Thursday, February 04, 2010

Clay Aiken, Fans Astound Golfer

GOLFING FOR INCLUSION - Clay Aiken assisted with the live auction, talked about the National Inclusion Project with co-founder Diane Bubel, and presented a mini-concert during Monday's GFI event. Photo by SmartyPantsSuz.

'No Three Putts' Supports Inclusion

Aiken Fans Adopt Golfer's Blog

When Larry, a golfing blogger, surprised his readers -- and himself -- with a very supportive entry about Clay Aiken and the National Inclusion Project, the singer's fans wasted little time in spreading the link throughout Cyberspace.

Overnight No Three Putts: Clay Aiken's National Inclusion Project Golf Tournament received more than 2,000 hits and numerous comments from the Clay Nation. The next morning a flabbergasted Larry the Golfer, as he has been affectionately tagged by CA fans, blogged again, describing the degrees of his amazement.

Until last weekend's Golfing for Inclusion, Larry only knew Clay as the singer who came in second to Ruben Studdard on American Idol 2. The staggering stream of visitors arrived from a variety of CA websites, which he visited and learned much of what's been happening with Clay since 2003.

In Wednesday's blog, No Three Putts: A Special Message to Clay Aiken Fans, Larry quoted many of the heartfelt comments, asked what "NJU" means, and asked for a couple of song suggestions to download. So far the second blog has received 72+ comments and enough songs -- some specifically for Valentine's Day -- to keep the man quite busy. His golf game may even suffer.

THERE's MORE: In a third entry Friday, the Clay Nation's favorite golfer shares his plans to promote charitable causes and his favorite performance from the 458 links CA fans provided. Larry now knows about Goodsearch and what NJU and "Use Your Voice" mean. Here's the link: No Three Putts: How You Crazy Clay Aiken Fans & a Brief Talk with Mother Inspired Me.

In addition, he has included the National Inclusion Project banner in the golf blog's sidebar so his readers will become aware of the cause, check it out, and possibly make a donation. Larry also plans to advertise and participate in next year's GFI.

So why am I writing about Aiken here? Because I really believe in his cause. It's called The National Inclusion Project and he has created a curriculum that can be used by already-existing camps to make their facilities accessible and fun for would-be campers with disabilities.

It's nice to see a celebrity put his name and valuable time to good use. Nice work Clay Aiken.

Graphic by Ambassador of Love, photos by LynninNJ.

Record Crowds Attend SRHP Concerts

Precedents to Larry's amazement can be found throughout recaps of Clay's tours and the "Spamalot" stints on Broadway. Who can forget the record-breaking crowds at the Soft Rock Hard Place Tour concert in Columbus, OH?

New Fans Join Clay Team in Ohio, Michigan was the headline of the July 23, 2007 Carolina entry chronicling the SRHP Tour through the Midwest:

A whopping crowd of 12-14,000 men, women, and children of all ages picnicking on the sprawling lawn or around one of 300 tables sold at a Chemical Abstract Service event that surpassed previous attendance records could easily have been the headline from Clay Aiken's concert in Columbus, OH, Saturday night.

To CA fans, however, the lead story had to be the number of "Clayversions" among men from multiple generations that occurred during the course of the evening.

Several concert goers, many of them men, left the event and blogged about their SRHP experience. Dannylion, who posted The Coolest Concert I Have Ever Been To on his MySpace site, wrote that he has attended his fair share of concerts -- from Run DMC and the Beastie Boys to Duran Duran and Fleetwood Mac.

Even though Clay was not his cup of tea, he accompanied his wife to the Columbus, OH, concert to make her happy. In addition to the music and banter, Danny was most impressed with the fact that afterwards, Clay walked the enormous bus line shaking hands with his fans:

That was the coolest thing that ever happened at any concert I have been to!

Clay Aiken in Columbus, OH. -- Photo by toni7babe.

From Comedian to Word Poet

In her review for the Columbus Dispatch, Lynn Green cited Clay's entertaining rapport with the audience:

One of Aiken’s endearing traits is his gently self-depreciating humor. "We have more gentlemen in the audience than we usually have," he observed. "Either the women in Columbus are strong-willed, or the alcohol tab is very high for the men here."

In complimenting "Lover All Alone," the writer painted a portrait of the scenery change as Clay performed the song for which he wrote the lyrics:
He loosened his grip on the polished, practiced stage manner and truly connected with his own soul. And for those few minutes, the squealing fans, the strong-willed women, the devoted husbands, and the rest of the audience fell absolutely silent in appreciation.

Clay, Quiana Parler in Sterling Heights, MI. (MeganAiken

Impromptu Performance Magical

One of the best examples of Clay's innate ability as an entertainer was the unplanned "Listen" duet he and Quiana Parler performed in Sterling Heights, MI.

Whether seated in the Freedom Hill Amphitheater at Sterling Hills, MI, or connected via a cellcert stream thousands of miles away, fans immediately recognized that the unscheduled duet by Clay and Quiana would long be remembered as one of the most incredible, magical moments in a long line of stellar performances.

Subbing for the ailing Angela Fisher, who nightly sang the "Dream Girls" song in concerts, the unrehearsed duo brought down the house and elicited exclamations that continue to this day wherever fans gather. Totally unrehearsed, the glorious vocals soared with beautifully balanced harmonies.

