Monday, December 19, 2011

Clay Aiken Fans Celebrate Season with New Single

Clay Aiken to release BBML single at midnight.
Double clickable graphic by Fountaindawg, photo by Curtis Brown.

Bring Back My Love

Fans Count Down to New Single

Only a few more hours to Clay Aiken's much-anticipated new single!

"Bring Back My Love," will be released for digital download at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday on Amazon, iTunes, and CD Universe. And fans cannot wait!

iTunes Hot New Singles Banner

As the zero hour ticked closer, many fans played the song non-stop on the the Mediabase Player on the Music Info Systems site. You may be prompted to download a plug-in for your browser. These links should help: Firefox and Mediabase Settings.

BBML cap links to Mediabase Player.

Bring Back My Love - Clay Aiken (lyrics)

When I was young

Love was a lonely lullaby
Then there was you
I saw my future in your eyes
And I threw you away
I was wrong
When all is said and done,
Then I'm gonna bring back my love to you
Gonna show you what love can do
Believe me, just give me time
Cause I'm gonna to bring back my love to you
And we'll lay down like lovers do
Oh, my darling, say you'll be mine

Spending my time building my castles in the sand
I was a fool letting you fall right through my hands
Tonight, please let me hold you in my arms
And lie here safe from harm

Cause I'm gonna bring back my love to you
Gonna show you what love can do
Oh, my darling, say you'll be mine

All that I ever wanted
All that I ever needed
Was your love
Cause your love carries me

Cause I'm gonna bring back my love to you
Gonna show you what love can do
Oh, believe me, just give me time
Cause I'm gonna bring back my love to you
And we'll lay down like lovers do
Oh, my darling, say you'll be mine
Oh, my darling, say you'll be mine

Always with the voice at the forefront, the song starts with piano alone, proceeds to vocals and piano. Strings, horns, and percussion are added at various points.

Double clickable Christmas graphic by Fountaindawg.

Champions Gala 'Stays in Raleigh'

While I was playing oboe in Jamestown United Methodist Church Lessons and Carols Christmas Cantata rehearsals/performances on Dec. 10-11, many Clay Aiken fans converged on Raleigh for the National Inclusion Project's annual Champions Gala.

Most of the events -- VIP reception; silent and Dutch auctions; luncheon; Clay's special performance of pop hits, holiday music, and the premiere of BBML -- were off limits to cameras this year.

Honorees included Walgreens (corporate), Kevin Connolly, 24, photographer and professional skier born without legs; and Chris Burke, whose Down Syndrome has not impaired his acting career. Read the bios/credentials of these champions of inclusion at the Foundation's website.

Clack of Sunday morning's NIP Volunteer Round Table discussion can be viewed at the Ginger Scarlett Channel on YouTube. Videos 1, 2, and 3 cover the mission and scope of the NIP's inclusive programs and fundraisers; Let's All PLAY camps; proactive, creative ways to organize benefits.

Special thanks to
Scarlett for providing video of these sessions.

Recaps of the weekend have been devoured throughout Clay Cyberspace, and those in attendance are still talking about the 2011 event. I especially like this Not.Just.Us quote shared by
I had the pleasure of seeing you at the foundation fundraiser hosted by Clay Aiken last weekend. I went kicking and screaming, but I gotta admit ... the dude can sing.

I have never seen fans like that in my life. They remind me of small crowd versions of the Beatles and Elvis. I was told that lunch with Clay Aiken went for $58,000. Clearly I should not have ducked chorus in high school.

P.S. Luncheon a Very Special Treat

For me, a very special highlight of Gala Weekend was the luncheon six of us shared in Greensboro Sunday afternoon.

Five participants traveled from Raleigh while I packed up my oboe to meet them at Mimi's Restaurant in the Friendly Shopping Center. The hour wait was no problem as some of us were meeting for the first time.

What a treat to finally meet
Aspiegirl and her roommate Maria, both of whom I have known online for years. I also met for the first time Triad neighbors georgiesmybaby and FearofH2O.

