Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clay Aiken Fans 'Use Their Voice'

Clay performs during taping of PBS Special.
Graphic by Fountaindawg/photos by Jim R. Bounds

Readers Share Mic in Mailbag

Media Promos Clay Aiken Special

International Media posted a teaser on Facebook about Clay Aiken's PBS Special Wednesday and, in typical fashion, the latest news tidbit roared through the nooks and crannies of CA Cyberspace at breakneck speed.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA: American Idol Superstar alumni CLAY AIKEN’s first Public TV special reaches back into the romantic past of the 50’s and 60’s, featuring many of the most iconic love-songs ever written! Check your local listings to experience it for yourself!

Another Wednesday media release concerns the merger of several publishing companies, including the Universal Music Publishing Group:

With over 70,000 copyrights, Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing owns the world's largest Christian music publishing catalogue as well as the second largest evangelically-styled choral music catalog.

Its songs have been recorded by virtually every major singer in the Christian music industry as well as by such renowned artists as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Linda Ronstadt, Amy Grant, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Alicia Keys, Clay Aiken and Trace Adkins.

The most highly anticipated news by the fan community will come in an announcement heralding the availability of "Tried & True" track excerpts at Decca Records and other online outlets.

The singer's first CD with the Decca label is scheduled for release June 1. Rest assured, the snippet patrol is on duty around the clock!

Comments Augment Blog Topics

The comments visitors leave augment or complete the dialogue set in motion by a blogger. As one who frequently includes montages and graphic designs by other CA fans, I appreciate the props many write for the featured artists.

No doubt I am the only person who reads all the comments in any given blog entry (they arrive in my email box as well as at the bottom of the post), so occasionally I like to spotlight some of the many thoughtful remarks shared by
Carolina On My Mind and Clayonline readers with a mailbag entry. Headlines link back to the original posts.

The previous entry celebrated the 145 countries represented by Carolina visitors since December 2007. Readers whose comments are highlighted below hail from North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Linked screen names take you to the person's blog.

Facebook Teams with Feedjit

Visits to the Carolina site are registered via Feedjit and ClustrMap. A recent Feedjit addition is the ability to link to the Carolina blog with one's Facebook profile photo.

In the past five entries, readers have expressed their views on a variety of topics: Clay's upcoming Tried & True CD, this summer's Timeless Tour and current "ticketmaster tangos," the PBS Special, plans for CD release parties, National Inclusion Project and NC Theatre fundraisers, montages, graphics, and even a brief spring recital update.

Graphics by Fountaindawg, AmazingCA, and LovesClaysVoice are included. Recently-featured montages are by gerwhisp, SueReu, and LovesClaysVoice.

First official T&T press photo by Vincent Soyez
Graphic by Fountaindawg

Clay Aiken CD Buzz Goes Global: April 25, 2010

Stephanie: WOW!!! I love how there are Clay fans all around the world. Makes my heart smile. So, so excited about the new CD. I plan on playing it til it wears out, and then buying another copy, playing that until it wears out, buying another copy. It's an endless, beautiful cycle!

Anonymous: I am so glad that info about Clay gets all over the world. I do know that Clay has a lot of fans in Asian Countries that would love to have him come there. Maybe this time he really will.

musicfan: It is so much fun to see visitors from all over the world. It just proves that CLay needs to tour internationally.

Sandy: We have some of the world's best graphic artists! The pictures are stunning! Congratulations to Fountaindawg and Cotton! How exciting for you to see visitors viewing your blog from all over the world. I bet you are getting a good Geography lesson looking up all these places!

anaturegirl: It is exciting to see there are fans of Clay Aiken's in so many countries. Love the new graphics. Thanks for sharing them. These are exciting times for both Clay and his fans. Decca is sure doing things right with him. So refreshing that the new label "gets him" like we do.

Sharrie: I am so impressed on how your blog is reaching fans all around the world. Just imagine how your talents have touched so many lives in so many languages in the single language of Clayish in Claytown!

I love all the buzz on Clay's upcoming CD, DVD, concerts and PBS specials. We are all riding on the Claytrain.

'Tried & True' CD cover graphic by AmazingCA.

Aiken Fans Set CD Parties: April 22, 2010

SueReu: Lots to look forward to! Love Gerwhisp's video and the great graphics by AmazingCA and Fountaindawg. The CD planning website looks like fun!

Pam Bassett: Thanks so much for showing our website here! For all those fans who want to attend the Hollywood, California CD Release Celebration, please register soon. Payment is not due until May 12, 2010, but we need to let the venue know asap how many will be attending!

