Sunday, June 26, 2011

Idol Hands Sure Can Snap

Idol Swings
Leona Lewis, Will Young, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Anthony Callea.

On this fine Sunday morning, I thought I would pull some great swing music from unexpected sources. Namely, the Idol programs from around the world. Well, there are representatives from American Idol, the UK's Pop Idol, Australian Idol, and the UK's X Factor. I picked some of my favorites from these series, at least the ones I could find clips on YouTube that might apply. And I could not think of a better way to start this post than with Anthony Callea swinging on Route 66. The song was written by Bobby Troupe, husband of torch singer Julie London. It was first made popular by the great Nat King Cole, but Anthony does an amazing job with it.

In the third season of the UK hit show X Factor, Simon Cowell and company introduced us to a beautiful young lady whose talent was soon heard 'round the world. After winning the season, Leona Lewis was soon releasing Bleeding Love, which topped the charts and earned Lewis fans world-wide. While on the show, she made it through Big Band week singing Summertime, the classic song by George Gershwin.

In late 2001, we were introduced to the series that started it all. Pop Idol crowned the first winner in February 2002. Will Young crooned his way into the hearts of the British public. And, I might add, they had good taste, for Will is so very talented. And he did a lovely version of We Are In Love, a song written and performed by Harry Connick, Jr, for his 1990 album of the same name.

In the second season of American Idol, we were introduced to North Carolina native Clay Aiken. He charmed the fans enough to stay out of the bottom three for the entire season, and finished in second behind winner and good friend Ruben Studdard. When it came time to perform as part of the Final Three, he did an incredible version of Mack The Knife, the famous song by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht from their masterpiece, The Threepenny Opera.

The first season of American Idol ran during the summer of 2002, and in September,
winner Kelly Clarkson was crowned. Kelly waded through the musical waters with poise and panache, like when she blew everyone away with Stuff Like That There, the song by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, originally sung by Betty Hutton in the 40s. Kelly took the song and made it her own.

Hope the music got you into the 'swing' of this fine Sunday!


  1. Kelly can truly sing anything.

  2. Bob, she is incredible, isn't she?

  3. Clay Aiken not only a fabulous singer but a really wonderful entertainer. His concerts aren't to be missed.

  4. Thanks very much Howard for adding Anthony's amazing version of Route 66. I absolutely LOVE Anthony's amazing version of this great song. I have loved it ever since I heard him singing it on Idol. He is a phenomenal talent and I can't wait for his new album.

  5. Anon, too true. He was amazing in Spamalot, too!

    Nannapat, I love his version of the song. Of course, I also love most everything he does!

  6. Clay Aiken has a full and incredible version of Mack the Knife on his latest CD called Tried and True -- a collection of music from Fifties and Sixties. He's a great singer and wonderful performer.

    Thanks for this walk down Memory Lane!

  7. And 7 years later Clay Aiken sings Mack The Knife on his own PBS Special.
    He also has a recorded version on his CD, Tried and True. Great entertainer, fantastic voice and a major humanitarian.

    Great videos!

  8. Good Idol choices-never heard Will Young so that was interesting-- Callea, my favorite Kelly Idol performance and the incomparable Clay. Good times....

    Last Year Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard teamed up for the Timeless Tour--two funny guys with good voices. Now playing on Youtube :-)

  9. Anon, I know - I have all Clay's music. I am a fan.

    JBC4Clay, he truly is a special one.

    Anon, glad you found some interesting new voices. And thanks for sharing some more of Clay's music.

  10. This was a great blog, very entertaining. Very good choices, thanks. I loved all the videos especially Clay Aiken's who has always been my favourite.

  11. Limey, thank you so much. They are all favorites of mine, so I was glad to be able to include them in one single post!



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