Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Interviews Preview Aiken's Tour

THANKFULNESS -- Clay Aiken, family, friends, and a brand new grandson head my Thanksgiving list for 2007. Graphic design by ABeautifulMind.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Media Promotes Holiday Tour

In an early Thanksgiving gift, Clay Aiken fans were provided insight into the singer's current and future activities during an interview with Maureen McLain aired by WASH-FM Radio Tuesday.

A promo for the 12/2 Christmas in the Heartland Tour (CITH) concert at Warner Theatre in Washington, DC, the interview covers a wide range of topics:

* Fan stories for the CITH will be like a "big Christmas card," introducing various songs throughout the concerts. Clay has personally read 1,200-1,300 stories, ranging from holiday experiences in the 1950's to an observance in the Alaskan wilderness.

* Clay will celebrate Thanksgiving in Raleigh with relatives and extended family. In fact, Clay & Co. were rehearsing around the piano in his living room prior to the interview.

* In December, the special ambassador will take a trip for UNICEF to bring attention to children whose plight doesn't end with the Christmas holidays.

* Clay will go directly from the UNICEF trip to New York for his four-month stint in the Broadway musical "Spamalot."

If you haven't heard the interview, it's a must: Clay on WASH-FM. From all I have read, bonus replays have been the norm.

Fan Reactions Worth Noting

Aikim expressed these thoughts about the interview on the boards Tuesday afternoon. With her permission, they are shared here.

I listened to the interview and just got the total warm fuzzies thinking about Clay, Quiana, Angela and Jesse rehearsing in Clay's living room; maybe with the dogs harmonizing a bit...maybe doing some impromptu riffing...just seems so right.

And speaking of right; how appropriate that Clay will be with his kids (and some adults) on Christmas. While we are all opening Christmas gifts or having dinner or even watching him on TV, he may be comforting a baby or singing to a group of children.

And then he will come home to the lights of Broadway and start a new chapter in his life. It is almost whiplash-inducing, but it is also so Clay. And I am so happy that he is able to satisfy all parts of his soul and do what truly makes him happy.

In a lighter vein, Coopersgirl summed up concerns of many Thanksgiving travelers awaiting Christmas story selection news:

Will someone call Clay and tell him some of us are leaving town tomorrow, going to the homes of people that don't share our obsession/enthusiasm, and we have to know if we are going to get to meet him.

Can you imagine if we find this out around our families that don't share our obsession/enthusiasm? They will lock us up, and we will not get to go to our concerts. Please, for the love of Mikey, EMAIL US!

Here's hoping Team Clay gets Coop's message!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: This clickable interlude of Thanksgiving graphics features the talents of six visual artists, including MNmeesh, photos by PermaSwooned, 1; Clayquebec1, 2; Amazing_CA, photos by PersmaSwooned, 3; ABeautifulMind, 4; and Ambassador of Love, 5.

CITH Tour Opens Next Week

The curtain goes up on Clay's traditional holiday tour -- Christmas in the Heartland -- at the Central Christian Church in Wichita, KS, Monday, Nov. 26. The 20-date schedule is printed below.

Like last year, local musicians will comprise the orchestras. New to this edition will be the fan holiday memories interwoven into the program.

In Famous 'Idol' Runner-Up Gets in the Christmas Spirit, an in-depth interview posted by Kevin Johnson, music critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Clay discusses the tour, "Spamalot," his upcoming CD, and "American Idol":

Claymates are on alert.

Big-voiced Clay Aiken, the object of their affection and the most famous runner-up in "American Idol" history, is on his way to St. Louis to celebrate "Christmas in the Heartland."

"Doing a Christmas tour is kind of my Christmas tradition at this point,'' Aiken says. "I don't even know if I can do a December without doing a Christmas tour.

All in all, an excellent read!

'Co-American Idol Winner'

In advertising the Waukegan concert, the Chicago Tribune has designated Clay the "Co-AI winner":

Talented in their respective arenas, three singers, Clay Aiken, Eddie Levert (of the O'Jays) and Trey Songz, in town this week—on separate bills—could be dangerous to the health of their fans. This trio of musical heartthrobs makes female palms sweat, knees weaken and hearts pulsate.

Clay Aiken

Rendezvous: 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan; $68-$83; 312-559-1212,

Pulse: You know you are the stuff when a whole nation lends its support before you even have a hit. Aiken, the co-"American Idol" winner with Ruben Studdard, has a consortium of young and old voting him to stardom.

Cindilu2's animated graphic heads the complete list of concerts. A clickable version is also included below.

CITH Tour Schedule

11-26-07 Wichita, KS Central Christian Church
11-27-07 St Louis, MO US Fox Theatre
11-28-07 South Bend, IN Morris Center
11-29-07 Waukegan, IL Genesee Theatre
11-30-07 Kalamazoo, MI James W. Miller Auditorium

12-02-07 Washington, DC
Warner Theater
12-04-07 Willkes-Barre, PA The F. M. Kirby Center
12-06-07 New Brunswick, NJ State Theater
12-07-07 Albany, NY The Palace Theater
12-08-07 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid-Hudson Civic Center - Mair Hall

12-09-07 Uncasville, CT
Mohegan Sun

12-11-07 Red Bank, NJ
Count Basie Theatre
12-12-07 Easton, PA State Theatre

12-13-07 Morristown, NJ
Mayo Center for the Performing Arts
12-15-07 Williamsport, PA Community Arts Center
12-16-07 Erie, PA US Erie Civic Center Complex
12-17-07 Cleveland, OH State Theatre, Playhouse Square
12-19-07 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall
12-20-07 Minneapolis, MN Orchestra Hall
12-21-07 Omaha, NE Slosburg Hall/Orpheum Theater
12-22-07 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theatre

Clickable by Cindilu2

Thankfulness 2007

As a new grandmother, you can imagine which little guy heads my Thanksgiving 2007 list. Only two months old, Kai has already entrenched himself into the hearts and lives of family and friends. Thnx to the OFC, his "fan club" is already global.

I am very thankful for the close relationships I have with family and friends, both in real life and in Clay Cyberspace.For health, wealth (I'm still counting on the Publishers Clearing House for this one!), and happiness, I am also grateful.

I appreciate the readers of this blog, many of whom leave thoughtful, interesting comments every time out. Thank you for all the visits this journal receives at the OFC and at Carolina On My Mind.

The fact that I am a working musician and "paying it forward" as a private music teacher with several very talented students brings me much joy.

An enthusiastic sports fan, I am truly thankful -- more like over the moon! -- that college basketball season for the Carolina Tar Heels is finally here!

I am very grateful for Clay Aiken, whose magnificent voice and caring heart affect lives throughout the planet and whose countless communities of fans create special friendships and share support for this man and for each other.

Below are clickables of the opening graphic and a special Thanksgiving card by ABeautifulMind:

Happy Thanksgiving to our favorite singer, his fans, and all families within this special Clay Nation network!

I wish everyone good health, happiness, hope -- and many more years' enjoying the glorious voice on loan from God!


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