Well – AI is over for the season and Congratulations to Taylor Hicks for winning. He’s a unique performer with a soulful voice and a great fan base. He’ll do really well and I’m looking forward to hearing his first album.
But, for me, the highlight of the finale, of course, was seeing and hearing Clay Aiken. And what a return to the public’s consciousness! Talk about a dramatic entrance. And how beautiful is that face, that smile!
Yeah, I’m partial to the look. After all – I’ve already expressed my love of The Beatles and George Harrison in a previous blog. Here’s a great picture borrowed from the Friends of Clay – notice how nicely Clay fits in.
Whenever I think about The British Invasion . . . I think about all the great performers I fell in love with. Some of which have gone on to incredible careers spanning decades. Of course, we know the usual players in the British Invasion – The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Yardbirds, Dave Clark Five, The Kinks, Gerry & The Pacemakers . . . but here’s a few others that you may have forgotten.
I’ve always wanted Clay to do The Zombies version of You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me. Couldn’t find any video of that . . . but how great is “Tell Her No”? Colin Bluntstone – one of the great voices of the 60’s and Ron Argent – great keyboardist. They’ve since reunited and I’ve got to get to a show of theirs. Enjoy.
I’m including THEM here – because although they weren’t strictly a British group – they were packaged as part of the British Invasion – and it was my first exposure to Van Morrison. I’ve stayed a huge fan of Morrison’s through all these years. The man has brilliantly created music of all genres – from rock, r&b, jazz, country, gospel – everything. Here’s THEM performing Baby Please Don't Go. See, even Van Morrison lipsynchs sometimes *g*.
Van has teamed up with another of my first loves, Georgie Fame and produced two wonderful albums. One is a collection of Mose Allison tunes with Ben Sidran joining them. Another is How Long Has This Been Going On – great collection of reworked standards – definitely worth checking out. How Long Has This Been Going On
Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were one of the most jazz-influenced bands of the early 60s and had a big hit with Yeh Yeh in 1964. Georgie still puts out great albums – Download something from iTunes – check out the Cool Cat Blues or Funny How Time Slips Away albums. Here’s a clip of Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames doing a version of Walking The Dog – incredible performance (even with the annoying swinging microphone). Actually when I was watching it, I was thinking this would have been a really fun song for Taylor Hicks to have done. Maybe he'll give it a try sometime.
Stevie Winwood – another great voice and someone I followed throughout his career – here he is with The Spencer Davis Group in 1965 doing Keep On Running. Two years later, Stevie would leave to join Traffic.
I could go on and on and on – but I’ll do British Invasion 2 another time. I’ll leave you with Clay Aiken doing some of the “sunnier” songs of the 1960s. This is from the JukeBox Tour – the last night of the concert in Atlantic City. I’m not usually a fan of high jinks on stage – but it’s expected on the last night . . . and this video captures all the fun. Of course, I’d love to see it again with the new “hair”.
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