Being with
Scarlett is always special. After the Ohioans departed for their 11-hour return trip and the Triad folks headed home, Scarlett and I visited, picked up some sushi for her, and eventually rented a car for her return to Raleigh and very early flight the next morning.

It's been quite a week!

Double clickable cap of Christie Cookie site to enlarge.

Christie Cookie Site Features NIP

The National Inclusion Project has been the featured charity in Christie Cookies' 'Chippin' in for Kids' program for November and December 2011. Scroll on the left sidebar or the Charity of the Month.

Each time a cookie tin is purchased, Christie Cookies donates 22% of the price back to the charity. At the same time, the cookie site is spreading the word about inclusion:

Inclusion is giving people their rightful opportunity to participate. Since the National Inclusion Project began, they have made a real impace by ensuring that children nationwide can experience all of life."

Read more information at National Inclusion

Piano, Violin Students Perform

No doubt, last week was one of the busiest of the year as my violin and piano students also performed holiday music/semester literature at Wesleyan Christian Academy on Thursday afternoon. No wonder the Carolina blog has sat so long without an update!

Hats off to Erica Freeman, Kayla Davidson, and Haley Pierce, pianists; and violinists Jenni Harrell, Raegan Isenhour, Sara Beth Bulla, and Tatum Davis for their solos, duets, and ensembles during the first performance.

Double duty in a church Nativity scene rearranged the second program, so the string ensemble performed the opening four numbers with Tatum present and closed the program with one violinist dancing in King Herod's court elsewhere.

'King Herod' Claims Violinist

The violin ensemble at the second recital included Ora Fulp, Erica Justice, Sara Beth, and Tatum. A fifth member was home sick with the flu.

Pianists Miranda Rivera, Mitch Rivera, Jeremy Fulp, and Caleb Hernandez presented a varied program. In addition to the holiday selections, Caleb performed three new compositions whose current "working titles" are "Irish," "Winter," and "Old."

The importance of the holiday goody bags was never more pronounced as this year. Between performances, Tatum and her mom microwaved her bag's popcorn to sustain them through the Nativity gig.

Hopefully, all my students are still sharing their holiday music, as well as the goodies!

Christmastime is Here when Clay sings carols.
Double clickable graphic by Fountaindawg, photos by NickiKiwi.

Clay Synonymous with Christmas

No one sings Christmas music like Clay Aiken, and Claymatron provided just the post to describe what I mean. Here is her story:
I just returned from doing some Christmas shopping, and my first stop was the Hallmark card shop in our local mall. I was perusing some cards when I suddenly realized the Christmas carol I heard was being sung by Clay. I turned around and loudly declared, "OMG, that's Clay Aiken! Is that the radio?"

The ladies behind the counter looked at each other, smiled, and said, "Nope, it's our own CD; he's our favorite!" I told them I am a fan, and they told me they play it every day throughout the holidays. And they always get the nicest compliments from their customers when they do.

I'm not surprised. I stayed and bought three more cards than I intended and then browsed the entire shop until I heard "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" It's the first time I've felt "Christmasy" this year!

NIP Lends NHHS Band a Hand

If you read my message board/Facebook posts, you know the Inclusion Project is helping the New Hanover High School Band, my Alma mater, and several other charities during the December Pepsi Refresh.

After receiving an urgent email from my brother Chuck one week into the campaign, our NIP crew started advising NHHS and other novice groups with what we have learned in past Pepsi drives.

Two weeks later, they are novices no more. Now we are taking notes from these energetic, creative gals -- Dana Ward (NHHHS Band, #9 in $25k), Crys Worley (AL Skate. #6 in $50k), Jennifer Rice (Ravenna Parks/Recreation, #14 in $50k), and on and on!

Many thnx to all who are utilizing the NIP Voting Widget links in this blog's sidebar. Even my music students are committed to daily texts as we support these groups for the next 10 days.

Wishing you and yours a very special holiday season!

