -- Sis loved Clay's interpretation and the exceptional use of flute in EID! There's nothing like a cold Sundrop and the golden vocals of Clay Aiken -- a very special southern combo.

For those who havn't heard of our family's favorite soft drink, I recommend a tour of the Sundrop site. In addition to several interesting recipes -- "Crazy Uncle Randy," "Sundrop Stew," "Sun-Topic Cake," etc. -- all of which are new to me, we just may have located Clay's next bucket hat under the accessories link.

Have a great weekend, Clay Nation!


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1 comment:

WRU said...

I LOVE Sundrop and absolutely LOVE CA ATDW album.

Great blog Caro!