At the conclusion, music director Jesse Vargas joined the amazed audience in a spontaneous standing ovation.

Montage by Goldarngirl-Luckiest1
Clay and Quiana perform 'Listen' duet.

Goldarngirl and Luckiest1 compiled the Sterling Heights Listen Duet concert montage by incorporating several videos of the performance, a split screen of the singers, and much of the banter preceding and following the song.

CA fans are counting the days until the new Decca CD, a PBS Special, and a brand new tour! Meanwhile, no doubt fans will be keeping Larry company at YouTube!

Below is a clickable of SmartyPantsSuz's opening photo:

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!



claysweetea said...

What a nice guy, Larry is, just like Clay. Clay's voice was amazingly beautiful that night, as always!

Truth Rules said...

We sure do have a lot of good memories where Clay is concerned. Some of what you wrote I'd never seen before.

SueReu said...

Truth Rules, we most certainly do have some wonderful memories, don't we? and here's to many MORE AMAZING Clay Aiken moments!!!!

and a BIG heart felt THANK YOU to Larry!!! It's nice to know that there are still people out there who look for the facts, rather than the fiction.

clayam said...

I really enjoyed reading Larry the golfer guy's blog, It is nice to hear from some one who is not a Clay Aiken fan to say nice things about Clay and his Project!
Thanks caro for the blog.

ImGranny said...

Larry the Golfer sure seems like a top notch guy. I first got his blog in a google alert. What a nice surprise it was when I read both of his Clay Aiken related blogs. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face! It's so refreshing to see that a NJU has such a good opinion of our guy and his dedication to working for inclusion for all children.

Sandy said...

Larry gets what we got 8 years ago. I really enjoyed reading his blog. Although he had previously reached a conclusion in his mind that he was and probably never will be a fan of Clay's based on negative reporting, it's very refreshing indeed to see a change of heart from this man. This change of heart happened because he finally saw for himself who Clay Aiken is - a great humanitarian who just happens to have the voice of an angel! Thank you Caro!


Anonymous said...

I think it was great that Clay's fans impressed Larry so much, that he took a second look at clay, and even wants to listen to some of his songs. Who knows? We may have found Clay a new fan. Lois

Anonymous said...

NJU us any more for sure. Clay deserves every kudos he gets. That Listen duo brings that night back and also the excitment and tears.
WOW what an entertainer!
Happy weekend to you too.

Hugs Margaret5828

tree ~ said...

Oh holy moly, Listen!! I just listened again and can't get over how much I love Clay's chest voice! Seriously, he needs to do these kind of vocals more often. I hope Larry really does enjoy some of the song suggestions given him. God knows he has enough to keep him busy through the weekend. Heh...amateur. ;-)

Aspiegirl44 said...

Love th blog Caro. Larry the golfer seems like a really good man. I just read all of his blogs also. So glad he discovered Clay and his fans. :)Lary was not the only one who did not know what NJU stood for. I learned that today. lol

I was at the Ohio concert and it was a blast. One of my favorite concerts. I had a chance to do the busline then too. :)



PS: Beware not proof read - to blind to to see right anyways. Cant wait to get my glasses. heeee.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog, nice that Larry person...and wishing Clay the best. He had a successful GFI, did well.


Thanks Caro, for your beautiful blog.

I have not yet been able to, download or view a video of Clay at GFI. I look forward to. For the comments seems that Clay was fantastic!

I think soon I'll have my internet connection ;-)

For now I am very glad to read your blog and all comments.

Hugs. Rossy

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

Loved reading "Larry the Golfer's" blog, it's always great to hear when NJU FINALLY see what we have known for years!!!

SmartyPantsSuz opening photo is AMAZING! Our Mr Singerman is Soooo Handsome!

Have a great weekend Caro...


MissSally said...

I love this Colombus Dispatch quote:
"He loosened his grip on the polished, practiced stage manner and truly connected with his own soul. And for those few minutes, the squealing fans, the strong-willed women, the devoted husbands, and the rest of the audience fell absolutely silent in appreciation."

Another NJU reaction!

copingincalifornia said...

The photographs are stunning Caro. And LOVED Larry the Golfer's blog! Life is good!

anaturegirl said...

It is great that NJU are finding Clay Aiken and are amazed with both his voice and his personality.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Larry the Golfer's blog very much. He seems to like Clay's work with the GFI event very much.

Also, can't get over watching that video again of "Listen." They both did such a good job on that. In fact, it was spectacular. Always enjoy your blogs.

zanyforclay said...

Love your blog!! Always great pics, great videos and great info. Larry's newfound respect for Clay is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Truly great news! Love Larry's comments and his show of support for GFI and NIP. Way to go....
Thanks for the beautiful recaps and memories,Caro.

Love ya,

PaulaBear said...

Larry may have started out an "NJU", but once you hear Clay Aiken sing you soon become one of us!!

T said...

Caro, another wonderful blog! Very nice opening photo. I've tried to catch-up with the highlights and was able to listen to the downloads. Love Clay's voice and still do. Can't wait for this CD.

The golfer blog from Larry made me smile. It's great looking back especially to Sterling Heights and watching the video again. That moment was so special.

Thanks so much Caro for giving great joy in your blogs always.

Take care & cheers :)