Danny Gokey – Grafton High School – VIDEO

Danny Gokey performed “My Best Days” and “It’s Only” at a holiday event at Grafton HS in Grafton, WI (about 20 miles north of Milwaukee) yesterday (November 28).   Danny has friends and family in the area.

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Danny tells the crowd that he’s the first 3rd place American Idol finisher to be signed by 19E. He’s returning to Nashville today to resume his country radio tour promoting his new single, “My Best Days”.

A digital single will be available on December 22, with a full album arriving early next year.
Video after the JUMP…



My Best Days

It’s Only

PYT with Local Kids

About mj santilli 33697 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

40 Comments

  1. Danny sounded good in these videos. I wish he would have sung “Tiny Life” at this event so that there would be video of that performance as well. But hopefully he will sing it at some of the events he has coming up, the two events in North Carolina, and the one in Arkansas.

    I am definitely looking forward to seeing him perform that song again, especially since even though he sounded good the first time he sung it, he wasn’t feeling so well. I think he’ll sound better the next time he performs that song.

    Also, I am glad he is continuing on with the radio tour, I think that will really end up benefiting him.

  2. Danny sounds great here.
    Grafton? Not a place I’ve heard of but I think it’s really admirable how Danny is putting himself out there to establish himself.

  3. From what I understand, this wasn’t part of Danny’s formal radio tour / promo events. Grafton is a town outside of Milwaukee, where Danny has some family and friends. The town or Chamber of Commerce invited Danny for their holiday parade / event, which may also have been an anniversary celebration of some kind I think. They weren’t necessarily expecting him to say yes, but he did tell his team that he wanted to do this while he was in the Milwaukee area for Thanksgiving.

    Seems like it was very nice, and it was a bigger crowd than I had really thought. From reading about it in advance, I was envisioning a few hundred people but one recap I read last night suggested that considerably more than 1000 (possibly close to 1500) were there at the school where he sang as part of a program that included some civic activities to honor local citizens and kick off the holidays.

    Danny seems to really enjoy the energy of live audiences. Will love to see a video of his single in front of a live crowd and with a live band, which hasn’t happened quite yet to my knowledge.

    And gotta say, those bouncin’ kids are just adorable in the PYT video, awww.

  4. Okay, I am really trying here but Danny could have the BEST voice in the world but when he starts the *self-promoting* I get soooo turned off. Humble he is not…………..telling us that he would sound better if he had had his whole band there……….geeeesh! We know live performances are scaled down…….and he goes on..*sigh*. I want all these kids to succeed but Danny just stops me listening because of his banter. Sorry to all the Danny fans….he needs someone to help him figure this all out. JMHO…..Pix

  5. Okay, I am really trying here but Danny could have the BEST voice in the world but when he starts the *self-promoting* I get soooo turned off. Humble he is not’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦..telling us that he would sound better if he had had his whole band there’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦.geeeesh! We know live performances are scaled down’ ¦’ ¦.and he goes on..*sigh*. I want all these kids to succeed but Danny just stops me listening because of his banter. Sorry to all the Danny fans’ ¦.he needs someone to help him figure this all out. JMHO’ ¦..Pix

    I think that it’s good that Danny is promoting himself. He should tell people about his single and when it’s coming out. Also about other stuff that he is up to involving his music career. And he didn’t say he would sound better with his band, (even though IMO, that is probably true). He said that he is in a more intimate setting and having his band there wouldn’t have really worked out for that event. IMO, there is nothing wrong with what he said.

  6. when he starts the *self-promoting* I get soooo turned off. Humble he is not’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦..telling us that he would sound better if he had had his whole band there’ ¦’ ¦’ ¦.geeeesh!

    Danny was talking to the crowd there, not to us. I’m sure he would have preferred to have some live musicians backing him up, don’t see any problem with his mentioning that even if this appearance obviously wasn’t of a nature to support bringing a band to back him up. (Not sure if it was even a paid appearance, or he donated his time for free. The musicians for his radio tour have been coming from Nashville and SC, so not too realistic they would have gone to this small-town appearance especially on Thanksgiving weekend.)

    When Danny has appeared in Milwaukee or Wisconsin, he usually does share something about how his career is going and what’s coming up for him. Don’t see why that’s a problem especially with a very supportive and interested nearly-hometown audience that includes large numbers of friends and family.

    This is the second performance I’ve seen where Danny has tackled his new material with just a recorded track behind him. I’m impressed that he really doesn’t hold back at all on his vocals or emotional delivery in that situation, as some performers do.

    I do think it will be fun to see My Best Days especially, though, in a performance with a live band and a big crowd.

