Friday, August 28, 2009

Tweets, Pic Excite Clay Aiken Fans

Clay in meeting with Decca A&R executive. Graphic by cindilu2.

Decca Chapter Blasts Off

Tweets, Pic Energize Clay Nation

What a difference a day makes in the life of a Clay Aiken fan!

Down time for the Singer Man's fans is generally spent reminiscing about past performances; voting, chatting, streaming; sharing favorite videos, photos, graphics, even recipes. "Looking back" blogs are written, and new montages and graphics created from recycled material.

All the while, sentries maintain Internet vigils via Google, Twitter, and other news/social networking sites for any hint the tide might be turning. Late Thursday afternoon, a simple tweet -- Just met Clay Aiken -- sounded the alarm throughout Cyberspace.

Within minutes, message board sleuths knew the twitterer's name, rank, and serial number: Drew Farrar, music publicist for Decca Records in New York City. Ten minutes later Clay's new label posted a photo via TwitPic of the singer with David Novik, vice president of A&R for Universal/Decca.

Clay meets David Novik, Decca vice president. - Photo from TwitPic.

TwitPic Views Through the Roof

Views at the TwitPic site hit 10,000 at midnight and have been spiraling ever since. When this blog was uploaded at 2 p.m. Friday, page views totaled 15,699.

With apologies to VP Novik, visual artists immediately converted Clay's portion of the pixels into graphics, banners, avatars, and other designs.

Fans also discovered two YouTube video blogs in which the Decca vice president was interviewed about the music business -- David Novik, Part 1 and David Novik, Part 2 -- in June 2008.

Even now, tweets and photo comments continue at Twitter and TwitPic. Faithful Japanese fans chimed in at TwitPic: All the Clay fans from Japan are looking forward to his new music. Please get him to come over to Japan!

Late Thursday night, Decca at Twitter, apparently surprised at the outpouring from CA fans around the world, tweeted this response:

Vice-versa, Decca, vice-versa!!!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: This clickable collection features graphics from Clay's recent meetings in Atlanta and New York City. Featured are graphics by AmazingCA, 1 and 3; SueReu, 2; Fountaindawg, 4 and 5.

Less we forget, prior to the events of Thursday afternoon, this parody was typical of the message board scene for the summer of 2009. Many thnx to Fountaindawg for the memories ...
A Day in the Life (of a Clay Fan)
with apologies to The Beatles -- by Fountaindawg

Looked for some news today, oh boy
About a Raleigh man and what he’d say
Hoped something’d show to make me glad
Then I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
Stood by some guy beside his car
Hey did y’all notice his highlights have changed?
All of Clay Nation linked to share
We’ve not seen this shade before
‘Kinda reddish-blond and in-between’ was said about the hair.

Check Broadway news today oh joy.
Looks like ‘White Christmas’ will return this year.
Some said that would be ‘perfect Clay’
Can’t we just picture him,
Having seen the film?
It sure would turn some ooooo-ooo-oooon!

Woke up, jumped out of bed
Logged on to see what others said.
Nope, no dog-gone news to perk me up
Another no news day or will some Twitter break …
Checked Decca’s site, and Google searched
Checked B.A.F. … oops “N.I.P."
Checked the Gala list for Clacker teams;
Saw familiar names, made sure I’ve got cell stream!

I hope for news today, (Pleeeeeease boy!)
It never seems enough when you’re away.
A Q&A or maybe blog?
Would make us happy so
Couldn’t you drop by with some good news or maybe just ‘Hello’ ?
You know it’d turn us ooooo-ooo-oooon!

TAKING FLIGHT -- Samuel Habib sits on his father's lap behind
the controls of his grandfather's sea plane, as the two
prepare for a flight. Photo by Dan Habib.

PBS Schedules 'Including Samuel'

The National Inclusion Project and CVS Caremark All Kids Can will partner to bring Including Samuel, a nationally acclaimed documentary by photojournalist Dan Habib, to public television stations in September and October (Disability Awareness Month).

Before his son Samuel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, photojournalist Dan Habib rarely thought about the inclusion of people with disabilities. Now he thinks about inclusion every day.
Shot and produced over four years, "Including Samuel" honestly chronicles the Habib family's efforts to include Samuel in every facet of their lives.

The 58-minute award-winning documentary also features four other families with varied inclusion experiences, plus interviews with dozens of teachers, young people, parents, and disability rights experts.

"Including Samuel" is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion.

