Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clay Aiken Song Echos 'Music Within'

As Long As We're Here - Clay Aiken
Montage by Aspiegirl

Making a Difference

Worlds Merge in Uplifting Film

Most people go to their graves with their music still inside them. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Worlds unexpectedly collided on many levels Tuesday as I watched the movie "Music Within," the true story of Richard Pimentel, who overcame a severe hearing impairment, learned to use his voice, and played a pivotal role in improving the lives of Americans with disabilities.

His hearing ravaged on a Vietnam battlefield, Pimentel returned home very frustrated. The government dismissed his dreams of college and public speaking, insisting his fate was one of insanity and rage due to his condition.

Refusing to accept this path, the determined veteran returned to college and became a driving force behind the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law in 1990. He found the music within and learned to use his voice.

"Use Your Voice" is the mantra singer Clay Aiken writes above his name when he signs autographs. He has stated on many occasions that As Long As We're Here, a track from his 'On My Way Here' album, is his favorite.

As an entertainer, the former special education teacher has continued his commitment to improving the lives of children with disabilities.

The montage by Aspiegirl opens with images of homeless Americans but also includes videos from Clay's humanitarian work through the National Inclusion Project and as a UNICEF Ambassador.

ALAWH is also harmonious with Richard Pimentel's story.

In 1977, Pimentel began conducting diversity-based disability attitude training in Portland, OR. His landmark program, WINDMILLS, became the blueprint for diversity training.

Along with his PERSPECTIVES training program, he helped revolutionize the modern workplace and change attitudes about hiring and working with people with disabilities in 23 different countries.

In 2007, Pimentel began developing an employer training program to support the transition of wounded and disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan into the workplace. On June 14, 2008, he was presented an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities by Portland State University.

'Music Within' movie poster

Smart, funny, ornery author-poet Art Honeyman, who happened to have severe cerebral palsy, was a devoted friend until his death in 2008. In the movie, Ron Livingston and the British actor Michael Sheen are outstanding in their portrayal of the two men.

Music Within is scheduled several times Thursday (11/18), Sunday (11/22), Friday (11/27), and Saturday (11/28) on the TMCe and TMCw channels.

For more information, see these links: Richard Pimentel (Wikipedia), Music Within (Wikipedia), and Music Within (Internet Movie Database).

Below is a clickable of AmazingCA's graphic reflective of the opening montage:

Enjoy Music Within ... and have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


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Ashes said...

Awesome blog Caro. It is such a meaningful one. Clay Aiken would be pleased with your use of "Use your voice".

katy said...

Thanks for the blog Caro. How interesting is the connection the author has with Clay Aiken.

SueReu said...

Very nice! I love Aspiegirl's montage to Clay Aiken's As Long As We're Here - that's one of my favorites!!!

Use your voice just about says it all. Everyone must have something that they are passionate about, something that can help the lives of others. It doesn't take all that much to make a huge difference.

Thanks for the blog!

clayam said...

Wonderful blog, loved that montage, As long as we are here is one of my favorite songs by Clay Aiken on his On my way here album.

Aspiegirl44 said...

Thanks for sharing this blog Caro. It is everything I think about all the time. (rights for individuals who are disabled) I am going to see if Maria can program the TV to record this for me. If I understand you are saying this is on The Movie Channel. I will look for it.

Thanks for sharing my montage also. This is one of my favorite songs on that CD. I also love AmazingCA's beautiful graphic that you shared.



Thanks Caro. Beautiful Blog!. Humanitarian work of Clay Aiken, his work with UNICEF and "The National Inclusion Project" is ONE reason why Clay Aiken is my favorite artist.

Ashes said...

Clay Aiken's "As Long As We're Here" is a beautiful song. I love it.

MissSally said...

Add me to the "I love ALAWH" list.
The music, Clay's voice, and the message in the song create a timeless reminder to remember what's important in life.

Aspie's montage reinforces the message beautifully.

Great blog.

musicfan said...

Caro......this is a wonderful blog.

I found all of it to be moving.

I agree with Ashes....."Use Your Voice" is Clay's mantra and you did it with this blog!!

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

Wonderful moving blog, very appropriate for this Holiday Season.

Aspiegirl's montage is Wonderful.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


kallie said...

Richard Pimintel and Clay Aiken are an inspiration and use their voices.

lulu said...

You have the perfect montage (good job Aspie) and song with your blog about Clay Aiken.

Anonymous said...

A great story;the video is perfect, love the song.

jbc4clay said...

Great blog Caro!
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful Clay Aiken blog.

katy said...

Caro, a very moving blog and love hearing Clay Aiken singing ALAWH from OMWH

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy your Clay Aiken blog. Thanks.

lulu said...

Amazing beautiful blog, Caro. Love reading about Clay Aiken.

PaulaBear said...

Thank you for the background information on Richard Pimentel and the Music Within! Inspiring! I love aspiegirl's Clay Aiken montage to ALAWH. As Long As We're Here is a beautiful, inspirational song as well!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Blog! Thank you caro!! I just love Clay Aiken singing As Long As We're Here!

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken sings some of the most beautiful songs! Wonderful montage!

kallie said...

As Long As We're Here was one of Clay's favs on OMWH.

Anonymous said...

LOVE this blog, you always write such meaningful and beautiful entries. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank YOU!

ImGranny said...

Great blog! I love the montage Aspie girl made using Clay Aiken's "As Long As We're Here!"