  7. Danny was talking to the crowd there, not to us. I’m sure he would have preferred to have some live musicians backing him up, don’t see any problem with his mentioning that even if this appearance obviously wasn’t of a nature to support bringing a band to back him up. (Not sure if it was even a paid appearance, or he donated his time for free.)

    When Danny has appeared in Milwaukee or Wisconsin, he usually does share something about how his career is going and what’s coming up for him. Don’t see why that’s a problem especially with a very supportive and interested nearly-hometown audience that includes large numbers of friends and family.

    ITA. Also I have noticed that Danny is picking up some more radio airplay. I wonder when his song will go for adds.

    I do hope that he ends up getting decent radio airplay, even though he is now also competiting with Christmas songs being released by various Country music artists.

  8. Danny & the kids are so cute in PYT! and he’s note-perfect on It’s Only – those lyrics were made for Danny.

  9. I just watched the videos. I thuoght Danny sounded good, and I didn’t see anything wrong with anything that he said. He was basically updating the local crowd on what’s going on with his career thus far. I’m sure that these fans were interested to know this information.

    It’s my understanding that Grafton is about 20 minutes outside of Milwaukee, and I think it was very nice for the local fans that Danny said yes to helping them celebrate the holidays there, considering he was going to be in town with family for the holidays.

    I look forward to Danny going back out on his radio tour and to his upcoming events in North Carolina and elsewhere.

    As far as self promoting, while I don’t have a problem with that, I believe I have heard ALL of the idols that have something going on doing a little self promotion. But like I said, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s only if you don’t like someone already, that you will find that a put off, imo. I didn’t even think what he did say was that “self promoting,” it’s not like he said I can sing my face off or something (not that I have a problem with that), he was basically saying, I have a band, but it didn’t work out to bring them to this setting. And I’m going out on a radio tour to some big country stations to try to promote my album. I don’t get the criticism here, but then again, I generally don’t get the criticism.

  10. Danny should be promoting himself. He has to sell who he is and what he can do. Especially since he’s in a genre that he has to start at the grassroots.

  11. This is a pic that someone posted of Danny performing PYT with all the kids yesterday.

    From what I read, he crossed over or took down the ropeline that they’d set up to separate / secure the ‘stage.’ Not sure if that was planned, or he decided to do that on the fly for his last song.

    Either way, Danny’s not afraid to get right in there and personally connect with his audiences. Looks like they all loved it.

    http://twitpic.com/rffgu

  12. Danny needs to continue singing at High Schools to get his message out to the impressionable youth of our land.

  13. I find it truly amazing that this man could sound this good in a gymnasium. He sounds just like his recordings. Simply amazing!

    How nice of him to remember his roots, and play for the small town crowd. Danny is going to make it big, because he knows what is truly important in this world. People count to Danny, and they love him!

  14. I had the pleasure of meeting Danny on tour and he is one of the nicest guys. He is also a really great singer. I can’t wait for his CD!

  15. As Danny goes on to the rest of his radio tour and other upcoming appearances, he must have enjoyed being home with family and having a chance to perform for such a sizable audience of people from his state. Danny always seems very appreciative and respectful of the local support he’s gotten from home.

    This is another pic of Danny with the kids / crowd wrapping up his set with PYT. http://twitpic.com/rh4fo

  16. Danny’s voice sounds very good in these videos. The video of him singing and dancing with the kids is absolutely adorable. You can really tell how much Danny loves children. I think it was very nice of Danny to do a mini-concert for the people in the small town of Grafton and to participate in their Christmas parade.

    Danny has some bigger gigs coming up this week. I believe he will be performing in Raleigh, NC and at a charity event in Arkansas plus I believe he is still doing his radio tour. Danny is definately working hard.

    12 new stations played Danny’s new single “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me” yesterday. Don’t believe it has gone for official adds yet but that is pretty good considering Christmas music is taking up some spots on the charts.

  17. Danny has always been very nice to his fans and everybody he talks with. He’s no different from any of the other Idols — they all promoted themselves and if they didn’t they wouldn’t be as far along in their careers if they didn’t.

  18. Danny sounds great. I like ‘My Best Days’ better than ‘It’s Only’ but they are both good. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Danny! IMO it seems like Danny gets the reverse kind of discrimation/hating that Adam gets. Hopefully Danny’s music will calm the naysayers. I really hope Danny does well.

  19. Danny sounds great. he may not be the darling of the media, but he’s making the best out of those who will give him a chance.

    im hoping the best for him.

  20. “he may not be the darling of the media”

    Not sure what media you are talking about. Actually Danny is very well liked by most the media. Most reports talk about him as one of the favorites from AI with a touching personal story. I guess the media you are talking about consists of EW Idoltry and Jim C from MTV and some other AI blogs. Brian Mansfield of USA Today thinks quite highly of Danny.