Habib, his wife Betsy McNamara, and CVS Caremark were among four honorees presented National Inclusion Project (formerly The Bubel/Aiken Foundation) Champions of Change Awards at the organization's 2008 October gala in Raleigh.

Currently, telecasts are scheduled in the following states:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

Updated weekly, the expanding list of broadcasts and public screenings can be accessed at Including Samuel/Television.

Host a Film Screening Party

"The PBS release of 'Including Samuel' is a hallmark event for our mission of inclusion," said Aron Hall, director of services for the National Inclusion Project.

"Consider hosting a party for your friends and neighbors at your house or a larger venue that you have access to. This is a great opportunity to invite people who may not have a connection to inclusion yet in order to introduce to the concept and benefits."

At the
Including Samuel website, people can do the following:

  • View the film trailer.

  • Download a screening and outreach kit with discussion questions, photos, templates for posters and invitations.

  • Download free material from the ‘Resources’ section which features published research, curriculum and articles on inclusion, plus links to dozens of organizations.

  • Purchase the DVD. National Inclusion Project supporters and volunteers can receive a 10% discount off the individual DVD, and 20% off purchases of 6 DVDs or more, by using the coupon code IS10IP.
  • Persons planning to host a viewing party should contact Aron Hall, who will will provide information about the National Inclusion Project. Community gatherings will be promoted on the Inclusion Project's event calendar.

    Here are the contact routes:

    Aron Hall, director of services
    National Inclusion Project

    104 TW Alexander Dr, Bldg 1
    PO Box 110104
    RTP, NC 27709

    Fax: 919-314-5540

    Below is a clickable of cindilu2's opening graphic:

    Want to help with some voting and streaming? Use these links to vote for Clay every 20 minutes at Tweeterwall and stream his music at Clay Aiken on My Space.

    Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


    Other blogs celebrating these topics include:

    Decca Enthusiasm:

    Clay-The Man

    Clay Aiken Journey

    Shyeyewitness and Friends


    'Including Samuel' on PBS:

    Clay Aiken News Network

    Clay Aiken News

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    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Remembering Sen. Edward Kennedy

    Senator Edward M. Kennedy, 1932 - 2009.

    'The Dream Shall Never Die'

    America Honors Teddy Kennedy

    Edward M. Kennedy - the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply - died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port.

    We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. -- from the Kennedy family statement

    The life of Ted Kennedy, compassionate lion of the Senate and patriarch of the Kennedy family, not only touched the citizens of Massachusetts, whom he represented for 37 years, but all Americans, many of whom could not speak for themselves.

    In the Senate, Kennedy was the driving force behind dozens of landmark bills that changed the social fabric of the nation, expanding the availability of health care, education and housing and advancing the rights of immigrants, women, minorities, gays and the disabled.

    Battling brain cancer, Sen. Kennedy, 77, died without realizing what he called "the cause of my life," an overhaul of the nation's health care system.

    His death followed by two weeks that of his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 88, who founded the Special Olympics and championed the rights of the mentally disabled.

    Besides online media, official websites of interest include Senator and Edward M. Kennedy Institute. At Ted, citizens can share memories, view photographs and video highlights of the Senator's life, and read the latest news.

    As I gathered information for this blog, Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" track seemed to be on constant replay in my mind. The photo of Senator Kennedy (from his website) links to Measure of a Man, a montage by gerwhisp.

    While the images honor the singer's work as a UNICEF Ambassador, the lyrics and music also describe the life, compassion, and service of the Massachusetts senator.

    Photo links to Measure of a Man montage by gerwhisp.

    Tributes Recall 'Lion of Senate'

    Tributes to the legendary lawmaker's life, marked by tragedy and triumph, headline media telecasts, websites, and conversations around the world. Here are some:

    President Barack Obama - For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

    An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.

    Peter S. Canellos (Boston Globe) - Over 2500 pieces of legislation affecting all of us in one way or another. Who among us will leave behind over 2500 accomplishments in our lives.What an amazing individual life. Overcoming tragedy, fighting demons, and often making poor choices, Teddy surely lived a life of privilege and fought for all that do not.

    Bill by bill, provision by provision, he expanded government health support to millions of children and the elderly, helped millions more go to college, opened the immigration doors to millions of new Americans from continents other than Europe, and protected the civil rights bulwark of the '60s through a long period of conservative domination.

    Richard Lacayo (Time Magazine) - When people were getting tired of hearing about racism or the poor or the decay of American cities, he kept talking.