Lisa1068: The MGM tickets went on sale this morning at 9am and boy it was tough to get anything good. You can buy through Ticketmaster or Foxwoods/MGM Grand websites. Front row Mezz row A available right now but nothing showing up for Orchestra.

barb55: Thanks for sharing the montage by gerwhisp and all of the links, as well as the clickables. I had not seen that interview before. It was great to see Clay again. He seems happy and excited.

vibajajo (Clayonline): I think this is my favorite cover of a CD. Kind of vintage yet classic. Just like the music. Can't wait for the new music!

Graphic by AmazingCA/photos by Jim R. Bounds.

Clay Aiken Fans Solve CD Puzzles: April 20, 2010

fivegoldens: Enjoyed the blog, but realize I'm really slow at puzzle solving! So happy to see ACA doing graphics again, she's one of the best!! It's nice to see Anoop supporting NIP. He seems like a nice guy.

MissSally: What a delight to open your blog and see ACA's creativity on display. Welcome back, T, we've missed you. LovesClaysVoice's beautiful design really caught my eye; graphics like this are not easy to make. I really like the way she seamlessly placed Clay's image in Times Square.

AmazingCA: Thanks so much for all the kind comments. I miss doing my graphics, but I'm sure that I'll be back with more especially with all the upcoming events with Clay. It's so good to know that Anoop will be singing at the fundraiser. He was my fav last year in AI.

Sandy: Love all the Clay news coming our way lately! [Switching to the hockey playoffs] Second period is about to start ...could be the SENS last game! We are down 3-1 in the best of seven series. Hard to come back and win 3 games in a row during playoffs. Wish us luck!

reneti46 (Clayonline): Wonderful! I checked out the link to Carolina on my Mind. Loved all the pictures of Clay and the pic of Anoop. Good luck with the recital!

Timeless Tour - Graphic by Fountaindawg

Aiken-Studdard Finale Still Tops: April 17, 2010

SueReu: I absolutely adore watching the AI5 video of Clay Aiken and his surprise entrance. I can watch it over and over and NEVER get tired of it!! I'd say that is the best moment on American Idol, period and maybe the best moment in all reality TV. It was amazing.

CLAYCOLOMBIA: Like Sue and surely many fans of Clay, I love this Clay Aiken participation in AI5. In Colombia transmitted the show two weeks later that United States. I knew the details, but to see for the first time ... it was too exciting!

zanyforclay: My heart still races when I see that AI5 clip. I keep it on my desktop and still watch it a few times a month!! It was absolutely breathtaking and the biggest highlight to date on AI. Thanks for all the info and SueReu's great montage!! Can't wait for the tour to begin.

Sandy: I just love it when I see the figures showing how many people were turned into the AI2 finale! These figures will be hard to match! In fact I can almost guarantee they will never be matched or topped!

Sharrie: Thanks so much for sharing the great videos of Clay and Ruben. They are such a great team. As for the AI5 performance, words can't even describe the excitement in the audience. I love knowing that Clay and Ruben finale is still #1. Looking forward to all the great things Clay is bringing our way!

Cindy: Such amazing memories this blog invokes! I've only been truly stunned by Clay a couple times over the years (and don't you know the most recent time was just a few weeks ago in Raleigh!); but when those doors opened and he walked out on the stage during the AI5 finale, I literally gasped. What and experience that was!

I don't believe AI will ever top the excitement of the Clay/Ruben showdown. And isn't it wonderful - and a testament to both men - that they remain such steadfast friends today? We are lucky, lucky fans, and I LOVE Clay Aiken. Can't wait for their reunion. If their act in Raleigh is anything to go by, we're in for a treat!

Lisa (Clayonline): That is so cool that AI2 is the most viewed! I think that Season 2 had the most talent in the Top 10 altogether. They all set the bar pretty high. Of course, two of them set it REALLY high!

Lois: I think this is one of your most exciting blogs ever. Our favorite AI moments, and the new tour all wrapped up together.

oana: This blog really helps me to stay in touch with everything that's new regarding Clay and his music since I'm so so far away from you.

Graphic by LovesClaysVoice

Aiken To Bring Broadway Home: April 13, 2010

MissSally: "Bringing Broadway Home" looks like another winner for Clay; hope we get some primo clack! Our singer man is definitely keeping himself busy these days. Founaindawg's graphic is beautifully done. I enjoy all of her work, but this one really caught my eye!

anberwa: I wish I could go. This sounds like it will be a wonderful night of music.

ImGranny: This sounds like a great concert. I too hope they film this concert and sell a DVD of it for a fundraiser!