    Danny is working very hard to get his name out there in the country world. Seems to me that Sony Nashville is treating him like their other new artists which is a good thing IMO. They have giving him plenty of time between when his single is released and when his album drops. Plus allowing him the opportunity to go around the country to promote his single to radio stations. I am glad that Danny does some promotion for himself. Might be a good idea for Kris to do a little more of it and Adam has no problem whatsoever promoting himself any way he can.

  21. I am so sorry for all my Danny bashing. From this thread I can see he has devoted fans. I guess I got caught up in the AI hype. I honestly just came here to bash him again and make fun of him. After reading all the posts I just can’t. I wish him and his fans here all the best.

  22. I am so thrilled that Danny took the time out of his busy schedule to cater to his loyal homestate fans! Grafton is a small town north of Milwaukee. Danny has relatives there so he agreed to come to the great surprise of the Chamber of Commerce – I talked to them several times about the event.

    He sang in a cavernous High School gym, with the lights on; no special effects, small time sounds system and if you listen to the Videos, the man sounds GREAT. He can sing almost anything anywhere and sound good IMO. There were about 1500 people there from my estimates.

    Don’t understand why anyone would be “turned off”. No different that Adam tweeting “My album is going to be sick”, or any of the other Idol’s self promotion statements. Danny is an honest, open, gregarious person, and he obviously feels at home in front of his hometown fans, one reason he is loved, I think.

    And his generous, humble, sweet nature continues to shine through- he ducked under barricades and motioned for all the kids to come up and dance with him. And despite the over-exuberant security at the meet and greet; he said he would give hugs at the end; a big line formed and he hugged every single person (and let me tell you it is no perfunctory hug; it is a REAL hug).

  23. From anything I can tell, agree it’s an intentional strategy that Danny is going around in a fairly low-profile way to country radio stations and their local listener audiences, sometimes in ‘private’ events that aren’t even on-air. Reminds me of the approach taken when Darius Rucker moved into country music, among others. To this point, they don’t seem to be pursuing national media or appearances right off the bat, or otherwise obviously trading off Danny’s AI name recognition. There are also virtually no leaks coming out of the studio about the songs Danny is doing for the album, who the songwriters are, any other collaborators are, etc.

    As of today, I don’t think Danny has even used his twitter to let people know My Best Days is his official single, so they must consider this very early in their strategy. Presumably some “widening out” of the media opportunities and appearances, interviews to engage Danny’s AI fanbase and market to the larger country music market will come in time. It is still 3 weeks from when the single goes up for sale, there’s no video yet, and still a week plus before Danny’s official website is slated to go online. I heard in an interview that Danny is looking into some ideas for going out on tour in 2010, and read today that it’s likely Danny will be back on AI9 to sing at some point during the season. That should be great timing with his album due out in March.

  24. “I am so sorry for all my Danny bashing. From this thread I can see he has devoted fans. I guess I got caught up in the AI hype. I honestly just came here to bash him again and make fun of him. After reading all the posts I just can’t. I wish him and his fans here all the best.”

    Wow, sneezepaddle. You are a big person to admit that. Kudos to you. There have actually been quite a few people who have come onto Danny fan sites and apologized for bashing him.

  25. ‘I am so sorry for all my Danny bashing. From this thread I can see he has devoted fans. I guess I got caught up in the AI hype. I honestly just came here to bash him again and make fun of him. After reading all the posts I just can’t. I wish him and his fans here all the best.’ 

    Wow, sneezepaddle. You are a big person to admit that. Kudos to you. There have actually been quite a few people who have come onto Danny fan sites and apologized for bashing him.

    sneezepaddle, awww, that’s nice that you rethought and posted that here. And watch out, some of the best Danny fans are former bashers who recovered and took a fresh listen :)

  26. Sneezepaddle,

    That was a very nice post. AI is over and these guys are no longer competing against each other. They have plenty of competition in their own genre of music outside of AI. I wish them all success.

  27. I really think ‘Best Days’ is going to be a hit. He sounded fantastic, especially for singing in a high school gym. Sometimes I don’t think he gets enough vocal credit.

    LOVE that he’s willing to step to the plate and promote himself. Again, reminds me of Daughtry, in that it doesn’t seem to matter to him where he placed on Idol; he realizes he’s been giving an opportunity and he’s going after it with everything he’s got. I get no negativity from him, just a positive and humble attitude and a tremendous work ethic. To me that’s the American dream, and I’m happy for him and more and more jazzed about his chances.

  28. Posted this in Headlines also, but figured it will probably get buried there in between the lengthy sociopolitical discussions.