    When liberalism was flickering, there was Kennedy, holding the torch, insisting that "we can light those beacon fires again."

    Dupont Circle Candlelight Vigil
    Clickable by xiann

    Vice President Joe Biden - Teddy spent a lifetime working for a fair and more just America. He restored my sense of idealism and my faith in the possibilities of what this country can do. It was infectious. He made everybody he worked with bigger, both his adversaries and his allies.

    The unique thing about Teddy was he was never about him; it was always about you. We will never see the likes of him again.

    Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) - Ted Kennedy’s America was one in which all could pursue justice, enjoy equality, and know freedom. Ted Kennedy’s life was driven by his love of a family that loved him, and his belief in a country that believed in him.

    Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and for which his brothers sought to realize. The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.

    Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) - He taught us how to fight, how to laugh, how to treat each other, and how to turn idealism into action, and in these last fourteen months he taught us much more about how to live life.

    Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) -Ted was always willing to not only reach across the aisle, but had the unique ability to pull people together to get things done, with both substance and a great sense of humor. He was undoubtedly one of the single most effective senators in this history of our country.

    Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister - "Senator Edward Kennedy will be mourned not just in America but in every continent. He is admired around the world as the Senator of Senators.

    He led the world in championing children's education and health care, and believed that every single child should have the chance to realise their potential to the full.

    More reactions to the senator's death can be read at NPR and Legacy.

    The Kennedys: Jack, Bobby, and Teddy. (Getty Image)

    Kennedy Clan Committed to Service

    On Nov. 22, 1963, I was participating in a college student recital when I learned of the death of President John F. Kennedy. A stricken department head, who was also my oboe professor, interrupted the performance with the announcement that "our president has been shot."

    Assassination was the farthest thought from my mind, and I remember wondering, "Who in the world would want to kill Dr. Vardell?" [the college president] My suite mates and I literally camped out in front of dorm TV sets as we followed proceedings around the clock for the next few days.

    Keeping up with Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, I was watching television the night he was shot in June 1968. Again, I mourned the loss of a Kennedy whose life was tragically cut short.

    In Memory of Edward M. Kennedy
    Montage by Copingincalifornia

    Set to "An Irish Lullaby" (Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra), the above montage can be viewed at YouTube in a larger player.

    In the days ahead, this country honors the legacy of Senator Kennedy, a man of privilege who fought for the powerless throughout a life of service:

    For all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage.

    We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make. -- Senator Edward Kennedy

    Among the specials scheduled are MSNBC's The Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday (replay at 7 p.m. Thursday) and Teddy: In His Own Words, a CNN documentary from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday.

    Ted Kennedy will be buried beside his brothers in Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday. A prolific sailor, he has told his own story in his memoir, appropriately titled True Compass, scheduled for release Sept. 14.

    Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy -- compassionate advocate, champion of all people, and true "Measure of a Man"!


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    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    Clay Aiken Fans Have Their Say

    He's Got a Way - Montage by LovesClaysVoice

    Mailbag Spotlights Readers

    Clay Aiken Fans Have Their Say

    Readers who leave comments have a special place in the hearts of bloggers, and their remarks often complete the dialogue set in motion by the writer.

    Occasionally, I like to feature the thoughts shared by Carolina On My Mind and Clayonline readers in a mail bag blog. This edition highlights what many of you had to say about the closing concerts of Clay Aiken's Soft Rock Hard Place Tour, which have been in rewind mode through the last three entries.

    The opening montage -- He's Got a Way by LovesClaysVoice -- captures highlights from the Orlando finale. The two photo interludes include special moments from the entire tour.

    8/20/09: Postscript to Clay Aiken SRHP Tour

    This entry replayed the story of three fans who at the end of the tour found themselves on the same Delta flight to NC as Clay.

    Controlling their excitement, they allowed the singer his privacy but managed to express "off the chain" tour props in a note delivered by a flight attendant. One reader relayed a similar memory as a fan of Paul McCartney.

    The blog also included a brief recap of a summer recital presented by three cousins for a studio full of relatives.

    These are just a few of the remarks added by readers:

    Anonymous: Loved the story of the fans who gave Clay his privacy yet let him know in a subtle way that he was appreciated. The blends of Clay are beautiful.

    PalpatatinClay: Love the story of your three students (I studied music as well; I use the term "studied" loosely); my mom was UP for any photo op possible...sounds like great time.

