The Official Soul Patrol: Dedicated to Taylor Hicks
This has been the Official Soul Patrol since April 23, 2007...until the domain expired and a new owner acquired it.
The content is from the original Official Soul Patrol website.
The new owner didn't want to let those Taylor Hicks fans down.
Enjoy some nostalgia.
TheOfficialSoulPatrol.com is the home of the original Soul Patrol, dedicated to Taylor Hicks.
TheOfficialSoulPatrol.com is in no way affiliated with Taylor Hicks, FremantleMedia, FOX or American Idol.
TheOfficialSoulPatrol.com is always on the lookout for news articles about Taylor Hicks. We keep an eye on many different news agencies in an effort to bring you all the news about Taylor that's fit to print..... or in our case, post.
When we come across a news article about Taylor, we will post it on this page for you. From concert reviews, to information about upcoming performances, to news about what is next in Taylor's career, you can keep up with it all right here.
In addition to articles about Taylor, you will also find articles about American Idol, its spin-off American Band, as well as past contestants. We may also include articles about other song and dance reality shows from time to time, including our favorites Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
"The first thing I ever stole was an Otis Redding LP from my friend's house," says singer/songwriter and harmonica player Taylor Hicks. "I think I was in third grade."
And though he was born years after the hey day of the great soul and blues performers, Hicks spent his childhood immersed in a steady stream of music by artists such as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Van Morrison. At 16, he bought a $2 harmonica from a flea market in Bessemer, AL and spent most of his time practicing while other kids were more concerned with driving cars.
Today, Hicks' own brand of soul-and-blue-influenced music reflects the same sort of raw emotion and sensibilities so apparent in the songs he grew up on: pain, loss, love and the confusion inherent in them all.
He says his passionate writing and singing style is just a natural progression of a life that has been a little different than those of his peers. "Some people grew up in close-knit families," he explains, "they could identify with the sugar-coated, new-wave music that was popular in the '80s and even now. My home life wasn't very supportive or comfortable - with divorce (among other misfortunes). I had to make life-changing choices at an early age. And the whole time, I was listening to soul music - music where you can actually hear a man's heart break. So it just really made sense to me - even at such a young age."
Hicks said he found the comfort he was looking for on stage. "I just made it my home. It's where my heart is." And watching his intensity on stage, it's apparent that he holds nothing back. Even the slowest songs are sung with such energy, sweat and grit it would make his predecessors proud. The addition of his growling harmonica style is explosive at least.
Backed by several bands and such musicians as Nashville veteran Billy Earle McClelland, he has entertained audiences at festivals, clubs and fraternities for the past seven years while sharing the bill with some of his idols such as Percy Sledge along the way.
On his debut album, "In Your Time", Hicks demonstrates that, although he has a reverence for those artists he learned from, he's far from a stuck-in-the-past purist. The title track from this live CD could be identified as modern soul music, but it is tinged with swinging horns and jazzy guitar licks. The acoustic ballad "The Fall" brings the listener along on Hicks' sentimental thoughts of a relationship on its last leg. He leaves behind the bigger band sound, opting for more sparse accompaniment that drives home the nakedness of emotion in the song. The recording also features classics including "Georgia" and the Archie Bell & the Drells song "Tighten Up".
How I became a Taylor Hicks fan
This is a (mostly) true story about how I became a Taylor Hicks fan. It was going to be a story about how I was dragged kicking and screaming into becoming a Taylor Hicks fan, but the title "How I was dragged kicking and screaming into becoming a Taylor Hicks fan" required too much typing.
It all started way back in 2005 while I was on a now defunct games Web site looking for some victims to play a game of Parchisi against. I found a room waiting for a player. As (bad) luck would have it, Steff was in the room. The game started, and Steff quickly found out what a ruthless Parchisi player I was. She had never met anyone who would bypass the entrance into home base for the sole purpose of pouncing on an opponent's playing piece (which would send that piece back to the starting spot).
