♫ B.J. Thomas — Gone, But His Music Lives On ♫

I actually had another song picked out for tonight, but earlier this evening I read that B.J. Thomas died yesterday from complications of lung cancer and I thought it only fitting to do a brief tribute to the man and his music.

A brief bio from Deadline

Born in rural Hugo, Oklahoma as Billy Joe Thomas, he moved to Houston, Texas with his family and began singing in church as a child.

He joined the local band the Triumphs, and then in 1966 recorded “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with producer Huey P. Meaux. Released by Scepter Records, it peaked at No. 8 on the pop charts and became his first million-selling single.

The follow-up single, “Mama,” and his first album came that same year. In 1968, he released the million-selling “Hooked on a Feeling” from his album, On My Way.

Dionne Warwick met Thomas when he visited the Scepter offices in New York and introduced him to songwriter-producer Burt Bacharach. That led to a collaboration on “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” written by Bacharach and Hal David and sung by Thomas.

The song was featured in the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, earning the Oscar for Best Original Song. It has since reoccurred in such films as Forrest Gump, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Clerks II, and Spider-Man 2, as well as multiple TV shows.

Thomas kept rolling with such pop/rock hits as “Everybody’s Out of Town,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” “No Love at All” and “Rock and Roll Lullaby.”

He signed to Paramount Records and released two albums—1973’s Songs and 1974’s Longhorns & Londonbridges. In 1975, Thomas released the album Reunion on ABC Records, featuring “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”

The success wasn’t easy on Thomas, who fell into drug use. But he returned as a Born Again Christian in gospel music, signing with Myrrh Records and releasing the album Home Where I Belong in 1976.

It won Thomas a Grammy and became the first of two Dove Award wins while also becoming the first gospel record to sell a million copies.

His “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song was No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Country Songs charts. It won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1976 and was nominated for CMA Single of the Year. On his 39th birthday in 1981, he also joined the Grand Ole Opry.

Thomas found the time to voice the theme song, “As Long As We’ve Got Each Other” for the TV series Growing Pains, and he also was heard on numerous commercials, including campaigns for Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

I will play just a few of my favourite B.J. Thomas songs in tribute …

R.I.P. Mr. Thomas, and thank you for some pretty awesome music throughout the years!

29 thoughts on “♫ B.J. Thomas — Gone, But His Music Lives On ♫

  1. I’m sorry to hear of the passing of one of your favourites. I knew very little of him, as his only chart hit here was Raindrops, which reached the lower part of our Top 40 but was outperformed by the Sacha Distel cover. I know it from the movie, of course. May he RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmmm … I can usually figure ahead of time whether you will like something or not, but I got this one wrong, for I really thought you would like his music. But then, intent on doing a tribute, I didn’t check to see which, if any, of his songs were hits in the UK. I notice David didn’t like or comment, so I’m presuming he didn’t care for him, either. Ah well … I think you’ll like today’s offering better … maybe. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not that I didn’t like him, more that I didn’t know him. He had next to no profile here: I expect many of us know Raindrops but would be hard pressed to identify the original singer, even though the song is part of an iconic movie scene. As we’ve said before, some artists don’t travel well, for whatever reason: I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of his others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: ♫ B.J. Thomas — Gone, But His Music Lives On ♫ | Filosofa’s Word | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  3. 😢😢😢I didn’t hear about it yet. I graduated in 1976 and he was such a part of my formative teen years. BJ was a beautiful soul. I guess he finally went home. Thanks for the lovely tribute and remembrance Jill.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So many wonderful songs and memories. I just played Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head on Thursday when it was raining out. Thanks for sharing these. I had not hear of his passing, very sad, but lots to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s