IamMesmerized: Oh how I'd love to go back to Raleigh for this event but with the summer tour coming up, it just ain't happening!

barb55 (Clayonline): Glad to hear that Clay will be one of the headliners for raising money for the NC Theatre Group in Raleigh. Dancing Like the Stars is a neat idea to help raise funds for the National Inclusion Project.

Lisa (Clayonline): I am more than ready for June 1st to come!

Below are clickables of the featured graphics: Fountaindawg, 1, 2, 5; AmazingCA, 3, 4; and LovesClaysVoice, 6.

Many thnx to all who contribute to the Carolina blog. Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clay Aiken CD Buzz Goes Global

ALBUM PHOTO -- Clay Aiken and the American Tobacco Campus train in Durham, NC, are featured in the first official release from the CD shoot. Photo by Vincent Soyez/graphic by Fountaindawg.

Clay Aiken: Tried & True

CD Photo, Track List Excite Fans

The excitement stemming from Friday's revelation of the first official photo from the Clay Aiken "Tried & True" CD shoot escalated Sunday with an expanded deluxe track list at Amazon, adding "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and bringing the album's song total to 13.

The first event has naturally inspired an outpouring of new designs from graphic artists among Clay Aiken fans. The second added a new song, as well as information about participating musicians on the the much-anticipated album scheduled to be released June 1 by Decca Records.

Amazon Deluxe Track List

1. Can't Take My Eyes Off You
2. What Kind Of Fool Am I?
(featuring jazz saxophonist David Sanborn)
3. It's Only Make Believe
4. Misty
5. Mack The Knife
6. It's Impossible
7. Unchained Melody
8. Suspicious Minds
9. Crying
(duet with Linda Eder)
10. There's A Kind Of Hush
11. Moon River
(featuring Vince Gill)
12. Who's Sorry Now
13. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Fountaindawg's opening graphic of Vincent Soyez's train picture is posted below as clickable regular and wide screen wallpapers:

Cotton's designs of the Vincent Soyez photo shoot picture will enlarge with a click.

T&T photo by Vincent Soyez (Graphic by Cotton)

T&T photo by Vincent Soyez (Graphic by Cotton)

'Tried & True' Scores at Decca Site

The interest in Clay's upcoming CD is reflected in the number of visits to the Decca Records Community.

For example, "Tried & True" is currently #2 on the most viewed products list. #1 is the "Mama Mia!" movie soundtrack. Other top 5 albums have tracks available, and CA fans look forward to the the day "T&T" joins the ranks.

Join the Decca site, and you can post T&T reviews are added at the album link. A map of the Timeless Tour is featured under the Events tab on Clay's page.

Among the suggested albums on Clay's page is Here And Gone by David Sanborn, the featured saxophonist on "Tried & True."

Aiken Photo Promotes B&N Nook

Whether your preference is Kindle, Sony, or Nook, the e-reader most discussed on CA message boards this weekend has been the latter. A photo of the singer taken at Golfing for Inclusion in February is being used to promote the Barnes & Noble e-reader:

CLAY AIKEN AT THE NATIONAL INCLUSION PROJECT - Just before the start of a National Inclusion event held in Florida, singer and actor Clay Aiken stole a few moments backstage to catch up on a little bit of reading on his nook. Clay is a co-founder of the National Inclusion Project.

Cotton's graphic of the photo is clickable:

Barnes & Noble graphic by Cotton

145 Countries Dot 'Carolina' Map

Though unscientific, indicators of Clay's worldwide popularity appear daily in the Carolina blog's ClustrMap and Feedjit Live Feed, which register home countries of this site's visitors. Since December 2007, residents of 145 nations have dropped by this corner of the Internet for the latest Clay Aiken news.

New countries since December 2009 include Iraq (Asia); Tunisia, Mauritania, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Angola (Africa); Macedonia, Cyprus, and Armenia (Europe); Saint Kitts and Nevis, Netherlands Antilles, and Nicaragua (North America). Average daily visitors register between 100-500.

WORLDWIDE - Clay Aiken fans span the globe. (Carolina ClustrMap)

The 145 countries representing all continents but Antarctica suggest Clay's fanbase is definitely global with a possible worldwide tour in the offing.

ASIA: Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Micronesia, Oman, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Taipei, Taiwan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iran, Bahrain, Kuwait, Azerbaijan (Baku), Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, China, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Maldives, Palestinian Territory, Brunei Darussalam, Asia/Pacific Region, Jordan, Nepal, Yemen; Iraq

AFRICA: South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Madagascar, Seychelles, Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Algeria, Uganda, Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Djibouti, Angola, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Congo, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Angola

Thumbnail Carolina ClustrMap
Click to view larger version.