Steff and I quickly developed an online friendship, albeit one where we would relentlessly taunt each other while taking great pains, and pleasure, in pouncing on each other's playing pieces. As would be expected, I won most of the games (Steff's claims that she won half of the games may be true in reality, but this is my story).
Time went on, games were won and lost, and somehow Steff and I were still speaking to each other. Then Season 5 of "American Idol" began.
Ace Young was an early favorite of mine, along with Will Makar and Kevin Covais (yes, I liked Chicken Little........ now will you PLEASE stop throwing eggs at my window). Steff kept rambling on about this gray-hair guy who she thought was the hottest thing this side of Ty Pennington. I had missed seeing Taylor up to that point, so I kept an eye out for him. I figured if Steff liked him, he had to be pretty good.
And then I saw Taylor for the first time.
I just could not understand what Steff saw in Taylor. Week after week, Steff would flip head over heals after seeing Taylor perform. She would bombard me constantly with her thoughts about him. When I would mention Ace, Steff would throw up.
I made the mistake one time of making fun of her liking Taylor while we were playing Parchisi. Steff promptly pounced on three of my playing pieces in one roll. She won the game before I could even get one of my pieces around the board. After that, I kept my Taylor comments to times when we weren't playing an online game.
In late March 2006, an opportunity for Steff to buy TheOfficialSoulPatrol.com presented itself. She not only bought the site, but somehow managed to rope me into helping her run it. Suddenly I found myself, an Ace fan, surrounded by 7,000 Soul Patrollers (we've grown some since then). Since I had not given Taylor more than an occasional glance every week up to that point, I figured it was time that I paid attention to him and his performances. After all, if I was going to argue my case for Ace, I needed to know something more about Taylor.
So I watched. Then I watched some more. And I kept watching.
At some point, I found myself looking forward to seeing Taylor perform. I don't know when or how that happened, but it did. And when he performed "Play That Funky Music," I knew I was hooked.
Oops. That wasn't suppose to happen.
Not only had I become a bonafide Taylor supporter, but I had also become an avid phone voter for him. Each week I was spending the full two hours glued to the phone. I even re-installed my dial-up modem so I could download and use DialIdol, which freed me up to call from my cell phone.
Yep. I was hooked. The gray-hair guy turned out to be a talented, down-to-earth guy. He wasn't afraid to be himself on stage. I remember that time he went to kick the mike stand and missed. Twice. He didn't stop. He didn't pause. He didn't look like his world was about to fall apart. He just kept right on going, wowing the crowd in the process. Taylor was there to perform, and all I had to do to see it was just give him half a chance.
Don't get me wrong, I still love Ace. I think he is extremely talented and will have a great career if he wants it. But it turns out that Steff was right (you have no idea how painful it is for me to say that). Taylor was the best one in the group.
But don't tell Steff I said that. She'll be impossible to deal with if she finds out.
My favorite "American Idol 6" contestants
It's been a long road so far. We have had to endure cranky judges (and drunk ones, if the stories are to be believed), strange people (remember the woman in her fifties who dressed up in a yellow chicken suit and lied about her age), ego trips (two words: Ian Bernado), sad stories (16-year old Matt Salvo, who was at the auditions by himself because his mom didn't approve of him going), and Sherman Pore (it will be a tragedy if he is not allowed to sing on stage at the finale this year).
But the pool has been whittled down to 24. And I already have my favorites. And no, Steff, this time there is no Ace Young on the list.
Blake Lewis blew into the Seattle auditions looking like Ryan Seacrest. He then blew me and the judges away with his beat boxing skills. And while his singing wasn't as good, I was glad to see him make it through to Hollywood. During the group competition, I felt Blake's beat boxing skills were the reason why his group sounded so good. Like Simon said, this is a singing competition, and I do think Blake has a voice and the talent and maturity to make it. I'm looking forward to see whether Blake will be able to incorporate his beat boxing duirng the competition. In addition, I'm interested in seeing if he will continue wearing long-sleeve shirts or will allow his heavily tattooed arm to show.