    I adored the tale of the airplane, this bit was specifically memorable to me: When the stewardess arrived with drinks, the excited fans quietly asked if they could have Clay Aiken's cup. She said, "So that was him? I thought it looked like him!"

    Why? Because I kept a milk glass (with milk still in it) in my closet for years - it was Paul McCartney's LOL...even though I met him and he eventually knew my name (thanks to Robbie Robertson of the SF Chronicle), I still held on to that dang milk glass for years (ewwwwwwww in the top of the closet!!!)

    Great time for the three fans; great time for the three students, and great fun to read!

    VoxLvr: How great for your students! Had to laugh about the "stage moms" getting that perfect shot.

    MissSally: I don't think there's a Clay fan who wasn't a bit envious of the gals on the plane, I know I was. I also enjoyed PalpatatinClay's comment about Macca's milk glass.

    Chez_Clay: How hysterical! Had a great laugh about three fans returning on the same airplane (a!!). Also your three students!

    Also, love the story of the Clay fans on the airplane. They showed remarkable restraint (I would hope I would react in the same manner).

    Anonymous: OMG I remember reading about the FOURIDA and their recap back in '07. I recall thinking what a special fandom this and that they handled themselves perfectly. Even for 12 year olds! :o)

    Margaret5828: Teachers are special people; that's for sure. It must be gratifying to see the look in their eyes. Somebody's parents brought those girls up right by leaving Clay to his privacy. I don't think I could.

    Barb55: I remember reading about the three lucky ladies on the plane with Clay. They must have been on Cloud 9 and thrilled when he read their note.

    What a special treat for three of your students' family members to see them perform in their own recital. I'm sure you were very proud of them.

    marianhookailo: I especially loved your story of the little musical given by your students. The families must have been in music heaven.

    vibajajo: Thank you for the giggle. I love that story about the three Clay fans. You must be very proud of the kids you teach.

    luvtigr: You sound proud as a peacock as you should. Love that story of those women. They did well!

    PHOTO INTERLUDE: Throughout the SRHP Tour, graphic artists and photographers preserved many memories that fans revisit often. Included in this clickable interlude are visuals by AmazingCA, 1, 4, and 5, photos by toni7babe, and 2, photos by PinkCocoa. The third graphic is by Ashes, photo by gerwhisp.

    8/18/09: Fun-Filled SRHP Finale

    The Orlando SRHP finale vocals are magnificent treasures, especially the duet-turned-trio, "I Want To Know What Love Is," and Clay's emotional "Measure of a Man." This concert naturally included the typical laughs and tricks of a final performance.

    LAP, my "all business" laptop, and his partner, LACIE, a fangirly external hard drive, assumed the writing duties for this entry. They very much appreciate your many compliments.

    PalpatatinClay: I told him, "I'm sorry, but you have got to stand up now. You are going to miss it all sitting in that chair. Trust me.' He said, "Yes, 'mam" and stood up. He clapped, he laughed, he danced."

    WTG on Clayverting him! You never know who you are going to sit next to at a concert. I loved the calendar that Claystruck made, brings back some wonderful memories.

    SueReu: Fun blog!!! I always love it when LAP and LACIE take over. *hee hee* I had a similar experience with a first time Clay concert goer in Pala. He was SOLD by the end of the show, LOL!!!

    Clay Aiken is a master performer because he connects with the audience. He doesn't just go through the motions, but watches and listens to everything going on around him.

    VoxLvr: The YouTube of Clay Aiken's MOAM at Ft Myers is incredible. Ending the last notes with his fists clenched, such emotion. He's truly a talent, an awesome performer and someone I hope with his new CD coming out will tour again next summer.

    Paula Bear: I especially loved your story about the theater owner in Delray Beach. I don't think I've ever heard of any concertgoer leaving a Clay Aiken concert disappointed. He amazes even the skeptics and converts them all! Can't wait until he's back out on the road again next year with his new CD!!

    Anonymous: LOL, "LACIE: It's not as if we don't know what's going on in Clay Land. If we're not watching clack, we're reading about it." That's me for sure!

    Tripster: I love the phrase Clackapalooza ~ that's really a hoot! Thanks for all the videos, and the photo interlude. Loved your conversation between LAP and Lacie!

    Cousin It: LOL!! "Where is my Lawd Jesus fan?" had me rolling on the floor! Thanks for the great, humorous blog as well as the photos and video!