EUROPE: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Poland, Russian Federation, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey, Malta, Georgia, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sicilia, Andorra, Latvia, European Union, Moldova, Albania, Kazakstan, Macedonia, Cyprus, Armenia

NORTH AMERICA: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, Guatemala, Nassau, Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Honduras, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia

AUSTRALIA: Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Solomon Islands

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


For more information on the "Tried and True" photo shoot, see the March 28 Carolina entry: Diary Details Clay Aiken Shoot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aiken Fans Set CD Release Parties

TRIED & TRUE - The vintage 1950's green hues in this album cover graphic by AmazingCA help the Carolina blog celebrate Earth Week.

First Official Press Photo Revealed

Fans Plan T&T CD Celebrations

With countdown clocks steadily ticking toward the June 1 drop date for Tried & True, Clay Aiken's first album with Decca Records, fans have begun organizing parties to celebrate the new CD.

Pulling out all the stops is the Hollywood CD Release Party with a website coordinated and designed by Pam Bassett. The above link and double clickable image below will take you to "The Celebration Team 2010" page where you will be greeted by Clay singing "Mack the Knife."

Fans planning to attend the Hollywood CD Release Celebration should register as soon as possible. Payment is not due until May 12.

Double click on image to see Hollywood party website.

In the early planning stages, other CD release parties listed at Clayonline (Anything Clay >> Clay Soiree) include Raleigh and Southeastern Michigan (May 31) and Toronto, Ontario (June 5). More will be listed as plans are posted.

To set up a celebration website Hollywood style, click on this link and get started. You can choose from 2,000+ templates; customize the site with your own logo, graphics, text, domain name; and publish to the web with a click of a button.

Easy-to-use tools include point-click-drag images and text with no HTML required. Following a 30-day free trial, the fee is only $4.99/month.

Are You Ready for Clay Aiken 2010?
Montage by gerwhisp

In Are You Ready for Clay Aiken 2010, her latest montage, gerwhisp combined an earlier CA favorite, "Here You Come Again," with excerpts from the singer's March interview in Raleigh and promotional images from the PBS concert taping and upcoming Timeless Tour.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured are double clickable T&T and Timeless TourAmazingCA (1, 3) and Fountaindawg (2).

Tour Ticket Sales Dates Revised

Despite conflicting reports, Timeless Tour tickets for the MGM Grand Foxwoods (Marshantucket, CT) venue are on sale through Ticketmaster now. For more information, check with the venue (866-646-0050) if you want to attend the Aug. 7 concert. This is the promo for Clay and Ruben from the MGM site:

Since coming to national attention on the second season of American Idol in 2003, where he was the unexpected runner up, only to become the biggest selling male artist the show has ever featured, Clay Aiken has evolved into a versatile and beloved popular entertainer.

He has also toured nine times, written a New York Times bestselling memoir, sold more than six million albums, produced and hosted television programs, starred on Broadway, and devoted considerable energy and resources to improving the lives of children all over the world.

After Idol, Ruben Studdard released his first single, "Flying Without Wings" and it debuted at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Advance orders for his debut album, Soulful, topped the 1 million mark before it was released and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Studdard received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R & B Vocal Performance and in March 2004, Ruben won the NAACP Outstanding New Artist Award.

Other public ticket sales for the Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard 17-city summer tour slated for Friday, April 30, include the following venues:

The Hammerstein - New York City, NY (Aug. 11 concert): Phone 212-279-7740. American Express Pre-sale Thursday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m. EDT - Thursday, April 29, 10 a.m. EDT; live nation pre-sale Tuesday, April 27, 10 a.m. EDT - Thursday, April 29, 10 a.m. EDT; general public, Friday, April 30, 10 a.m. EDT.

**Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN (Aug. 13 concert): Phone 866-711-7463. (Originally set for April 30, tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster and at the box office on Friday, May 21.)

Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL (July 26 concert): Phone 727-791-7400, 800-875-8682. Ticketmaster and box office April 30. (Check back for time).

The coast to coast tour, which has been added to Clay's Decca site (under "Events"), begins July 23 in Asheville, NC, and ends in Biloxi, MS.

Clay Aiken Official T&T Press Photo/Vincent Soyez

A few minutes before I started teaching Friday, Clayonline added the final piece of the T&T photo shoot puzzle. Below are clickables of full-length and cropped versions of Clay on the train at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC.

Clickables of official T&T press photo.

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Clay Aiken Fans Solve CD Puzzles

AmazingCA integrated photos by Jim R. Bounds in new PBS graphic.

