~ Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man spreads out and touches the lives of others ~

From The Soul of One ~ To The Hearts Of Many
Taylor Hicks "The Distance"

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Right Place ~ The Right One

For those of us NOT in The Right Place ... which would be heading in the direction of Philadelphia, MS and the Pearl River Resort
for Taylor's concert with LMBO .... I share your pain!

To my souls sisters lucky enough to be attending

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have a great time, I am sure it will be a fantastic concert!!

Okay, moving on to my original reason for this blog topic

When I hear Taylor sing 'The Right Place' I'm always reminded of Ray Charles' Diet Pepsi commercials ... this was one of my favorites!

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".

Yes, indeed!

Video by Evancol
(Thank You)

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And thanks for stopping in to visit my little pond, your comments are welcome!


KarinP said...

I am definitely not in "The Right Place" today because I am not on a plane or in a car so it means I, too, will be missing this concert. I share your pain but I am happy for those who are able to go.

This song has always been a favourite of mine and the performance on The View was phenomenal.

I am crossing my fingers that this one will be the next single to be released. Surely, this song should be one that will be picked up by numerous radio stations in the Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening and Soft Rock categories because it is very radio friendly.

What is it going to take to get Taylor the radio play he deserves?

When Taylor performs this song, he pours his heart and soul into it.

Taylor is definitely in "the right place" when he sings this beautiful song.

Thanks for bringing attention to this song.

DJinKC said...

I so wish I was in the right place today!! It's going to be along winter. Thank goodness for all the videos and photo's from the past!!
One day "The Right Place" will find it's way onto radio, I'm praying for that!!
I'm looking forward to the DVD coming out also!!
Great Blog again Miss Bloom!!

maryann1 said...

My heart was in The Right Place, in Philadelphia, Ms. today even tho I sit here at home on the West Coast...

I have read the history of this song a few months ago and am so happy that you posted it so that I could read it again.

When I hear Taylor sing this song, I hear Ray sing too. The song was so meant to be song by both Ray and Taylor. Taylor does this song justice....You can hear the passion in his voice everytime he sings...Maybe one day it will be heard on the radio. It would be a wonderful tribute the song and the man.

Taylor is indeed the in "The Right Place" at the right time and he is "The Right One"

Thank you Bloom for posting the history about The Right Place and for your wonderful blog.

Bloom said...

Karin we may not have been in the right place to see the concert, but at least we got to hear it together!!
That was so much fun, still can't believe it was my first cellcert!
I love 'The Right Place' too and
his performance on The View was outstanding!!
I couldn't believe my ears when the opening bars started playing, what a fantastic surprise that was!
I'd love for Taylor to release TRP as his next single and I agree it could fit into many genres ... even Country!
His take on TRP sure had a Country flavor to it the other night!

Bloom said...

I've looked high and low for a video of 'The Right Place' from Pearl River and none have surfaced of really good quality ... but I ran across Taylor's performance of TRP in Millersburg that is incredible!!! I'm adding it here so I can listen to my heart's desire!