For those of us NOT in The Right Place ... which would be heading in the direction of Philadelphia, MS and the Pearl River Resort
have a great time, I am sure it will be a fantastic concert!!
Okay, moving on to my original reason for this blog topic
I ran across Jim Vallance's website recently and thought you might enjoy reading the history of "The Right Place" and Jim's commentary on Taylor.
"The Right Place"
Recording Artist: Taylor Hicks
Writers: Jim Vallance, Bryan Adams
Date Written: March 1989 / Vancouver Canada
Albums: 'Taylor Hicks' (2006 / December 12)
I don't always follow "American Idol", but I was watching on October 10, 2005 when Taylor Hicks performed his audition in Las Vegas. He sang a Sam Cooke song, "A Change Is Gonna Come". I thought he nailed it!
When Paula said, "Can you give us 20 seconds of something else", Taylor sang a few bars of "Swannee River", the Ray Charles arrangement. Again, a great job. He had a vibe about him, an enthusiasm that was charming, genuine and infectious.
I usually agree with Simon, but on this occasion I was stunned when Simon said, "No". Thankfully, Randy and Paula came to the rescue, and Taylor went on to the next round.
I continued to follow "Season Five" as Taylor hung in, week after week. I was happy when he finally won the competition. I thought he deserved to come out on top.
In March 1989 Bryan Adams and I wrote a song for Joe Cocker, called "The Right Place". Joe asked us for "something that sounds like Ray Charles" ... and that's exactly what we wrote. But Joe decided "The Right Place" was the "wrong song", and he didn't record it.
So we sent the song to Ray Charles himself, but Ray didn't record it either (I was never able to confirm if Joe and Ray actually heard the song, or if it was rejected by their "handlers" before it reached their ears). After that, we gave up, and "The Right Place" collected dust on my shelf for nearly 20 years.
Meanwhile, back at the "American Idol" auditions ... despite Simon's scathing comments, Taylor received a resounding "Yes" from Paula and Randy. As Taylor headed for the door, grinning from ear to ear, Randy yelled after him, "Bring all the Cocker, all the Ray Charles. C'mon man!" Joe Cocker. Ray Charles. That stuck with me.
A year later, in September 2006, when I heard that Taylor was recording an album, I remembered what Randy had said, and it made me think of "The Right Place".
I knew the song wasn't a "hit" in the traditional sense, but I thought it might be a perfect vehicle for Taylor to channel his "inner Joe and Ray". I contacted my publisher, Ron Moss. Ron agreed the song was an appropriate "pitch", and he sent it to Pete Ganbarg, the independent "A&R man" who was assembling material for the Taylor Hicks project.
At first, Pete and producer Matt Serletic didn't think "The Right Place" was exactly right for Taylor. They liked the song, but they wanted us to "re-harmonize" the B-section. With that comment in mind, Bryan and I traded a few emails. But we were at a loss.
We really wanted to "deliver" for Pete and Matt, but we didn't know where to go with it, what changes to make. It looked like the song might spend another 20 years on the shelf. But then something unexpected happened.
During the next week or two the song started to "grow" on Pete and Matt, and presumably on Taylor and Arista chief Clive Davis. They decided to record the song after all, without the requested "re-harmonization". I was thrilled!
Bryan sang beautifully on our "home demo", but I was equally impressed with Taylor's performance. I was also very happy with Matt Serletic's production and arrangement, especially the use of bass, drums, guitar and gospel backing vocals (our original demo was very sparse ... just me on keyboards and Bryan's vocal).
On July 17, 2007 Taylor performed "The Right Place" on the popular morning television show, "The View". It was "back to basics", with Taylor on vocals and harmonica and Loren Gold on piano, similar to the way the song had originally been written and demo'd.
It was apparent that Taylor had developed an affinity for the song in the ten months since he'd recorded it. On "The View", his vocal performance digs even deeper than it did on the recorded studio version, and Loren provides solid support on the piano.
For anyone who ever doubted the legitimacy of his American Idol success, this performance proves, beyond a doubt, that Taylor Hicks is the "real deal".
Video by Evancol