For Aiken CD, Tour, Special

Snippets Unravel Puzzle Pieces

Everyday Clayonline, the official fan club site for Clay Aiken, reveals a new square of a Tried & True photo shoot picture.

Add to that the snippets of information popping up via Tweets, Facebook posts, and routine Cyber searches; and the insatiable Clay Nation slowly but surely is unraveling one puzzle piece after another.

Members of Clayonline can check the news section a little after noon EDT for the latest addition. So far, three pieces of the photo have been unveiled. Accompanying all this are the harmonious sounds of a new official website under construction.

Decca Records has scheduled a June 1 release date for the TNT CD, which can be pre-orderd at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and CD Universe, as well as in countries outside of North America, including Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Over the weekend, additional promo pictures from Clay's PBS Special were discovered at AP Images. Glimpses of the photos shot by Jim R. Bounds following the March 12 Raleigh concert appear in the opening graphic by AmazingCA, as well as the Time Square design by LovesClaysVoice in the clickables below.

Even more proof that life is a giant puzzle is the site Jig Zone where fans can solve jigsaws of recent graphics by Fountaindawg. Fastest and average solve times are shown for each puzzle.

In addition to the graphic jigsaws linked below, you can upload images to create your own puzzles.

Graphic by Fountaindawg
91-piece online CD puzzle at JigZone

Graphic by Fountaindawg
79-piece online Timeless Tour puzzle at JigZone

One venue of the Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard 17-city Timeless Tour -- MGM Grand Foxwoods (Marshantucket, CT) -- will begin selling tickets Friday, April 23. The Hammerstein (New York City, NY) and Horseshoe Casino (Hammond, IN), originally set for the 23rd, have rescheduled ticket sales for April 30 and May 21, respectively. The Hammerstein also has designated pre-sale times.

The latest ticket sale information is outlined in the previous Carolina entry. The coast to coast tour, which is now on Clay's Decca site (under "Events"), begins July 23 in Asheville and ends in Biloxi, MS.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured in this clickable interlude are graphics by AmazingCA (1, 2, 3) and LovesClaysVoice, 4. Photos by Jim R. Bounds appear in the second and fourth graphics.

DLTS Fundraiser Concludes Sunday

Supporters of the National Inclusion Project have until 11:59 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 24, to cast a vote and make a donation in Raleigh's annual Dancing Like the Stars fundraiser for the charity co-founded by Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel in 2003.

Biographical information and videos of the participating dance couples are provided at the DLTS link. Every dollar donated counts as one vote toward the contestant of choice with a minimum online bid of $10. Donations are 100 percent tax deductible. Vote and donate for inclusion here.

Sponsored by the Inclusion Project and A Step to Gold International Ballroom, the event will conclude with a 1 p.m. Sunday performance during the Southern Women's Show, emceed by Faye Parker, Clay's mother.

Anoop Desai to perform at fundraiser.

Pop artist Anoop Desai, finalist from the eighth season of American Idol, will perform at the Sunday's finale. The singer's first independently-released EP All is Fair is due out this spring.

New York Teachers Meet Mikayla

The April edition of New York Teacher features an article by Kimberly Rush, "First Person: Mikayla's Voice," chronicling the mother's pride in her daughter's accomplishments and the support the young girl has received from her friends and schoolmates.

Mikayla is our beautiful daughter. Now 15 years old, she was born with profound brain damage resulting in spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, severe mental retardation, seizure disorder, legal blindness, hearing impairment, and numerous medical conditions related to her disabilities.

Despite the severity of Mikayla's disabilities, my husband and I have always strived to give her as normal a life as possible. When we moved to Pennsylvania eight years ago, the idea of full inclusion for a child with severe developmental disabilities was relatively new to our school district.

In keeping with our own personal philosophy, we requested that Mikayla be included in a regular first-grade class. This year Mikayla is in eighth grade, still fully included, and very popular with her friends.

A class project by third-grade students at Lower Nazareth Elementary resulted in the book Our Friend Mikayla, is an honest portrayal of the children's first reactions to Mikayla, their barriers to acceptance, and finally the true friendships they formed with her.

Our Friend Mikayla was made possible by a grant from the National Inclusion Project, whose mission is to create awareness about the diversity of individuals with disabilities and the possibilities that inclusion can bring.

The book, which makes an excellent gift for teachers, schools, and other children, can be purchased at the Inclusion Project site. Proceeds help fund programs for children with disabilities in other schools and communities.

Spring Recital To Feature Variety

My piano and violin students are polishing pieces for this year's Spring Recital on May 23. In addition to classics, a fiddle tune medley, piano duets, student compositions ("Midnight Sea" and "God's Painting"), and an Evanescence finale ("Good Enough") with piano, violin, and vocalist are planned.