    Siol: I think I love to read about the Clayversions more than anything. I wonder if there's more stories out there that we haven't heard about.

    Ashes: LAP & LACIE do such a good job! I love this. "LACIE: It's not as if we don't know what's going on in Clay Land. If we're not watching clack, we're reading about it." I've been lost in YouTube and PC clackland all evening!

    Arielone: I started by reading your entire blog on Clayonline, which then took me to the Carolina on My Mind site, which I then started clicking on the photos of Clay that took me to YouTube, which I then started clicking on more videos of Clay singing his heart out. I realized that an hour had passed since I first started reading your blog!

    PHOTO INTERLUDE: This set of clickable designs are by AmazingCA, photos by Invisible, 1; cindilu2, photos by scrpkym, 2; chachatrusty, 3; Ambassador of Love, photos by LynninNJ, 4; and AmazingCA, photos by Pink Cocoa, 5.

    8/16/09: Clay Aiken Fans Mark August 16

    August 16, the day Elvis died, is also the anniversary of the very memorable Ft. Myers SRHP Concert during which Clay "borrowed" Scarlett's camera and became a clack gatherer.

    My accidental mix-up of vinegar and water merited many laughs and even a health tip to boot.

    Ashes: Ft. Myers was a hoot! You made me laugh again! Except of course for remembering August 1977 & Elvis. I was vacuuming with the radio turned up loud when I heard the breaking news.

    Sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh at your vinegar cocktail..even though I'm puckering up just at the thought of it.

    fgs: I loved the concert at Ft Myers. One never knows what to expect next at a Clay Aiken concert. He witty and fun making every concert different.

    Sandy: So many great memories of the shenanigans of Clay! We never quite knew what was in store for us, and Clay always delivered, both musically and comically!

    I was at work when we heard the news of Elvis's passing and one of the girls at work let out a loud shriek as she had tickets to see him in Syracuse which was coming up soon.

    gerra: I was at that concert in Fort Myers. The whole Florida 4some was absolutely fantastic.

    Sydney: Thanks for the laughs. On a sad note though, yes, I remember where I was when I heard the news that Elvis passed away.I was in Guatemala at the time studying, I was on the upper level balcony and a teacher came outside to tell us the news...Everyone was upset.

    Pal of Clay: I was at the Pala concert, Clay was so quick on his feet - his backup singers were hysterical too. It was fun to watch the orchestra laughing while Clay was on stage.

    Marlyne: How could we ever forget Fort Myers? I wasn't there, but sure remember the awesome clack!

    August 1977: I was in the car with my two sons. I don't remember where we were going, but I sure remember hearing it over the radio. So shocked and saddened!

    Arielone: Those two videos are some of my favorites. Well, almost all Clay videos are my favorite. Funny story about vinegar. Vinegar is a great way to detox the body. I mix it with honey and water.

    Paula Bear: Awesome memories of an awesome Clay Aiken concert that had some of the funniest moments. I love the way Clay just goes with the flow and makes every situation a memorable one!

    Many thnx to all who leave comments, which complete the circle for each entry and give CA blogs a boost in the search engines at Google and other sites.

    Here's to many more memorable moments from future tours by Singer Man. Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


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    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Postscript to Clay Aiken SRHP Tour

    FINAL CURTAIN - AmazingCA's design highlights scenes from the Orlando SRHP Concert. Photos by Invisible926.

    Icing on FOURIDA Concerts

    NC Fans Fly Home with Clay

    Final notes of the inspired performances by Clay Aiken & Company still echoed through Hard Rock-Orlando, site of the Soft Rock Hard Place Tour finale, when a delightful, little known postscript unfolded for three North Carolina fans.

    All aboard the Virtual Tour Bus for a spin back to August 2007 ...

    Icing on the FOURIDA for three North Carolinians arrived seconds before take-off when Singer Man bounded onto their Delta flight home. This is the story of three fans -- Cindydoe, NCClayfan, and MAL -- who politely allowed Clay much-needed space but still managed to express their appreciation for the summer tour.

    Once home, Cindydoe and NCClayfan told their tale in back-to-back posts at Clayversity. Minus the emoticons, here is their commentary:

    CINDYDOE: Clay was on our flight home!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

    As we sat on the plane, NCClayfan had just said to me, "As long as that door is open, there is still hope." Ten seconds later, there he was! Of course, we didn't say anything, but he had to notice the difference in cabin pressure as the three of us gasped for breath at the same time.