    Two new videos of Danny singing for a country music station audience, backed by his guitar player Def Santiago and keyboard/singer Brandon Fraley. Can’t see most of the audience, but kind of fun to watch the guy in the corner getting into it, and Danny getting the audience of country station peeps to sing along with him on Back to One. Lol.

    WHTM – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1faoqy6fO8

    Back to One – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAEHQd954UQ (have never seen Danny doing this one before — seems a little bit improvised so not sure if they planned this, or it was a request in the station’s “bull pen” format)

  29. Is he really the only 3rd place finisher to be signed by 19E?

    Wow! that threw me for a loop!

    i guess Yamin went indie then

  30. Hi All – I was at the Grafton HS performance!! Loved it! Of course had to sit through the Grafton Community stuff, but well worth the wait. When he decided to do PYT, my kids and I left our bleacher sits and went down front – totally surprised when he jumped off stage and came on over and danced with the kids! My daughter was too shy (7 1/2 years old) and my son was sort of being trampled and I think he was nervous too. I couldn’t belive I had Danny basically right in front of me! My pics are a little blury and my video is farther away – but I was amazed at how great he sounded in a HS gym!! Not only is WI totally proud and supportive of him, so is America!!!!!!!!!!

  31. jpalod- You are lucky! I wish I had kids with me so I could have run down there too, lol. Danny truly seemed to be loving it; you can tell he just adores kids.

    matkojapan- Yup, Danny is correct; he is the only 3rd place finisher to be signed by 19- he broke the curse! Yamin did go indie, wasn’t signed by 19 (can’t believe that, actually, Elliot should have been signed).

  32. I still do not like Danny’s voice. Having said that I think self promotion is what he really does need to do. If he believes in himself and his music and can get that message out to his fans and potential fans than hopefully he’ll have a career in music. Nothing wrong in believing in yourself. Good luck Danny.

  33. I really enjoyed these videos – Danny sounds great. Even when he is jumping up and down! That was cute. About the “self-promotion” thing…he’s got to do that. And when better than in this case, when he’s talking to a group of people who are thrilled to see a hometown boy making good.

    It would be fun to see him in a small, casual venue like that. I hope he does a show out here in Seattle before too long, I would love to see him.

  34. Once again…this is just MHO…..
    I believe that all artists must self-promote……it is important to have confidence! What I have been uncomfortable about is his need to make excuses…..*he becomes defensive* in his statements and has from the beginning.(Some statements made after his boot from idol reflects what I am trying to say) Telling us that he is the first third place idol to get signed by whomever or that he says things would sound better if the band was all here makes ME uncomfortable. He has a wonderful voice…….and had some great performances on idol. The best promotion is to sing your best and improve your performances. As I said in my first post, I wish all the idols well. Danny has the gift……just put it out there and let it speak volumes.

  35. Oh my…the sun is definitely tilting the wrong way on its axis this morning because I am going to defend Danny…

    Danny should self promote himself every chance he gets. He should scream from the rafters about his upcoming songs and promo and eventually album. He should be proud of his accomplishments and he should puff out his chest to say how far he has come.

    If Singers want to move forward in their profession they have to try and put out good music but they also need to get their face and their image out there. Everyone knows I’m not “into” Danny….but since he’s gotten this far he needs to make sure that he isn’t lost in the shuffle.

    So self promote away Danny…and if people like you as well as your music that is win, win all around for you.

  36. Well said Tess. No one gets anywhere in life by sitting on the sidelines. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will either.

  37. Danny should self promote himself every chance he gets. He should scream from the rafters about his upcoming songs and promo and eventually album. He should be proud of his accomplishments and he should puff out his chest to say how far he has come.

    Tess, I so agree with you. Especially Danny, who has come so far from his humble music beginnings, losing his most beloved, and carrying on in spite of being S8 official “whipping boy” on the internet. And I found nothing defensive what so ever in Danny’s statements. If anything, I thought he was just kind of apologizing to the crowd for not having his band with- he didn’t sound defensive and had no reason to be- The crowd was there for him and loved him.

    I think people who don’t like him will always see what he says in a way different light than those who are neutral or fans.

    The guy is so obviously down to earth, not a diva, loves his fans (he gave a great hug to everyone who wanted one at the meet and greet, so cute), and most importantly didn’t miss a note and sounded great in a frickin High School gym with crappy recorded backup music!

    He gives 110% and I think he is putting all that into his album; its gonna be good.

  38. Danny is already out on the next phase of his radio tour. He was on live an hour or so ago with a country station in Chattanooga (sp?) TN, and they have some sort of lunch appearance or performance for their listeners who won tickets.

    Not too many hints on his next few stops. He has an appearance in Raleigh NC at a country music club on Friday, though, and then Saturday he’s headlining at another fundraiser in northern Arkansas.

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