If any of these musicians are reading, go practice, LOL!

Have a wonderful week, Clay Nation!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Aiken-Studdard Finale Still Tops AI

Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard, Timeless
Montage by SueReu

Link to You Tube for full page view.
Download video with this

Best AI Season Ever

Clay-Ruben Pairing 'Timeless'

Through eight editions of American Idol, the 38.1 million viewers garnered by the Clay Aiken-Ruben Studdard Finale of May 21, 2003, not only confirms the popularity of the two singers but also the high bar set by the Season 2 contestants.

The faltering ratings of Season 9 all but guarantee that when the confetti falls and a new Idol is crowned in May, the Aiken-Studdard Finale will still be the champ.

An article by Lisa de Moraes in the Sunday, April 18, Washington Post -- Fallen 'Idol': The champ stumbles -- outlines the evolving problems of American Idol as its competition, Dancing With the Stars, has stepped up.

Click to enlarge AI overview. (Best viewed at Washington Post online.)

Accompanying the article is Seasons of 'Idol'-atry, an overview of the show's nine seasons to date. With 38.1 and 36.4 million viewers, respectively, the finales of Seasons 2 and 5 maintain their gold-silver ranking.

Ironically, Clay Aiken participated in both, as a finalist in his season and as a surprise guest performer with a suave makeover that momentarily fooled loyal fans and Idol personnel alike.

Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me
Clay Aiken surprises AI5 Finale audience.

Link to YouTube to view full screen.

Lythgoe Reveals AI5 Secrecy Plan

In an interview on KTLA-TV's Morning News Show later that week, Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed that details of Clay's appearance and performance on the AI5 Finale were kept secret from almost everyone.

The singer arrived at an obscure entrance in an SUV with tinted windows. Sporting a suave new look and attracting no attention whatsoever, he walked in unnoticed with wardrobe personnel and the garments they were transporting, secretly watching the show in a nearby building before being escorted to the stage for his entrance.

Clay was there to surprise Michael Sandecki, an early contestant who supposedly had won the Golden Idol Award for "Best Impersonation" of a previous finalist. As the stage doors parted, Clay entered singing DLTSGDOM. The theater audience and television viewers went wild.

It was the same incredible voice, but the maturity and difference in Clay's appearance were so striking that the panel of judges and emcee Ryan Seacrest didn't recognize him at first.

The event easily became the most discussed water cooler topic of the AI5 Finale, surmounting the buzz about the evening's newly-crowned Idol, Taylor Hicks.

TIMELESS - Clay and Ruben (Graphic by Fountaindawg)

CT, NY, IN Venues Set Ticket Dates

The popular "Timeless" duo of Clay and Rubin will again share the concert stage when they launch this summer's much-anticipated 17-city tour throughout North America.

On Friday, April 23, one the MGM Grand Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT, will begin selling tickets for the Timeless Tour. Two that had been scheduled for the 23rd (The Hammerstein, New York City, NY) and the Horseshoe Casino (Hammond, IN) have been changed their dates.

Phone numbers and additional information are provided courtesy of toni7babe, who maintains the Summer 2010 Timeless Tour Forum at Clayversity. Mark your calendar for these sites:

MGM Grand Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT, (Aug. 7 concert): Phone 866-646-0050. General public: 9 a.m. EDT., Friday, April 23.

The Hammestein, New York City, NY (Aug. 11 concert): Phone 212-279-7740. American Express Pre-sale, Thursday, April 22, 10 a.m. EDT - Thursday, April 29, 10 a.m. EDT; Live nation pre-sale Tuesday, April 27, 10 a.m. EDT - Thursday, April 29, 10 a.m. EDT; General public, Friday, April 30, 10 a.m. EDT.

Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, IN (Aug. 13 concert): Phone 866-711-7463. Tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster and at the box office at noon Friday, May 21.

Upcoming ticket sale dates on the books include the following:

May 7 - Ruth Echerd Hall, Clearwater, FL (July 26 concert)
May 7 - King Center for the Arts, Melbourne, FL (July 25 concert)
May 7 - Club Nokie, Los Angeles, CA, May (Aug. 1 concert)
May 8 - Mountain View Plaza, Snoqualmie, WA (July 29 concert)
May 21 - Caesar's Colosseum, Windsor, ON (Aug 5 concert)
May 21 - Horseshoe Casion, Hammond IN (Aug 13 concert)
May 28 - Potawatomi Casino, Milwaukee, WI (Aug 3 concert)
TBA - American Music Theater, Lancaster, PA (Aug 8 concert)

The 17 Timeless Tour concert sites are linked below. For up-to-date information on ticket sales, see Clayonline News, Ticketmaster, and the venue links.

