Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.
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‘American Idol’ notes: Clark Beckham interview, ‘Idol’ in NY, Maddie Poppe, Lauren Alaina, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson

Originally posted Friday, November 2, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Three years ago, Clark Beckham was the soulful runner-up to rock-pop singer Nick Fradiani season 14 of “American Idol.” The show by then was no longer minting stars the way it did a decade earlier.
But Beckham is still plugging away at his craft, coming solo to Eddie’s Attic on Tuesday. (Tickets are $10, with VIP at $50)

He said he has never performed there before (though plenty of other “Idol” alums have including Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox). But about five years ago, he traveled from Nashville to Eddie’s Attic in Decatur just to see Tori Kelly before she blew up. “I was just a big crazy fan,” he said. 

Beckham, a Nashville native, said he still draws “Idol” fans, who are older and “very loyal and solid and lovely. I love that demographic.” He also has some teens and a few in their 20s and 30s. “I have a wide gamut of age as far as the fan base goes.”

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He enjoys writing his own music and says he feels like he’s starting to “crack the code” blending classic and modern R&B. He released an EP in the spring and is playing a couple of new songs on this tour as well. 

He normally does a 75-minute set but if he is not watching the clock, he said he could easily hit two hours. “I can go four hours,” he said. “I have enough songs.”

The VIP experience is now a common option for artist and he tries to make it special. He provides photos, a Q&A and individual conversations with the VIPs. He also goes out of his way to remember their names so once the concert happens, he can identify them or follow up with them afterwards. 

And fans can text him at 615-241-9180 and he might just respond. That’s not his personal number, of course, but it allows him a way to stay in touch with his fans without them getting that personal. 

Beckham is represented by Quincy Jones management. Before he officially signed on, he spent three or four hours talking with the legendary Motown producer about music and the business.

“He wanted to know my vision for my career, about music philosophy,” Beckham said. 

Beckham said he simply wants to make the best music he can without succumbing to what’s trendy. He feels he has his own creative internal source for music and doing anything else is inauthentic. Jones told him he never made music for money. He said, as soon as you do that, “God walks out of the room.” 

Going deeper, Beckham feels he has “a responsibility to music. It’s such a cultural shaping tool. When I make music, I want people to be inspired and to walk toward a more productive and full, abundant life.” He said Jones “passionately affirmed” his vision. 

Right now, Beckham said, his life is good. He’s been dating the same woman for three years and is enjoying life on tour. “It’s really fun and exciting,” he said. 

As an independent artist, he keeps costs down to a minimum. He has one friend Jeremy helping him out with merchandise and keeping him company going city to city. He stays with friends in each town so he doesn’t pay for hotels. He sets up his own equipment on stage.

He has a couple of sponsors who help defray his modest costs: Small Steps for Compassion, a non-profit that helps orphans in Tanzania, and Brett Manning Vocal Program, which he said greatly helped him improve his range as a teenager. 

“I can hit high notes and go all the way to the top of my range comfotably with ease and power and not a lot of strain,” Beckham said. 

***

Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson joined Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to sing Shelton’s “Honey Bee” in Bat Man constumes. Though it was taped over the summer, it aired this week on “The Voice.” Kelly is the penguin. JHud dons a Cat Girl costume. Shelton looks ridiculous as Bat Man and Levine manages to make Robin look sexy. 

***

Here is Maddie Poppe’s cute new video for her single “Keep on Movin’” about a break up done in what appears to be a continuous shoot. 

***

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 07: Country artist Lauren Alaina performs at Bridgestone Arena on September 7, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)) (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Lauren Alaina joins ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” this Monday, Nov. 5 for country music night. Lauren will perform her current radio hit, “Ladies in the ’90s” while contestant Alexis Ren and her partner Alan Bersten pair it with a lively Samba. Alexis is just one of two remaining women left on the show after five in a row have been ousted. Not a single dude has been cut yet. 

***

David Archuleta has released his second Christmas album “Winter in the Air,” 

The albums can be ordered here http://geni.us/ArchuletaWinter and is available at all digital retailers.

 The 12 tracks include classics such as White Christmas,” God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Mary, Did You Know?”

 An original single “Christmas Every Day” features Achuleta’s cheery lyrics –

 

Sidewalks covered up in snow
Lights up everywhere we go
Santa’s on his way,
It’s Christmas every day
Friends all warmed up by the fire,
Sometimes I just wish that
I could always feel this way
Like it’s Christmas every day

If I could have one more gift just for me
Joy to the world it would be
With more Christmases under the tree.

“I tend to gravitate to more serious and slower Christmas songs,” he said in a press release. “This time I wanted to have some fun and write a song that would make people happy and feel the joy of the holidays.”

His first Christmas album “Christmas From the Heart” from 2009 has sold more than 250,000 copies to date. 

In support of the new release, Archuleta will start a month-long tour November 26 in Los Angeles and wrap December 21 in his home state of Utah. Other cities on the trek include New York, Orlando & Nashville.

One of his stops will be at Hodgson Hall in Athens December 15. (Buy tickets here.)

More ticketing info here: https://davidarchuleta.com/home/live/

 ***

Clay Aiken Tweet of the week

He’s in full promotional mode regarding his upcoming Broadway show with Ruben Studdard. Again, I wish they would go on the road with this. 


About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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