Time is moving fast. There are only four more days of 2012. The pressure is on…picking the top standout moments for Clay Aiken is hard. 2012 was a busy time for Clay and he participated in many different events. Yesterday, I posted #5 – the the Two Nights At Carnegie Hall.
Today – #4 Performing at The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.
On June 16th, Clay Aiken was in Carmel, Indiana as part of the entertainment for The Entertainment Encore. This event was a benefit for the Center of the Performing Arts. Clay was part of a tribute to Barry Manilow and sang the beautiful Manilow song, Even Now.
The program, hosted by multi-platinum selling artist, Michael Feinstein, was the inauguration of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.
According to the Feinstein Initiative:
The Hall of Fame will elevate the Great American Songbook, much like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame have done for their respective musical genres. The Great American Songbook Hall of Fame will induct new members annually. The Palladium concert hall in Carmel, Indiana serves as the official home of the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative and the Hall of Fame. The awards will be displayed in the south lobby on the gallery level of the Palladium concert hall. Plans exist for the construction of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Museum and Archive on the campus of the Carmel, Indiana-based Center for the Performing Arts.
Award categories include:
Legend: Awarded posthumously to an artist who made a significant contribution to the Golden Age of American popular music, typically defined as the period from the early years of the 20th century through the 1960s. Inductee: Cole Porter, 2012.
Songbook: Awarded to living songwriters, both lyricists and composers, who have made a significant impact on American pop culture by creating the most beloved songs from the American popular songbook. Inductees: Alan and Marilyn Bergman, 2012.
New Standard: Awarded to the artist, songwriter and/or performer, who continues to create the soundtrack of our lives by writing and/or performing music that will stand the test of time and become the pop standards of tomorrow. Inductee: Barry Manilow, 2012.
Michael Feinstein is the artistic director of the Palladium Concert Hall. He asked Clay Aiken to perform a tribute to Barry Manilow. Lari White sang hits by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and Broadway star, Andrea McArdle honored Cole Porter with some beautiful songs. It was an honor to be a part of the inaugural class of the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.
Feinstein is committed to celebrating the American popular sing and feels it is important to preserve its legacy for the next generation.
Michael’s website says:
In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
Clay was surrounded by talented musicians and was able to sing the style that he seems to like the most.
Although the event was not televised, it received a lot of press and reviews. The popular site BroadwayWorld, wrote an excellent article about the night and there were many reviews in many news sites. The website, Night & Day posted a review of the Great American Songbook Gala. Written by Christian Sorrell, it was a comprehensive report of the evening. Sorrell said the following about Clay:
Barry Manilow was next to be appreciated with a song by Michael Feinstein, elegantly sung and another by one of the night’s most famous guests Clay Aiken. Both songs were breathtakingly emotional and hit on all cylinders. I found myself especially impressed with Aiken and how well he handled the song. It was a far cry from the pop style that made him famous on American Idol.
The site also posted a great slide show of the performers. You can see it at NIGHTDAY
All and all, this was a wonderful night and Clay was in fine voice. The following tweets were posted during the evening:
Cathy Kightlinger @CKightlinger
Clay Aiken is on stage during sound check now! Wow, he just knocked Barry Manilow’s “Even Now” out of the , uh…, @CarmelPalladium!
Cathy Kightlinger @CKightlinger
I just had a chat with Clay Aiken, who is impressed with sound @CarmelPalladium & says he is pretty sure he has Barry Manilow’s hair.
Jim Caruso @JimCaruso1
Just enjoyed the heck out of @clayaiken’s sound check at the Palladium Theater – he sings his head off! Thrilling!
So…I chose this event to be in the Top 5 Standout Moments in 2012. I chose it because Clay was a part of a very distinguished group of musicians and music lovers. He was part of a star-studded cast.
What do you think?