Click to enlarge scan from 4/19 Star Magazine.
Posted by Clayfulthing.

2010 Timeless Tour: Concert List

Jul-23 - Asheville, NC - Biltmore Estate (Tickets on sale NOW)
Jul-24 - Jacksonville, FL -
The Florida Theater (Tickets on sale NOW)
Jul-25 - Melbourne, FL -
King Center For Arts (Ticket sale: May 7)
Jul-26 - Clearwater, FL -
Ruth Eckerd Hall (Ticket sale: May 7)
Jul-29 - Snoqualmie WA -
Casino- Mountain View Plaza (Tickets: May 8)
Jul-31 - Reno, NV -
Silver Legacy Casino (Tickets: NOW)
Aug-01 - Los Angeles, CA -
Club Nokia (Tickets: May 7)
Aug-03 - Milwaukee, WI -
Potawatomi Casino (Tickets: May 28)
Aug-05 - Windsor, ON -
Caesars Windsor (Tickets: May 21)
Aug-06 - Chautauqua, NY -
Chautauqua Institution Amphitheatre (Tickets: NOW)
Aug-07 - Mashantucket, CT -
MGM Grand Foxwoods (Tickets: NOW)
Aug-08 - Lancaster, PA -
American Music Theatre (Tickets: TBA)
Aug-10 - Hampton Beach, NH -
Hampton Beach Casino (Tickets: NOW)
Aug-11 - New York, NY -
The Hammestein (Tickets: April 30)
Aug-12 - Verona, NY -
Turning Stone Casino (Tickets: NOW)
Aug-13 - Hammond, IN -
Horseshoe Casino (Tickets: May 21)
Aug-14 - Biloxi, MS -
Beau Rivage (Tickets: NOW)

Have an awesome weekend, Clay Nation!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clay Aiken To Bring Broadway Home

Clay Aiken performs on Raleigh stage. AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds

Dancers To Benefit Inclusion

NC Theatre Slates Fundraiser

Clay Aiken will be among five featured performers for "Bringing Broadway Home," June 21 fundraiser for the North Carolina Theatre Group. Subscriber tickets for the musical evening at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium got underway yesterday with general seating set for Monday, April 19.

In addition to Singer Man, the benefit concert celebrating 27 seasons of Broadway at the NC Theatre will star Lauren Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Terrance Mann, and Quiana Parler. Brief bios of all five are printed below.

Tuesday afternoon WRAL's Out and About column and Playbill posted stories promoting the NC Theatre benefit. Broadway World is also featuring the release, Aiken Joins Broadway Stars for NC Theathre Concert:

North Carolina Theatre, the region's only producer of professional Broadway musical revivals, announces "Bringing Broadway Home," a spectacular benefit concert on Monday, June 21st at 8 PM in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

This one-night-only event will celebrate 27 seasons of Broadway at North Carolina Theatre and will feature Clay Aiken, Lauren Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Terrence Mann and Quiana Parler.

Clay Aiken is a multi-platinum recording artist and is set to release his sixth album, Tried and True, this summer.

Since his meteoric rise to fame on the hit TV show American Idol in 2003, Aiken has launched eight tours, authored a New York Times best-selling book called Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, starred on Broadway in Monty Python's Spamalot, and has guest starring roles in TV's Scrubs, 30 Rock, and Saturday Night Live.

Before all of these accomplishments and more, Aiken performed on the North Carolina Theatre stage in Shenandoah and 1776 in 1996.

Theatre Benefit Flier

Cotton, a Clay Aiken fan from North Carolina, outlined the following plan for those who would like to secure tickets during this week's NCT membership pre-sale. Pricing is shown on the double-clickable flier above.

For the subscriber membership, you can buy two of the three shows offered in the Mini Pack (Cinderella, Annie, Little Shop of Horrors). You have to order tickets for specific shows and locations (i.e., Sun Aug 1 2PM, Mezz).

If you choose weeknights and balcony, you can become a subscriber for $100 or so plus fees. A weekend ticket subscription comes to around $120. I was able to buy eight benefit tickets Tuesday morning with no problem.

NC Theatre on Facebook suggests: Call 919-831-6941 x6943 or x6944. Hurry - tickets are going FAST!

Benefit To Celebrate 27 Seasons

Abbreviated bios and clickable photos of the five featured NC Theatre fundraiser performers are printed below. Their benefit concert will celebrate the theatre's 27 seasons. The above flier is double clickable.