Signature by Linda


MOButtercup said...

Great Blog...again! The NIP Gala was amazing from start to finish., The honorees were amazing and very deserving and Clay was phenomenal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I'm so thrilled I got to hear his new song. I never expected that to happen when I came here tonight. Thanks for showing us how to do it. I love the song. It is a little different from what he usually sings, but it really shows off his beautiful voice. I keep wanting to go back and listen to it again and again.

Your whole blog is wonderful. I can see it took a lot of work putting it together. Great job! Lois

Ginger Scarlett said...

What an astoundingly beautiful array of happy events!!! This is a blog to remember for sure - f'dawgie's superb graphics, those lushly gorgeous lyrics that zoom right into your heart, precious bbml radio playing information, scrumptious cookies, talented students' recitals and a very talented teacher who just barely mentioned her spectacular cantata performance on the morning of the roundtable, lunch with friends and even more to come! at the rate things are going, you're going to have to blog twice a day... LOL! :)

Lots of hugs,

Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays and sure is nice Clay is singing!! :) Wi.

Marlene said...

Your blog is just great Caro! - -
Love hearing all of Clay's exciting
news and as a first time visitor in
Raleigh for the Gala, I had the time of my life! The honoree's were
outstanding an so was Clay. It's
such a good feeling to support NIP!
Love the "New Song" immensly!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro. I have enjoyed listening to my new download of BBML. Been playing it all morning.

I really enjoyed lunch with you. It was the highlight of the Gala. I am so happy that we met and hope to meet again too. I had such a wonderful time with all of you.

I see your students are working hard this Christmas too. (not this one. heee. could not help writing that.. lol)

Love you bunches ((HUGS)) Kathy/Aspiegirl

Bonnie said...

Christmas blessings on you and yours! Love the new song. Especially liked hearing about the Gala. Hard to believe two years have passed since Joan (Ashes) died, but I am sure she is smiling with a new song, Celebrity Apprentice and how well the NIP is doing.

MOButtercup said...

I just reread your blog and I am so excited about the band and the others in the Pepsi Refresh Challange for December. I'm constantly amazed by the "clay family" that comes together to help when someone voices a need. I'm glad to be a part of something so great!

kta said...

What a wonderful blog. Lots of good things happening. :) The tip of teh iceburg has to be Clay's new single. Simply famtastic!!

Sandy said...

This blog was chock full of goodies and I mean goodies!! Thank you so much!

Have listened to Clay's new song over over again. I am so in love with this song!

How nice that you got to finally meet some internet friends after all these years! One year I hope to meet you as well!

Have a wonderful week and will be sure to stop by over the Christmas season!

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Amazing...Clay's new song just grows on you every time you hear it. At first, it seemed that every musical nuance was taken from the various songs he's sung to date...from the quiet intro that was so notable about 'Clay's own' Lover All the dramatic uptake first used on his recent version of Unchained Melody ...but then, Clay's newest 'lay down with you as lovers do' is so contrary to all the earlier reasons he wouldn't sing 'Touch'.

It's obvious Clay's music is maturing just as he himself has...and that makes this song so special. This song is just ne sais quoi...destined to be timeless in its enduring popularity? or a major stepping stone to the blossoming of a full-fledged, long lasting musical career for Clay?


Barbara said...

Wonderful blog, Caro! Full of info.; enjoyed it so much! Sounds like you have been one busy lady.

I love Clay's new single. What a treat for the holidays!

I know your piano and violin students did a lovely job performing; well of course, they have you for their teacher!

I bet it was a joy to have lunch with Clay friends at the Gala. A special time, for sure.

Happy that the NIP is doing well, thanks to all of the support form everyone.

Take care and have a wonderful and blessed holiday!

Love and hugs, ♥♥
Barbara :-)

Anonymous said...

You out did yourself. You wrote a nice long newy blog. Thanks for the song lyrics. Now I can sing along with Clay. Of course my husband might not thank you :D. Have a awesome Merry Christmas.

Hugs Margaret