    I'm sure I'll have a bruise on my arm and leg tomorrow from the two Mary Ann's. He sat four rows behind us and across the aisle with Jamie. He was in the window seat. We did not turn around to stare; and that was hard

    Trio Sends 'Off the Chain' Note

    When the stewardess arrived with drinks, the excited fans quietly asked if they could have Clay Aiken's cup. She said, "So that was him? I thought it looked like him!"

    We wondered if he would be at the baggage check, what we should say to him, if anything. We decided we would get off the plane as usual and give him his privacy. But, we did write a note on our Delta napkin:

    "Thanks for the tour. It was OFF THE CHAIN!"

    We got off the plane and asked the stewardess if she would give the note to Clay; she said she would. We got to where he couldn't see us, and peeped though a tiny window and watched as he stood in the door of the plane and read "our note."

    Yes, we are 12 years old!!! That was certainly the icing on our sweet cake of a weekend!!!

    NCCLAYFAN: He was on our plane, he was on our plane!!! We breathed the same air for two hours!!!

    One ticket to see Clay Aiken -- $100.00
    Four days of Clay in Florida -- Over $1000.00
    CLAY AIKEN on your return flight home -- PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!

    I was looking through the tiny peep hole giving a play by play. "He's in the doorway ... She handed it him ... He's reading it!"

    After Clay read the note, he looked up, and I am pretty sure I saw a smile. He held the note in his hand as he went over to claim his bag on a rolling cart beside the plane. As he headed to the awaiting car, he still held our note in his hand!

    As Clay enters the Universal Decca era, fans are counting the days until new music, concert tours, and memorable postscripts come their way again.

    PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured in this clickable interlude are graphics by AmazingCA. Photographers include fivegoldens, 1, 2; Invisible926, 3; dc4clay, 4; and xxx4clay, 5.

    Cousins Present Summer Recital

    Last Monday three of my students -- two pianists and a violinist -- presented a special summer recital for their grandmother, mothers, uncle, and a little brother. Counting the teacher, that was nine of us in the close quarters of a studio-practice room.

    The program featured Disney, pop, and patriotic favorites, hymns and folk tunes, accompanied by the teacher. There were at least three video cameras running throughout, so there is bound to be clack. Most special, however, were the grandmother's audible compliments for each performer after every song.

    The final selection, a simple unison arrangement of "Merrily We Roll Along," was planned by the cousins, who also designed their final bow. Standing in the middle, the violinist played the first verse. She was joined on the next stanza by her brother on the piano an octave higher. Their cousin added a lower octave on the third verse.

    When they finished, the trio turned toward their mothers' video cameras and bowed as one. What the teacher wouldn't give for a screen cap of that!

    Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


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    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Clay Aiken: Fun-Filled SRHP Finale

    ORLANDO 2007 -- AmazingCA graphic, photo by Invisible926.

    A LAP and LACIE Collaboration

    Recollections of Orlando Concert

    This rewind spotlights the 8/19/07 Soft Rock Hard Place finale in Orlando with LAP and LACIE at the helm as they were in the original two years ago.

    Usually a final concert is filled with trickery, playful antics that performers and audience can enjoy. The vocals in the Orlando show were magnificent treasures; but for the most part, the laughs were the epitome of subtlety.

    For days, LAP (laptop) and LACIE (external hard drive) have been reviewing highlights of the final show of Clay Aiken's Summer Symphony Tour. Here are their recollections ...

    LAP: I wonder if Caro realizes this is the third day of her blogging routine. She seems rather involved with real life -- a new nephew, enrolling fall students, and whatnot.

    LACIE: She did write the lead, but methinks we should take a look at her notes and see what we can assemble.

    LAP: To be honest, we caught the blogging bug a few months ago, and we really would like another spin.

    LACIE: It's not as if we don't know what's going on in Clay Land. If we're not watching clack, we're reading about it.

    LAP: After Claystruck created this beautiful clickable calendar, we had the tour schedule down pat.

    Orlando Clackapalooza Time

    LAP: These past few days have been a regular Orlando Clackapalooza, so that might be a good subject for our blog entry.

    LACIE: To be fair, we caught Leroy1704's post at Clayversity and "borrowed" that term from her.

    LAP: Last night, we both needed smelling salts when Caro stopped the clack long enough to watch a couple of movies, meaning LACIE went to bed early while I turned into a DVD player.