Sanjaya Malakar seems to already be an audience favorite with his 5,000-watt smile. He is the youngest, and shyest, of my favorites. But the moment he belted out Stevie Wonder at his auditions, I knew he had the talent to make it this far. Only time will tell if he has the maturity needed to handle the songs thrown at him during the compeition. But his down-to-earth personality (remind you of anyone) should help him. And you can be sure that his sister will be in the audience the entire time.
Lakisha Jones sang Think by Arithia Franklin and blew everyone away. Based on just her audition alone, she deserves a recording contract. During her solo song in the Hollywood Round, she had much of the audience standing and cheering her on. Lakisha has the maturity and talent to make any song she sings her own. It will be a tragedy if she doesn't at least make the Final 10.
Melinda Doolittle walked into her audition with zero confidence and a lot of talent. Her rendition of Stevie Wonder's For Once In My Life was one of the best auditions of the season. She found some confidence along the way, and it showed during the Hollywood Round. As long as Melinda doesn't lose her new-found confidence on the bigger stages, she will be tough to beat.
There you go. My favorites of this season. I think all four for them will have a bright future no matter what happens to them during the competition. But I have to say that I hope all of them make it to the Top 4.
Just in case you have been living under a rock with no electricity recently, below is a list of Top 24.
Top 12 Guys
Rudy Cardenas, Jared Cotter, Sundance Head, Paul Kim, Blake Lewis, Sanjaya Malakar, Nicholas Pedro, Chris Richardson, Brandon Rogers, Chris Sligh, Phil Stacey, AJ Tabaldo
Top 12 Girls
Alaina Alexander, Antonella Barba, Melinda Doolittle, Stephanie Edwards, Gina Glocksen, Leslie Hunt, Lakisha Jones, Amy Krebs, Haley Scarnato, Sabrina Sloan, Jordin Sparks, Nicole Tranquillo
So do you agree with my choices? Is there someone else you like? Leave a comment and let me know.
Oh, and Steff........ since I voted for Taylor last season, this season you have to vote for one of my favorites.
We're all Taylor Hicks fans...... in our own way
I've debated for several days now about whether to write this blog entry or not and, if I did write it, how I would word it. Although, obviously, I've decided to write it, I haven't yet figured out the wording. So please forgive me in advance if something doesn't come out right.
All Soul Patrollers, no matter which site or sites we belong to, have one thing in common: We are all fans of Taylor Hicks. If we weren't fans of Taylor, there would be no reason to be a Soul Patroller. We might still visit a Soul Patrol Website out of curiousity or even participate on one because of friends who belong, but you generally won't find someone calling themselves a Soul Patroller unless they are really a fan.
But despite the fact that we all have our Taylor fandom in common, we are all different. Like snowflakes, no two Soul Patrollers are alike. We all have our own opinions, ideas, and thoughts that, at any given point in time, may be different from a majority of the Soul Patrol.
Take a look at any of the friends you have offline. I can say with confidence that in every friendship you have, you and your friend have at least one thing in common. It is these commonalities that helped to get the friendship started in the first place and, often times, helps to sustain the friendship. I can also say, with just as much confidence, that in every friendship you have, you and your friend will have at least one thing you don't see eye-to-eye on. And it is these differences that can, at times, cause a disruption in the friendship.
So where am I going with this? Well, everyone who calls themself a Soul Patroller have Taylor Hicks in common. We are all fans of his. However, not every Soul Patroller sees things regarding Taylor the same way. While one Soul Patroller may love Taylor's book, another Soul Patroller may not have liked it. While one Soul Patroller may think the two songs released as singles so far were the best choices, another Soul Patroller may think that the choice of songs are partially responsible for the lack of radio airplay. While one Soul Patroller may enjoy watching Taylor from a distance, another Soul Patroller may feel that the best way to express her love for Taylor is to throw her panties on stage. Though, and I'm sure all Soul Patrollers can agree on this one, I hope those panties were new or, at least, clean.
