Monday, May 9, 2011

American Idol's Scotty McCreery Croons "Always on My Mind” on the Top 5 Show

Scotty McCreery, American Idol Season 10's 'Country Cutie', croons “Always on My Mind” as his second song on the Top 5 'Now & Then' Show. "Always on My Mind" was originally recorded by Brenda Lee. Allmusic lists over 300 recorded releases of the song, in versions by dozens of performers. The most successful US version was performed by Willie Nelson. Successful covers in Europe were performed by Elvis Presley, and later Pet Shop Boys. At the 25th Grammy Awards held in 1983, the songwriters won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Country Song; in addition, Willie Nelson's recording won for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

"Jimmy told me not to compete with the other contestants, and just stay true to me," says Scotty. With "Always on My Mind" Scotty stayed true to himself, giving a very solid performance. The arrangement was a little to slow and sleepy for me, compared to my favorite Elvis version with the pronounced heartbeat-like drumming. I did like Scotty's story-telling phrasing and emotional intensity...he really knows how to draw the audience in. The crowd gave a long, loud, sustained standing O for Scotty. Jennifer Lopez, who loves the story-telling quality of Scotty's performances, said, "Between the last song and this one, you show us what a well-rounded artist you are. You can sing anything. You captivate the audience with your sweet voice. It's so beautiful. Nothing awkward about you up there. You're so comfortable in your own skin. A true performer." Randy Jackson praised, "We call you our youngest veteran. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You do what you love. You're a huge Country music fan and you do it so well. When you speak quietly, and do the simplest thing, it gets the loudest reaction. I'm happy to see you do the tender moments because we now see the kind of record you're going to make and the artist Scotty's going to be. I love it, Dude." Steven Tyler raved, "Scotty, America loves your voice, Man. And you've just been takin' us up and down the trail. I love it. I think we're going to make it real hard for America to vote this year on American Idol because everybody's been so good tonight. I cannot pick that apart. That was a beautiful rendition of that song."

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