Taylor Hicks is back at the Flora-Bama on June 15

Taylor Hicks is back at the Flora-Bama on June 15
American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, a past member of the Flora-Bama possible/probable musicians’ list (with sidekick Jon Cook), is returning to his old State Line stomping grounds for an afternoon gig with his band on June 15 at 4 p.m. There is no cover charge for the show or to enter the Flora-Bama until 6 p.m.
Taylor, who just released the syrup[y single, “Teach Me to Dance,” won American Idol in 2006 thanks to his perfect pitch, infectious charisma and millions of viewers who dubbed themselves The Soul Patrol.
A Birmingham native and Hoover High grad, Taylor followed his Idol victory with a No. 1 Billboard single, a platinum album, a Las Vegas residency and a stint as Teen Angel on Broadway and then on tour with the musical “Grease.”
He has also appeared in “Law & Order” episodes and for three years hosted Silver Plate, a food and travel show that still streams on Amazon.
Stuff To Know About Taylor?
• He auditioned American Idol only because he had an airline voucher he received when a flight he booked out of New Orleans the night before Hurricane Katrina was cancelled. He did not even know that Vegas was a stop on the A.I. try-out tour until his brother Wes, a Foley resident told him the night before auditions.
• The New York Times described his style as “part Stax, part Motown and part honky-tonk.
• He garnered 63 million votes on American Idol.
• The 36.4 million viewers that tuned in for the American Idol final he won represented that year’s third-largest TV audience after the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.
• He was part of an Armed Forces tour that made stops at eight military bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Djibouti and has also toured Asia.
• He’s jammed with Earth, Wind & Fire, Jamey Johnson, The Allman Brothers, Robert Randolph, Keb Mo, Jamey Johnson, Widespread Panic and Willie Nelson.
• He was on the cover of a People Magazine Sexiest Singles issue.
• He sang the national anthem at Talladega and Jordan Hare Stadium in his home state.
• He is a partner in SAW’s Juke Joint in Birmingham.
• He stayed with his grandmother Joni Hicks’ at her condo at The Beach Club when he first moved to Pleasure Island.
• Then Governor Bob Riley officially proclaimed a Taylor Hicks Day in Alabama before he even won American Idol.
• Hed made his Grand Ole Opry debut covering a Waylon Jennings song with Jamey Johnson.
Taylor Quotes?
• “I had already played in as many roadhouses and honkey tonks as you could imagine by the time I got on Idol. It was easy to transform from anonymity to fame.’’
• “I’ve led an interesting life and I’ve been able to hang around with interesting people, and it’s a result of American Idol.”• “I probably come down and bounce around with friends four or five times a year. If I stay down there too long, I don’t want to leave.’’
• “My harmonica stays in my pocket. So I get up and play pretty much every time I am out and about.’’
• “There’s no other hang like a ‘Bama hang. I learned how to be an entertainer playing for Joe Gilchrist there. And there is a difference between entertaining and just playing music.’’
• “I’d eventually like to move back down to the beach and open up a SAW’s Seafood Shak.’’
Pictured: Taylor Hicks on stage at The Wharf, with local guitarist and longtime bandmate Jon Cook; Hicks sitting in at the Flora-Bama main room one afternoon;
• “The same satisfaction I get out of entertaining people with good music and a good song, I get when we put some banana pudding and some BBQ in people’s mouths. They light up.’’
• “Music is my job, and I love it. I take it seriously. I bet I can count on a few fingers the number of times I’ve had to cancel. It’s an ode to the way I way I was raised, especially from my grandmom.’’
Pictured: Taylor Hicks on stage with Jon Cook at The Wharf, sitting in one afternoon at the Bama main room, visiting with local celebrities Jack “Big Earl’’ Robertson and John Mahoney.