Lately, though, it seems that some Soul Patrollers are having a lot of difficulty getting past the fact that not every other Taylor fan out there sees things they same way they do. Instead of discussing their differences, though, they put that person down for having those opinions. Worse, sometimes they follow up with their own opinions in such a way that they act like theirs is the only opinion that matters. Even worse still, I've seen cases where one member has accussed another member of not being a true fan because they didn't like everything that Taylor has done.
Even though we all have Taylor in common, we have to work at not allowing our differing thoughts, ideas, and opinions to break us apart. We have to remember that each person is different and that their opinions may not always match our own when it comes to Taylor. We also have to remember to respect each other's opinions even when we disagree with them. We have to work at not putting each other down while, simultaneously, fostering healthy discussion on those differences.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Soul Patrollers are some of the best fans out there. And I know we can all work together to get past our differences in order to ensure that that statement is always true.
# posted by soul1977 : September 29, 2007 7:05 PM
Alan, this is very well put...You hit the nail in the head. thanks so much for your point of veiw, which is right on the money
# posted by Annie : September 29, 2007 7:06 PM
Absolutely excellent, Alan. You are so right- just because we don't show our fanship towards Taylor the same way, it doesn't make us any less his fans, and we need the freedom to express ourselves without fear of retribution. Well done!!
# posted by Claire : September 29, 2007 7:15 PM
Everything that you said is true and correct. There is no argument in my part. The best thing about being able to express our opinions is the fact that WE ARE ALLOWED to do so. But there is a difference between having strong convictions and having disparagement. These are two totally different things. Taylor is the reason why we are all here, and then it should stay that way. Great blog, Alan, thanks. Soul Patrol!
# posted by Anonymous : September 29, 2007 8:13 PM
I think you have displayed a trait that other moderators on any website should exhibit in trying to keep the peace when you have a large population of women with a lot of opinions. Ultimately, I believe that it shows that you have a good heart. Don't take this too personally, I am still mad at you. LOL (kidding)
# posted by Anonymous : September 29, 2007 9:14 PM
Excellent, Alan......you are a good man.......thank you for being straight forward with your thoughts..Taylor is our focus here at TOSP.....I believe we all want him to be flourish and become more successful and let the world hear his music...I love being a member of the Soul Patrol and especially this board. There are some wonderful people here.
# posted by Anonymous : September 30, 2007 12:23 AM
To the poor man who is trying to lead a herd of felines...er, females:
I still haven't figured out how you came to this position with the TOSP not having seen TH perform "live" until recently. You have such placid acceptance of our foibles-- you must be a natural born peacemaker.
In any event thank you for your generous acceptance of the variety of the personalities you so well described. On behalf of my fellow fans, I submit we will TRY to behave in our fandom.
And...it's nice to know you, Alan.
# posted by maryann1 : September 30, 2007 12:29 AM
Alan....your words are so eloquently stated. We were all brought to this site because of Taylor who looks at the positive in life. We are all individuals with our own thoughts and opinions about many different things. I have met many wonderful people and made many friends. We need to respect each other’s opinions even when they differ from our own. We can learn from each other.
Thank you for your wonderful blog.
# posted by Jessica : September 30, 2007 8:10 AM
# posted by Felice/soulpatrol momma : September 30, 2007 10:02 AM
Alan I also agree that we are all fans in our own way and should not be fighting with each other. Peace!
# posted by Anonymous : September 30, 2007 10:02 AM
Alan- This is a very important point and a great time to bring this up. We are all Soul Patrol - but we are all different. We should respect each other and work for one common goal - PROMOTE TAYLOR!!! He is going to need us more than ever in the next few months. I would hate to be part of a fan base that has a reputation of being divided and difficult to deal with. Would you? Think about it before you respond, think about it before you pm someone with gossip and think about it before you go to a concert. Work together and promote. Don't call yourself just a fan - become a supporter! Taylor needs this board. It is the biggest and the most visiable. Let's work to continue making it the BEST!
