There are so many wonderful BJ Thomas songs during his career – a career that stretches back to the early ’60s. The multi-Grammy winner was much adored by millions of listeners for his warm, rich singing voice while recording some of the most iconic tracks in music history. So, it was no surprise when Thomas made it on both the pop and country music charts several times.
Let’s take a look back at the career of a very thriving and flourishing singer with this playlist!
1. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”
From: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (1969)
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1969 American Western film Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, it became the first million-selling song for the renowned songwriters. It also helped them win the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Its heartening lyrics, which tell the tale of a man who overcame his difficulties and fears by believing that “it won’t be long ’till happiness steps up to greet me,” has definitely captured fans’ attention all over the world. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart as well as on similar charts in several countries. It also took the top spot of Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.
In 2014, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
But did you know it took BJ Thomas seven takes to record the song before Bacharach got satisfied? At that time, Thomas had been recuperating from laryngitis, making his voice seem much hoarser.
2. “Hooked on a Feeling”
From: On My Way (1968)
Written by legendary songwriter and Thomas’ childhood friend Mark James, “Hooked on a Feeling” tells the thrills of being in love. James was inspired to write the song while reminiscing the feelings he had for his childhood sweetheart.
This is one of the three songs James wrote for Thomas’ 1968 album On My Way.
3. “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”
From: Reunion (1975)
In 1976, the country-pop song took home the Grammy Award for Best Country song and dominated the top spot of Billboard Hot 100, Billboard’s Adult Contemporary, and Billboard’s Hot Country Song chart. Even if Thomas did not have any significant country hits for the next eight years, the song started the ball rolling for the singer’s future victory as a mainstream artist in that genre.
4. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”
From: I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1966)
Written and recorded by country music legend Hank Williams in 1949, several notable artists have since covered the hit song – including Elvis Presley.
Thomas recorded the song in 1966. Since then, the emotional tune has surpassed both time and genre, becoming an iconic anthem for those who got their hearts broken and shattered by loneliness.
5. “I Just Can’t Help Believing”
From: Everybody’s Out of Town (1970)
One of BJ Thomas greatest hits is penned by the husband-and-wife songwriting duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart – holding that position for one week.
Over four decades later, Thomas re-recorded “I Just Can’t Help Believing” with Vince Gill for his first “unplugged” album, The Living Room Sessions.
6. “Rock and Roll Lullaby”
From: Billy Joe Thomas (1972)
The iconic songwriting team of Mann and Weil continued writing songs for Thomas – including this 1972 poignant hit. The song tells the tale of a boy raised by his single teenage mother. Despite the bleakness of their situation, her mother’s very special lullaby has always been enough to comfort him.
7. “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love”
From: New Looks (1983)
Unfortunately, Thomas’ progress on the pop charts started waning in the 1980s. But things changed in 1983, with “Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love” being his biggest hit.
After eight years, Thomas found himself on top of the country chart once again. The song held the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for one week, spending a total of fourteen weeks on the said chart.
8. “No Love at All”
From: Most of All (1971)
Originally released by country singer Lynn Anderson, Thomas made “No Love at All” a pop hit in 1971.
9. “Don’t Worry Baby”
From: B.J. Thomas (1977)
One of Thomas’ career highlights was his absolutely stunning cover version of “Don’t Worry Baby,” which was originally released by the American rock band The Beach Boys. Peaking at No. 2 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart, the song became Thomas’ last major hit in the pop sphere.
10. “As Long as We Got Each Other”
From: Midnight Minute (1988)
Fans of the American television sitcom Growing Pains will surely recognize this as the opening song for the show that ran for seven seasons – from 1985 to 1992.
It is with profound sadness to hear the passing of such an amazing artist; luckily, we have these BJ Thomas songs which are evidence of his incredible accomplishments.
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