    LACIE: LOL, I had about an hour's snooze before she checked on the vault alerts at intermission. "Right-click and Save" zapped me from a deep sleep to download mode in a skinny minute.

    LAP: One of our favorite songs, "I Want To Know What Love Is," evolved from a gorgeous duet into a magnificent, classic trio in Orlando. Quiana [Parler]and Angela [Fisher] were very clever teasing and tricking Clay as to which would be his singing partner on this song. Each night in Orlando the poor guy had to guess, and in Orlando they both were!

    LACIE: How about that ending? Be still, my heart! Clay improvised low register riffs with Quiana and soared into the higher altitudes with Angela. We need to stop talking and roll IWTKWLI.

    LAP: Click on Irishbookgal's photo to link to IWTKWLI, posted at YouTube by kb0326 ... and watch for "Heartache" and "Pain." My partner goes by either name, LOL!

    Photo by Irishbookgal links to IWTKWLI

    LACIE: (fanning self) Lawd Jesus, I just can't get enough of that one. And you'd better watch it, LAP before I start dishing on you!

    LAP: Next up are three Not.Just.Us stories, two from the tour and one from real life. Hope you like these as much as we do.

    Clay Impresses Theater Owner

    DEEPSOUTHGURRL: In West Palm, a man in his late 30s sat next to me. He had treated a young couple to the show for her birthday, and they were sitting in front of us.He saw Clay on AI, thought he should have won; but that was it -- no concerts, no CD's, nothing since.

    As the concert progressed, he was really enjoying it; but he never stood for anything. At intermission, I learned he is the owner of a theater in Delray Beach down the road from West Palm. He named some of the performers he has had and they were all names we know.

    He was really into the second part, too. Then came The Classics segment; we all stood up and there he sat. I told him, "I'm sorry, but you have got to stand up now. You are going to miss it all sitting in that chair. Trust me." He said, "Yes, 'mam" and stood up. He clapped, he laughed, he danced.

    By the time Clay did his "support your local theaters and arts" speech, this man was absolutely in the palm of his hand. He said "Wow, I have never heard a performer so supportive. I think this man is more outstanding than I could have imagined."

    I really enjoyed his company, and he really enjoyed Clay Aiken!

    Teacher Becomes 'One of Those'

    MARGARET5828: At the Asheville concert, I sat next to a 30-year-old teacher who had been a fan since "Take" but had never been to a concert. She acted just like a teenager, jumping up, clapping, cheering, and having a ball.

    She asked me where I was from, I told her northern Indiana, and she said, "Oh, you're one of those." I assume she meant "crazy fan." I didn't say anything, just loaned her my binoculars on "Measure of a Man" and "Lover All Alone" ... and she was a goner. HEEE!!!

    GAMBIE: The woman whose cubicle is next to mine knows I am a Clay fan and asks me questions every once in awhile. Yesterday I brought in my "A Thousand Different Ways" CD to listen to, and she wanted to see it.

    I opened the notes so that she could see the poster on the back side. She grabbed it from my hands and said rather loudly, "MY, GOD! NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE FOLLOW HIM AROUND THE COUNTRY! WOW, THIS GUY IS JUST WOW!"

    One by one they fall under the power of the Aiken.

    Photos Highlight Special Moments

    LACIE: We know the drill. It's time for a clickable photo interlude.

    LAP: These are all from the Orlando concert. The fourth photo is when the "switcheroos" took place on "A Thousand Days." Sean [McDaniel] played piano, Jesse [Vargas] became the drummer, and Quiana did a fantastic imitation of Clay as he stepped into her backup role.

    LACIE: The final picture was taken after Clay sang his special thank you to the fans, "Because You Love Me." What a guy! Oh, where's my hankie?

    PHOTO INTERLUDE: These five clickables are snapshots of special moments during the tour's finale in Orlando. Included are photos by Okie4Clay, 1; Invisible926, 2 and 4; toni7babe, 3; and Brightstar, 5.

    Orlando MOAM Vocals Outstanding

    LAP: Getting back to the music, we thought the VOX was amazing during Clay's performance of "Measure of a Man," title track of his first album.

    LACIE: Clay really outdid himself on the Orlando rendition, and the audience showed their appreciation with an extended standing ovation.

    LAP: You can link to Spotlightlover's video of MOAM by clicking on this photo by toni7babe:

    Photo by toni7babe links to MOAM

    LAP: That's how we remember Orlando. Hope Caro appreciates that we wrote, coded, and uploaded an anniversary blog for her.

