Clay Aiken – Home

The Wiz is a musical that retells the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The book, by William F. Brown and the music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls strives to tell the story in the context of the African American culture.

The musical originally opened in October, 1974 in Baltimore and moved to New York for a January 5, 1975 Broadway  opening.  The Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including the award for the Best Musical.  It is a show that received mainstream acceptance for an all-black cast.  The musical has played all over the world and was adapted for film in 1978.  Although the film had many top stars in the cast, it was considered a disappointment.

Most people feel that the success of The Wiz was on the shoulders of Charlie Smalls who wrote both the music and lyrics.

Charlie Smalls began giving piano concerts at age 5. He received a scholarship from the Henry Street Settlement and entered Julliard when he was 11. He graduated from Julliard in 1961. Smalls attended the High School of Performing Arts.

He was a pianist with the New York Jazz Repertory Company and toured with Hugh Masekela, Harry Belafonte, Esther Morrow, and others.

He entered the Air Force and played with the Air Force Band, where his greatest accomplishment was writing a Christmas carol for John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.

He began working on The Wiz in 1970 and gained national attention.

Smalls had been writing the score for Miracles, based on the H.G. Wells novel The Man Who Could Work Miracles. He recorded several songs with Geoffrey Holder and the Harlem Boys Choir.

Smalls died on August 27, 1987 during surgery for a burst appendix in a Belgium hospital. He was 43.

Stephanie Mills performed the song in the Broadway production.  Motown Productions bought the rights to the stage show and expected Stephanie Mills to play the part of Dorothy.  However, Diana Ross wanted the role.  Although almost everyone considered her too old for the role, she was cast because she said she would be able to guarantee that Michael Jackson would play the Scarecrow if she were cast.

Home is one of most popular songs from The Wiz. Originally written for the character of Dorothy, the song has been sung by many well-known artists, including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, and Kristen Chenoweth.

By far the most beautiful and passionate performance is by Clay Aiken.  Clay first performed the beautiful song in Raleigh, North Carolina on June 21, 2010 for a show titled Bringing Broadway Home.  The one-night-only event celebrated 27 seasons of Broadway at North Carolina Theatre.

Clay performed Home again on Broadway as part of the cast of Broadway Backwards, a charity program for BC/EFA on February 7, 2011.

If you are a fan of Clay Aiken, you know how important his home and family is to him.  The song is a perfect match to this outstanding singer.

The talented SueReu put together a fabulous video that combines the beauty of Clay’s performance of Home with wonderful looks into Clay’s love of his home and family.  It is perhaps the best video I have seen that combines Clay’s beautiful musicianship and the beauty of who he is.  Thank you, Sue.  Do you have stock in Kleenex?

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain clayaiken.com.

Comments

  1. I loved reading all of the information in this blog. Thankyou!

    I so agree with you on Clay’s singing of “HOME” – truly amazing.

    And this video that Sue put on is Magnificent !! to say the least. I have been playing it over

    and over, and the sound of this song and the pictures are captivating!!! True, tissues are

    needed. I will be listening to this a lot. Thanks SueRue 🙂

  2. I loved all of the information you gave in this blog, thankyou.
    I definitely agree about Clay having the best singing of "Home" !!
    And this video is absolutely magnificent, the sound of Clay's voice and the heartwarming pictures
    are just perfect.. I have watched it over and over again and you are right about the tissues.
    Thank you Suerue – just beautiful! I will be watching it many more times 🙂

  3. What a fantastic montage SueReu did. No one sings "Home" like Clay…He just does an amazing rendition of it. The Montage just shows how Clay values his home, and we have seen this over eight plus years. Great information as well Musicfan. Clay belongs on Broadway. His voice is just so powerful and rich. Not too many singers could sing that song, but Clay makes it seem effortless. Amazing!!!!

  4. Clay is such a gifted and talented singer. I watched the Bringing Broadway Home video and also revisited Clay's Broadway Backwards rendition. He absolutely sang them both beautifully, but to me with a somewhat different emotion. His Bringing Broadway Home version seemed to be more joyful, filled with happy memories and hopefulness. While with his Broadway Backwards I sensed more wishfulness, questioning, and unwavering determination.

    Clay certainly is a master at expressing the intent of a song through his amazing voice, depending on the specific occasion. What a phenomenal feat of Clay!

    SueRue that was another of your fantastic montages. Thanks!

  5. Thank you musicfan for all the great information about The Wiz. I saw the show when it came through my city – it was amazing (especially the yellow brick road and the flying monkeys) .

    and thank you all for your kind comments! We are so very fortunate to have a video history of Clay's journey since 2003 – so the applause really needs to go to those who take the video (Scarlett for this one) and those who capture the TV shows, the online media, and, well, everything!!

  6. I love hearing him sing "Home". Just never heard it sung with so much passion. It should be the theme song for both GLAAD and LGBT with him singing.

  7. Just read this from the Broadway Backwards website and how true indeed, to wit:
    Quote
    Clay Aiken, who appeared on Broadway in Spamalot, brought the house to tears with his heart-felt yearning for "Home" from The Wiz. The performance was dedicated to all the LGBT young people who find themselves seeking a safe haven at places like the Center, which offer a myriad of social service programs. And while the song was dedicated to young people, its lyrics resonate with all: "And I've learned/That we must look inside our hearts/To find a world full of love/Like yours/Like me/Like home…"
    Unquote

    No doubt in my mind that Clay's performance of "Home" was the best of all as I witnessed him singing that wonderful song in person at both the Raleigh "Bringing Broadway Home" show and the "Broadway Backwards" show in NYC. He's just an amazing singer and performer.

    Thanks for a very informative article featuring this inspiring and awesome song "Home".

    • I was lucky enough to be at the Broadway Backwards show. Clay sang from his heart and was certainly a star that night!!

  8. I loved todays blog. It was a combination of reading stuff I didn't know and watching Sue's video.

    Thank you both!!

    Sad that Charlie Smalls died at such an early age.

    I could listen to Clay sing Home a million times and love it each time!!

  9. Clay just sings HOME so beautifully…and I loved his other version of HOME on the Broadway Backwards Show. Such power in that voice. Sue did a great job on that Montage also.

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