~ 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"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


A few days ago, I was surprised to read that Taylor Hicks had extended his contract with the National Grease Tour until 2010.

When I discussed this with a friend, she told me that she was not at all surprised. When “times” are difficult, she said, people feel the need to be distracted from the everyday challenges of life. Taylor intends to continue the “shadow tour” with his music which, in the end, turns out to be a “win/win” situation for him and his growing fan base.

My friend’s analogy to the desperate times of the Great Depression really did hit home with me when I watched the Oscars on television. It wasn’t an obvious choice for me to watch this show but since my favourite programs were not scheduled, I decided to take in the celebrations of the evening.

The multi-talented Hugh Jackman was an impressive host for the Oscars. I thoroughly enjoyed his musical and dance performances with Anne Hathaway and Beyoncé. In several interviews over the past few months, Taylor has made references to his goal of being a well-rounded entertainer. After watching Hugh Jackman, Taylor's rationale of "honing his craft" is understandable especially in today’s environment.

On a non-musical note, I thought it was wonderful that the acting nominees received individual recognition by one of their peers before that “envelope” was opened. All too often in previous shows, the names are read far too quickly without any personal mention of the accomplishments of the nominees. This was another “feel good” moment in my opinion.

As I watched the performances which included dancers and top hats, I was reminded of a time many years ago when there were afternoon movies on television that always had a great story, lots of music and dancing. You walked away from the television feeling good!

It seemed to me that the dominance of a musical theme throughout the show reinforced my friend’s conclusions that when the road is full of potholes, as it has been over the past several months, we all look to the entertainment industry to distract us from the hardships and the ongoing uncertainty that we are faced with on a daily basis.

During one of the elaborate musical performances, there was a tribute to Grease which obviously made me smile. I had always been a fan of the original movie and its music. Hugh Jackman shouted out “good music is coming back”! Yes, I thought, bring back some really good music. I want to feel good.

Music continued to be in the limelight during the Oscars when Queen Latifah performed “I’ll Be Seeing You” as pictures of those who have “moved on” were flashed across the screen. At the end of the show, we saw clips from upcoming 2009 movies accompanied, yet again, by music.

All of the emphasis on “music” that I saw on the Oscars tells me that Taylor Hicks has made a good decision to stay with the Grease Tour. Musicals are coming back which was clearly evident in the very popular movie “Mamma Mia"! When times are the darkest, we seem to yearn for nostalgia and we want to tap our feet to the beat of the uplifting songs.

Taylor Hicks' new video produced by Jake Davis for his newly released single, “What’s Right is Right” gives us this feeling of nostalgia with the lighting effects; the scenes of a dimly lit bar and an old-style restaurant. The song gives us hope that life will get better and that love from those around us can see us through the troubled days we face as citizens of this world.

Taylor’s new CD, “The Distance” which is being released on March 10th will, I am sure, give us more “feel good” music!

Today's cup:
A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn.
~ Author Unknown ~


Anonymous said...

Have to agree that in these economically depressed times , music is soothing and for a small price can be played over and over again. A good deal !!!

I rarely enjoy the Oscars as I have rarely enjoyed the films lauded, but I agree that this years presentation was novel and well produced.

Hopefully Taylor will hone his craft and become the best that he can be in many areas of entertainment.

Good luck to him


juliegr said...

It appears that more and more people are making the same or similar comments about Taylor's decision to continue with the National Tour of Grease into 2010. My conclusion is that it's nice to have your long-time and loyal fans travel to see you at concerts but as funds dwindle, the audience will get smaller for these repeat fans. Then the comments become more ascerbic about the show, music, etc. Taylor's decison to take his show -- and his music -- TO the fans is genius. New people, new cities and town, new music critics, new publicity. A win-win situation.

Taylor is doing it his way and cleaning up in the process.

hickifino said...

You made a good point about the return of the musical. I hadn't thought of that. Like you, I noticed the brief homage to Grease at the Oscars. Did you see that ABC Family channel showed both Grease and Grease II last weekend?
It appears that Taylor has made some powerful alliances - ones that know how to market and have the influence to make it happen. Good for Taylor! I admire his business acumin! (Other things too....)

KarinP said...

cath, like you, I don't often enjoy watching the Oscars because they drag on for so long but it seemed to me that this year, it was over before I knew it. I find that listening to the music that I enjoy always lifts my spirits. I am looking forward to following Taylor's career because he continues to have the determination and perserverance to be the best that he can be. I hope that he is really enjoying the ride! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, cath!

juliegr, I am sure that Taylor will always appreciate his long-time fans but you make a good point. Grease is a good vehicle to reach new fans and, at the same time, give existing fans an opportunity to see him without having to travel a long way from home to see him. He certainly is doing it "his way" but the underlying theory appears to be the same - "one soul at a time" which is a great way to do it. I am sure that you will agree that there will always be those who might criticize his actions but I think that goes hand-in-hand with being an entertainer. As in real life, "You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.". It was great to see your comment, julie...thanks!

hickifino, I am sorry that I missed seeing Grease and Grease II. I agree with your assessment on Taylor's alliances. It appears that he has gathered a strong team around him in order to promote his career. I am looking forward to more televison appearances which will help to promote the new CD. Thanks very much for taking the time to comment and I hope you drop by again!