In 1969, BJ Thomas, who died of complications from lung cancer at the age of 78, spent four weeks reaching number one on the US music charts with Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head from the blockbuster soundtrack. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a song that he always synonymous with. But he almost didn’t sing it.
As Thomas remembers, composer Burt Bacharach originally wanted Bob Dylan to record, but Dylan couldn̵7;t or won’t. Ray Stevens was then offered. But he also refused. When Thomas finally got the job He was warned not to sing by the doctor because he had laryngitis. “I’ve been off tour for two weeks and have laryngitis. and barely able to pull out the soundtrack,” he remembers. However, he was able to fight his way through five studio takes and produce results that rigorous Bacharach pleased with the film. The missing Thomas recorded new vocals for the single released.
Raindrops won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and Thomas performed at the 1970 Academy Awards ceremony, although it only peaked at #38 on the UK singles chart. But the song’s popularity has persisted through regular radio broadcasts over the decades. It was a number one hit in the US. his first After other chart successes, including his top 10 version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Can Cry” (1966), and The Eyes of a New York Woman (which reached No. 28, 1968). and Hooked on Feelings (No. 5, 1968). This last saw Thomas performing at the Copacabana nightclub in New York.
With a sound that brings beauty to softness that is easy to listen to. He would enjoy more pop hits in the 1970s, including I Just Can’t Help Believing (later Elvis Presley’s hit single and concert favorite) and No Love at All (1970), Mighty Clouds of Joy. (1971) in the rich gospel style and Rock and Roll Lullaby (1972), and once again reached #1 on the US pop chart (hey, you won’t play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song (1975).
The last one also topped the US country music charts, where he appeared on several occasions. including the #1 hits Whatever Happened to Outdated Love and A New Look From An Ex (both 1983). In 1981, he was invited to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. 70 and 80, he scored many hits as a gospel singer and inspiration.
Billy Joe Thomas was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, the second of three children of Vernon and Geneva Thomas. and then Rosenberg, Texas, graduated from Rosenberg’s Lamar Combined High School.
He earned the nickname “BJ” when he played Little League Baseball at school. to make him different from other players named Billy Joe Thomas. “How I went through years of heavy alcohol and drug addiction” and this is the music that served as his lifeline.
He used to sing in church as a child. And later, inspired by singers such as Williams, Mahalia Jackson and Jackie Wilson, he featured the uplifting message from Wilson’s To Be Loved in particular, with Jerry. His older brother, he joined a local pop band called Triumphs while he was in high school. They recorded I’m So Lonesome I Can Cry for the label Pacemaker, which became a million hit after being picked up by New York’s Scepter Records, home of artists such as the Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick and Tammi Terrell.
Thomas’ success made him internationally sought after and toured frequently. But his drug problem was fatal in the early ’70s. He told the Associated Press: “I started overdosing a few times. They had to catch me on the plane to keep me alive. Once I was declared dead. my marriage failed I’m finally at the bottom of my life.”
He reconciled with Gloria. his wife Richardson To whom he married in 1968 and with her help quit drugs in 1976, he also practiced religion. and made his first gospel-style album, Home Where I Belong. It earned him his first of five Grammys in 1977, and that year he sang at an Elvis Presley remembrance. him in his autobiography Home Where I Belong (1978).
He made two forays into the show. He played the western-language jockey sniper Jory (1973) and appeared in the comedy Jake’s Corner (2008). A more worthwhile on-screen venture was his performance in the song As Long As. We Got Each Other, the theme song for the 80s sitcom Growing Pains.
This could happen on its own. It was first recorded by Thomas solo. Then joins the singer with Jennifer. Warns for the second season of the show. Then, in an expanded version sung by Thomas and Dusty Springfield, this final incarnation appeared on Thomas’s album Midnight Minute (1989) and was a hit on the adult contemporary chart.
He continues to travel and record, and The Living Room Sessions (2013) has compiled dozens of his hit songs in acoustic style, with Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Richard Marx, and others as guests.
Thomas is survived by Gloria and their daughters, Page, Nora and Erin.