Clay Aiken

CLAY AIKEN, a Raleigh native, rose to fame in 2003 as the runner-up on the second season of American Idol. The multi-platinum singer has recorded five albums with RCA Records; and his first CD with Universal Decca, "Tried and True," is scheduled for release June 1.

Aiken has launched eight North American tours and performed on a variety of holiday, comedy, and talk shows on television. His 2008 Broadway debut as Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.

The singer won honors in North Carolina when he performed "This Is The Moment" from Jekyll and Hyde. In 1996, he performed on the NC Theatre stage in Shenandoah and 1776.

Lauren Kennedy

LAUREN KENNEDY, a native of Raleigh, is an actress and singer who has performed many roles on Broadway. She most recently originated the role Off-Broadway at Second Stage last summer.

Among her Broadway roles include Lady of the Lake in "Spamalot," Fantine in "Les Miserables," and Betty Schaefer in "Sunset Blvd." Kennedy is a member of the Board of Directors at The North Carolina Theatre, an Artistic Advisor at Farmer’s Alley Theatre, and Producing Artistic Director at Hot Summer Night’s at The Kennedy.

Sharon Lawrence

SHARON LAWRENCE, a seasoned stage actress, Sharon Lawrence was recently nominated for an Ovation Award and won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for her acclaimed performance as Vivian Leigh in Pasadena Playhouse’s Off-Broadway hit "Orson’s Shadow." Her last Broadway appearance was as Velma Kelly in "Chicago."

Among her many TV credits are NYPD Blue, Desperate Housewives, Monk, Law and Order:SUV, Grey’s Anatomy, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She will star in a new comedy pilot for CBS entitled Hitched.

Terrence Mann

TERRENCE MANN made his big break-through in the original Broadway cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, playing the lead role of Rum Tum Tugger. Other Broadway performances include Javert in the original Broadway cast of Les Miserables, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Mann is currently playing the role of Mal Beineke in The Addams Family, which opened on Broadway on April 8.

Quiana Parler

QUIANA PARLER, a native of Charleston, SC, began her professional career singing for Calvin Gilmore of the "The Carolina Opry." In 2003 she parlayed a Top 48 placement on American Idol Season 2 into touring vocalist with Clay Aiken.

Parler's vocals can be heard on albums by Clay, Bianca Ryan, and Renee Olstead. She has recorded with some of the industry’s most respected producers and performed on numerous national television programs. She debuted in 2008 as Effie in the NC Theatre production of Dreamgirls.

After years on the road, the singer has returned home and assembled an incredible group of players and singers. Quiana Parler and Friends is an exciting, interactive band, a group with deep-rooted musical sophistication and an extremely diverse song list that travels throughout the USA and abroad.

Celebs Dance for Inclusion Project

In an annual benefit for the Foundation, the National Inclusion Project and A Step to Gold International Ballroom will co-host Dancing Like the Stars at Raleigh's Southern Women's Show on April 25.

Local celebrity participants have been practicing with their professional dance partners to provide great entertainment for the show attendees. Bios of the celebrity participants and their dance partners, as well as each couple's practice video, are provided here.

DLTS participants include Renee Chou (weekend morning anchor/reporter for WRAL-TV) and Dan Barber; Billy Dukes (music director/night DJ at 94.7 WQDR) and Kay Truitt; Scott Fitzgerald (WPTF 680AM radio personality, author, playright) and Melanie Dale; Bill Reh (meteorologist for NBC-17) and Amanda Shannon; Tina Seldin-Cash (WRAL TV) and Mike Gepner.

After watching the practice videos, use this link to vote for your favorite couple and make a donation to the National Inclusion Project. Every dollar donated will count as a vote towards the contestant of your choice (minimum online bid of $10).

Donations are 100 percent tax deductible. Voting will end at 11:59 EDT Saturday, April 24.

A MUSICAL STROLL - Founaindawg's latest graphic highlights Clay Aiken's six RCA albums and the much anticipated June 1 release with Decca, "Tried & True."

Fans on TNT Snippet Alert

Clocks have slowed to Larghissimo and Lenton assai tempi as time draws near for Amazon to post snippets of the upcoming "Tried & True" CD tracks. You can bet CA fans are staying in close contact with sites that will soon reveal smidgens of the new album's songs.

Another safe bet would be the Clay Aiken page at Decca Records.

Animation by gerwhisp

Larghissimo and Lento assai are slower than Largo, Lento, and Grave. I know I'm ready for the Vivace, Vivacissimo, and Vivacissimamente variety. How about you?

Below is a clickable of Fountaindawg's wallpaper:

Have a great week, Clay Nation!