    LACIE: In two places, no less! As always, our pleasure celebrating Clay. (sigh) LAP, it's getting warm in here again. Where is my "Lawd Jesus" fan?

    LAP: Below is a clickable of AmazingCA's opening graphic:

    LAP and LACIE: Before we leave, here's a little breaking news -- Clay Aiken is now listed on the Decca Record Artists page!

    Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


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    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Clay Aiken Fans Mark August 16

    SINGER TURNED CAMERA MAN -- Clay Aiken joined the clack gatherers during the Ft. Myers SRHP Concert. Graphic by cindilu2, photos by toni7babe and scrpkym.

    SRHP Memory for the Ages

    Clay Videos Clack in Ft. Myers

    August 16 is a day many Clay Aiken fans remember exactly where they were and what they were doing in 2007. Those of us from a certain generation can give you the same run down for 1977, the day Elvis Presley died.

    My husband was on the road with the country singer David Houston when news of the death of Elvis Presley hit the airwaves. I, on the other hand, I was glued to the TV coverage in our Nashville, TN, home.

    In 2007 I was not in the arena for the famous Fort Myers SRHP Concert. The next best thing, however, was listening via cellcert to the hilarious shenanigans Clay employed as he dealt with a series of unusual occurrences.

    To this day, fans agree the circumstances of 8/16/07 evolved into one of the funniest concerts ever in the annals of Clay ...

    Scrpkym's photo links to YouTube video.

    Ft. Myers 07 a Hoot from Get-Go

    The Ft. Myers SRHP concert of Aug. 16, 2007, was Clay Aiken doing what he does best -- sharing his incredible pipes as well as his amazing comedic, improvisational skills.

    After scrunching around on his stool imitating a videographer's gyrations for "making sure the clack doesn't skip around," Clay borrowed the front row camera and gathered footage of his backup musicians.

    The fan didn't miss a beat and pulled a backup camera out of her bag to continue filming the show. "She's got a whole Radio Shack in her purse!" Singerman exclaimed to the audience.

    Clay Aiken Takes His Own Clack captures the scene as videoed by the singer and Scarlett, one of this fandom's most revered "clack goddesses."

    Photo by Fivegoldens links to YouTube video.

    The Ft. Myers lighting person must have been a Claydawg or a Claymate because the spot followed the headliner wherever he went. After several attempts to keep the light on Quiana for her solo, appropriately titled "When the Lights Go Down," Clay finally sat on the stool behind his backup singer so she could be seen.

    According to Wandacleo, Quiana had to put up with Clay's constant tickling throughout. It was only fair (and funny as heck) when his hand appeared from behind burlesque style to appeal for more audience applause. Not that it was needed!

    Another fan favorite from the Ft. Myers concert was Clay's performance of "Measure of a Man." Here is Canfly172's video of MOAM on YouTube.

    The Ft. Myers Slide Show below features pictures by photographers LynninNJ, SmartyPantsSuz, FiveGoldens, and Scrpkym. The photo links to a show with a choice between gallery and revolving views.

    Photo by LynninNJ connects to Ft. Myers Slide Show

    In her concert recap, SmartyPantsSuz reported that Clay impressed several of the venue's ushers, who said they really enjoyed the show.

    One woman in particular -- "she's a goner!" -- gladly shared her address so Suz could send her DVD's of other shows. As usual, the venue staff was amazed with the enormity of the bus line following the concert.

    Grandson Kai tests water in apartment pool.

    Out west, an important camera's digital connection has been revived, thanks to Amazon ... and Grandma. For those in Kai's "fan club," here are some shots of him enjoying the pool.

    Playing the park, keeping cool in the pool, and finding new adventures daily have filled the summer calendar of Kai, who will be two next month.

    Next time -- catching up with baby sister Lia!

    Clickables of Kai at the pool.

    A Distinct Difference

    No image, but I wouldn't doubt this "word picture" will be succinctly sufficient. I take my evening meds with dinner. When I went to the grocery store, I bought a small bottle of vinegar instead of the large one I usually store in the refrigerator.

    After nuking last night's meal, I grabbed what I thought was a bottle of water and quickly returned to the movie I had been watching in the den. The pills and accompanying gulp from the bottle were followed by a record dash to the fridge. Water never tasted so good!

    Below is a clickable of cindilu2's opening graphic:

    Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


    Another blog celebrating the 2007 Ft. Myers Concert is Clay Aiken News Network.

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