Released in 1969, BJ Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” became an award-winning soundtrack of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – one of the biggest and most profitable films that year and is now going down in history as one of the best movies of all time.
How The Song Became a Timeless Classic
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the song comes with inspiring lyrics to describe someone who conquers the challenges and doubts in life by holding on to the thought that “it won’t be long ’till happiness steps up to greet me.” Indeed, it was a controversial creative choice for a movie that starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford as 1890s train robbers.
In fact, film director George Roy Hill was at first resistant to the idea of a pop song with such lyrics, Bacharach managed to talk him into it. It then became a playful musical interlude to a scene where Newman took a romantic bike ride with Katherine Ross.
The song won an Oscar for Best Original Song while Bacharach took home Best Original Score.
But did you know the song wasn’t actually written with BJ Thomas in mind? Bacharach at first brought the song to Ray Stevens, whose novelty hits were making a wave that time. However, the Grammy Award-winning singer wasn’t a fan of the song so he turned it down. His loss then became Thomas’s gain.
While recovering from an acute case of laryngitis, recording it over five to seven takes until Bacharach got satisfied, Thomas brought the song atop the Billboard Hot 100 – even holding that position for four weeks. It also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and topped other countries’ charts, including Canada, South Africa, among others. Without a doubt, this is among BJ Thomas greatest hits.
You can listen to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” by BJ Thomas in the video below.