# posted by Bofizzz : September 30, 2007 10:10 AM
Thank you, Alan for your post. You are dead on about how we don't all have to have every single opinion in common. If everybody agreed about everything all the time, the world would be a boring place. I just hope that your words reach all of us and have a positive effect on the ones that most need to hear them.
# posted by RagsQueen : September 30, 2007 11:36 AM
Bravo, Alan, Bravo! You have said in lot in a few paragraphs that is so true! It's about the promotion of Taylor Hicks, not which song is the best, which performance was the most heartfelt, or which venue had the best sound. It's not the number of record sales or ticket sales that count in the end. It's promoting and supporting Taylor Hicks. As Taylor Hicks has said so many times, it's about the music. His performances show that!
# posted by Anonymous : September 30, 2007 6:24 PM
Alan ~ The BEST blog I've seen to date... you worded it perfectly, and the comments here certianly are right on...Thank you for all you do for us, and ROCK ON!
# posted by katenoie : September 30, 2007 7:41 PM
perfect job alan. you said it all!
we all just need to move on and focus on why we're all really here!
# posted by KathyO : September 30, 2007 8:20 PM
Alan, you are right we don't always have to agree. The variety of opinions and "takes" on what is going on in Taylorland is what keeps me coming back.
# posted by Steve : October 2, 2007 1:13 AM
I think Taylor Hicks is fantastic, I am a songwriter from the UK, have had a few hits over here. But as soon as I saw him, I had to write him a song. 19management in the UK really thought it could work for him, but it got lost in the U.S somehow. In the lyrics, I make the point that he is an Alabama Man, and even managed to get "Birmingham" in the chorus! Have a listen, here is a link:
Keep up the good work!
Two Humble Men
Lasting friendships often happen in the rarest places and unusual circumstances and when a common chord strikes between two or more people, it's bound to connect them and keep them together for a long time.
This is exactly what happened between American Idol Season 5's Ace Young, Chris Daughtry, Bucky Covington, Elliott Yamin and Taylor Hicks who call themselves the "AI Rat Pack". Most especially true is the friendship between 2nd runner up Elliott and AI 5 champ Taylor. So naturally, I was so psyched when I heard that Elliott was dropping by the Philippines for a 10-day mall tour to promote his self-titled debut record. I promised myself I will do all that I can to see him live and re-live his great moments on AI and his extraordinary friendship with our Soul Man.
While watching and listening to Elliott's performance, I begin to see what has drawn me to them and what made them great artists, despite coming from such humble beginnings and discouraging experiences.
Taylor is a man who never gave up, he knew he had a voice that he wanted to share to the world and he did all he can and faced all he can to get to the place where this opportunity would be given to him. On the other hand, Elliott was being told he had the voice, but somehow seemed hesitant to pursue a career in music, at times being insecure and thinking he will never be good enough.
Finally, an opportunity came knocking on both men's door, an opportunity that also presented a plethora of options to fail. Both men mustered all their inner drive and put their heart and soul into each and every performance to show that they had what it takes, all they needed was the proper venue to show it.
Though Elliott did not go all the way and win season 5, he continued on, with renewed vigor and support from his loyal fans to push through with an album that he committed himself into. He did things his way, and ended up having a blast of an album that he can truly be proud of. His good friend Taylor, did go all the way and had his record as well, something that he also poured much of himself into resulting in an effort that made a positive impact on his fans' and music lovers' lives.
Looking at the humble beginnings of these two wonderful artists, I can't help but be very proud of what both of them have achieved so far and excited to see what the future will bring for them in their respective careers. And hopefully along the way, though they may be going separate ways, may their friendship be something they keep themselves faithful to.