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B.J. Thomas

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Biography

B.J. Thomas (born Billy Joe Thomas) straddled the line between pop/rock and country, achieving success in both genres in the late '60s and '70s. At the beginning of his career, he leaned more heavily on rock & roll, but by the mid-'70s, he had turned to country music, becoming one of the most successful country-pop stars of the decade. Thomas began singing while he was a child, performing in church. In his teens, he joined the Houston-based band the Triumphs, who released a number of independent singles that failed to gain any attention. For the group's last single, Thomas and fellow Triumph member Mark Charron wrote "Billy and Sue," which was another flop. After "Billy and Sue," Thomas began a solo career, recording a version of Hank Williams' standard "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" with producer Huey P. Meaux. Released by Scepter Records in early 1966, the single became an immediate hit, catapulting to number eight on the pop charts. Although he had a series of moderate follow-up hits, including a re-release of "Billy and Sue," Thomas failed to reenter the Top Ten until 1968, when "Hooked on a Feeling" became a number five, gold single. The following year, he scored his biggest hit with Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," taken from the hit film Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. It was followed by a string of soft rock hits in the next two years, including "Everybody's Out of Town," "I Just Can't Help Believing," "No Love at All," and "Rock and Roll Lullaby," which featured guitarist Duane Eddy and the vocal group the Blossoms. After "Rock and Roll Lullaby," Scepter Records went out of business and Thomas headed to Paramount. At Paramount, Thomas had no hits, prompting the singer to pursue a new country-pop direction at ABC Records. "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," his first single for ABC, became his second number one record on the pop charts, as well as establishing a country career for the vocalist. For the next decade, he continued to have hits on the country charts, with a couple of songs -- most notably "Don't Worry Baby" -- crossing over into the pop charts. During this period, he switched record companies at a rapid pace, but it did nothing to slow the pace of his hits. Thomas hit his country peak in 1983 and 1984, when he had the number one hits "Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love" and "New Looks from an Old Lover," as well as the Top Ten hits "The Whole World's in Love When You're Lonely" and "Two Car Garage." Throughout the '80s, B.J. Thomas recorded a number of hit gospel records for Myrrh concurrently with his country hits, but his most prominent song was "As Long as We Got Each Other," a tune that served as the theme song to the sitcom Growing Pains. At the end of the '80s, the hits began to dry up for Thomas, but he continued to tour, and put out the occasional country and gospel record in the '90s. In the new millennium, he concentrated primarily on Christmas and Christian recordings, but in 2013 he returned with The Living Room Sessions, his first secular album in years. This was a stripped-down collection of covers of his old hits, sometimes performed as duets with such stars as Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, and Keb' Mo'; it debuted at 39 on the Billboard country charts. Also in 2013, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences inducted "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2017, Real Gone Music released New Looks from an Old Lover: The Complete Columbia Singles, the first thorough overview of his '80s recordings. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
  3.   (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
  4.   Hooked on a Feeling
  5.   I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  6.   I Just Can't Help Believing
  7.   Rock and Roll Lullaby
  8.   The Eyes of a New York Woman
  9.   Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love
  10.   New Looks from an Old Lover
  11.   Happy Man
  12.   Jesus on My Mind
  13.   Everybody's Talkin'
  14.   Thank You Lord
  15.   Another Somebody Did Somebody Wrong Song
  16.   Raindrops Keep Fallin' on Head
  17.   Bridge of Love
  18.   The Mask
  19.   This Guy's in Love With You
  20.   I Don't Know Any Better
  21.   Brown Eyed Woman
  22.   Suspicious Minds
  23.   I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)
  24.   The Part of Me That Needs You Most
  25.   Since I Fell for You
  26.   Circle 'Round the Sun
  27.   It's Not Unusual
  28.   Created for a Man
  29.   I Just Got to Forget You
  30.   Table for Two for One
  31.   I Blame Me, Not Mount Kilimanjaro
  32.   Bridge Over Troubled Water
  33.   The Greatest Love
  34.   Didn't It Rain
  35.   A Fine Way to Go
  36.   Hallelujah
  37.   I Got A Feeling
  38.   What's Forever For
  39.   He's Walking in My Shoes
  40.   Light My Fire
  41.   Sunday Sunrise
  42.   Crying
  43.   The Worst That Could Happen
  44.   Hey Girl
  45.   Titles Tell
  46.   Mystery of Tomorrow
  47.   My Home Town
  48.   It's Such a Good Feeling
  49.   From the Start
  50.   Gonna Send You Back to Georgia
  51.   It's Only Love
  52.   Happier Than the Morning Sun
  53.   City Boys
  54.   Without a Doubt
  55.   You're the One
  56.   The Whole World's in Love When You're Lonely
  57.   Bring Back the Time
  58.   As Long as We've Got Each Other
  59.   You Gave Me Love
  60.   Living Again
  61.   Doctor God