MP3 B.J. Thomas - Hooked on a Feeling Dance Mix
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2 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Dance, POP: 70's Pop
With over 70 million records sold, BJ's vocal versatility is as apparent today as it was when he recorded his first hit in 1967, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".
Since the mid-1960s, BJ Thomas has become one of the most recognized and respected voices of the American musical landscape. He has impacted many areas of popular music with 15 Top 40 pop hits, 10 Top 40 country hits, 5 Grammys, 2 Dove awards and 15 Gold and Platinum Records. He is the only artist to successfully move to the top of three music genres not as a crossover and also have crossover success.
"As a singer," BJ states, "I have the chance to lift the spirits of the audience and make them feel good, at least for the evening."
It's an attitude people have noticed. Fans frequently approach BJ to thank him for the impact of his songs ranging from the mega hit "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" to country smashes like "New Looks From An Old Lover." BJ's music is testimony to the fact he is a survivor. He has overcome personal adversity and addiction as well as weathered professional storms to emerge musically stronger than ever.
Billy Joe Thomas, nick-named BJ by his baseball coach at age 10, was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, and grew up in Houston, Texas. He moved with his family to Rosenberg, Texas at age 15 and was a "charming, energetic cut-up", according to his friends. BJ was a member of his high school and church choirs. As a teenager, he developed a passion for R&B. As his passion grew, he began sneaking into nightclubs to hear blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland. At the age of 15, BJ joined a local Houston rock band, the Triumphs. Early influences range from Ernest Tubb to Jackie Wilson and Little Richard.
BJ made his biggest local splash as lead singer for the Triumphs, a six-piece rock and roll band that started out playing at dances and a Saturday morning radio show. The Triumphs became one of the biggest acts in Texas, opening at the Houston Coliseum for headliners like Roy Orbison, the Dave Clark Five and the Four Tops.
The Triumphs' first album was recorded in Beaumont. They released several well-received local singles. In 1965 the band went into the studio to record an album of vintage rock and roll. They needed one song to finish the project. BJ recalled his father had told him, "Don't come back unless you record something country". With that in mind, BJ suggested Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. It was recorded at 5 a.m. after an all night session.
Reflecting on his childhood, BJ recalls a major turning point in his life. "I remember seeing Hank Williams with my father," he says. "He was unbelievable that night. He came out on stage and he was feeling good. I remember him getting on his knees and playing the guitar. I'll never forget the look on my daddy's face at that show. I guess that's the night I decided I was going to communicate with my daddy through the music he loved. It was the only way I could communicate with him."
The Triumphs took the new album to Houston DJs who picked up on I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and made it a regional hit. The record's producer leased the master tape of the single to New York's Scepter Records, who had access to such acts as the Shirelles and the Isley Brothers. The album went to number four on the national pop charts and sold more than a million copies - several other bands had already attempted to cover the song, but were unsuccessful.
By 1968, he had recorded four gold records. The first three hits were The Eyes Of a New York Woman, Hooked on a Feeling and It's Only Love. Followed by Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head. Labelmate Dionne Warwick, who'd been working with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David songwriting team, recommended BJ for Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head which was written for the motion picture Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.
"I was in the right place at the right time," BJ says, "and I probably got their best song ever." Raindrops was Bacharach/David's first million-selling song. The same year BJ sang the song on the Academy Awards telecast, Raindrops was named Song of the Year. 1999 marked the 30-year anniversary of Raindrops.
In 1976, he released the first of several gospel albums, "Home Where I Belong," which went platinum, making him the biggest contemporary Christian artist of the period. Over the next several years, he received two Dove awards. However, gospel fans reacted negatively when BJ sang his older pop hits at Christian-focused concerts.
Moving back to country music, BJ hit the Top 40 ten times with hits like What Ever Happened To Old Fashioned Love, New Looks From an Old Lover (which wife Gloria wrote with Red Lane), and The Whole World's in Love When You're Lonely.
His country success led him to become the 60th member of the Grand Ole Opry on his 40th birthday.
Throughout his career, BJ has actively worked for various causes. In particular, his song, Broken Toys, written by Gloria Thomas and Nashville writers J.D. Martin and Gary Harrison, has been adopted by child abuse agencies throughout the country.
In 1989 BJ recorded As Long As We Got Each Other, the theme song for the ABC sitcom Growing Pains.
As the tours and records keep coming, BJ Thomas maintains his reputation as a singer. "BJ is one of the greatest all-time singers of today," according to Nashville songwriter Mark James, who wrote Hooked On a Feeling and Elvis' Suspicious Minds.
While BJ and Gloria have written several of his hit songs, he continues to credit the many talented songwriters with whom he has worked. "Their songs still stand up," he says. "That's a sign of a great writer. I'm like the mailman. I deliver what the guys write and hope it has a lasting effect when I get it there."
As a man who has seen both the good and the bad life and career have to offer, BJ places more importance than ever on his marriage of over 30 years and his family life. "The real answer for me," he says, "lies in trying to be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my kids (he has three daughters - Paige, Nora and Erin) and live up to my responsibilities. That's the bottom line right there. I really believe that just being a regular guy and trying to do the best you can is the essence of having peace of mind in this life." This attitude helps him keep his extraordinary career in perspective.
BJ's 1997 release of "Christmas Is Coming Home," on the Warner Resound label, has been hailed as one of the strongest collections of nontraditional Christmas music.
"I'll be honest with you," he adds conspiratorially, "when I do music, I do so with everything I can give it. And I'm sure I always will."
1965 or 2000, BJ's dynamic voice has remained uncompromised through the years. With over 70 million records sold, BJ continues to deliver exactly what his fans expect.
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