Just a regular guy with a burning desire to sing — The B.J. Thomas interview

Blue-eyed soul singer B.J. Thomas, still handsome after 50-odd years in the music business, circa 2010. Thomas also successfully notched numerous rock and roll, adult contemporary, country, and gospel hits in his diverse recording career. Image Credit: Honeyman Music
B.J. Thomas is captured in motion in early 1970, likely around the time his career-defining take of Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” was shuttling to the top of the charts. Photography by Tony Gale / Alamy

The B.J. Thomas Interview

R&B-pop vocalist Jackie Wilson circa 1970, long admired by B.J. Thomas and even Elvis Presley, who clearly channeled Wilson during the “Return to Sender” dance number in 1962’s “Girls! Girls! Girls” musical-comedy film. Image Credit: Lipstick Alley forum user “Legendary”
James Brown performs on the “Ready Steady Go” television show filmed at Wembley studios in London, England, on March 11, 1966, right around the time of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Photography by David Redfern / Redferns
Presenting the Triumphs circa 1961. Standing are saxophonist Don Drachenberg and lead singer B.J. Thomas on shakers. Kneeling are guitarists Denver ‘Zeke’ Zatyka and Tim Griffith while drummer Ted Mensik ably anchors the rhythm section. Image Credit: The Original Triumphs’ Facebook
Late blues guitarist Johnny Winter and B.J. Thomas, sporting a rare goatee, backstage at a concert in Houston, Texas, circa 1966. Image Credit: B.J. Thomas’s official Facebook
Memphis Boys pianist Bobby Wood, songwriter Mark James [e.g. “Suspicious Minds,” “Always on My Mind,” and “Moody Blue”], drummer Gene Chrisman, and guitarist Reggie Young collide backstage at Graceland during Elvis Week on August 14, 2014. B.J. Thomas worked extensively with all four musicians. Photography by Jim McCarter
Newlyweds B.J. and Gloria Thomas are greeted by paparazzi circa 1969. The couple was married on December 9, 1968, inside the Chapel of the Bells in Las Vegas. Gloria later co-composed her husband’s hit country single “New Looks from an Old Lover.” Image Credit: B.J. Thomas’s official website
B.J. Thomas dons a convincing set of Aquarius threads as he is captured on the streets of New York City for the studio album cover of “Most of All,” released in November 1970 on Scepter Records. Image Credit: Gusto Records
The striking cover of B.J. Thomas’s “Have a Heart: The Love Songs Collection,” released February 1, 2005. Image Credit: Varèse Sarabande Records
A lobby card featuring B.J. Thomas and Robby Benson from “Jory,” a forgotten western released in February 1973 by Avco-Embassy Pictures. Image Credit: BJThomas.net / Bobbi
The Netherlands single 45 cover of B.J. Thomas’s smash hit [“Hey Won’t You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song?” b/w “City Boys,” distributed in February 1975 on Paramount Records. Image Credit: 45Cat user Serooskerke2011 / Universal Music Group
Singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry dresses exotically in gypsy threads for “Spring Thing,” a rare one hour NBC television special co-hosted by Noel “Windmills of Your Mind” Harrison and broadcast on April 28, 1969. Photography by Paul W. Bailey / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images
Producer Chips Moman, organist Bobby Emmons, bassist Mike Leech, drummer Gene Chrisman, B.J. Thomas, guitarist Reggie Young, and pianist Bobby Wood are captured inside Cartee Day Recording Studios at 49 Music Square West, Nashville, Tennessee, during the aborted sessions for their 2007 studio reunion. Image Credit: The Memphis Boys’ official Facebook
Clockwise from top: Lead singer Mike Love, rhythm guitarist-vocalist Al Jardine, lead guitarist-vocalist Carl Wilson, bassist-keyboardist-vocalist Brian Wilson, and drummer-vocalist Dennis Wilson are the Beach Boys in this playful outtake from the August 23, 1976, issue of People magazine which featured the band on the cover. Image Credit: Time Inc.
Dig those sparkling blue eyes: The unplugged “Living Room Sessions,” featuring Vince Gill and Keb’ Mo’, was released on April 2, 2013. Photography by Angela Talley / Courtesy of Wrinkled Records
Producer Kyle Lehning and B.J. Thomas sit alongside a recording console at Sound Stage Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, during pre-production for “The Living Room Sessions.” In the back row from left to right are Wrinkled Records personnel Stephen McCord, Sandy Knox, Katie Gillion, and Thomas’s wife-business manager Gloria. Image Credit: Wrinkled Records
Rick Nelson supplies maximum rhythm acoustic guitar during a show held at the Ritz rock club in New York City on February 23, 1981. Photography by Ebet Roberts / Redferns
Masterful pop song interpreter B.J. Thomas is captured inside WNYC 93.9 studios on November 16, 2010, after granting a live radio interview. Photography by Melissa Eagan
Watch B.J. Thomas sing “Living Again,” a blue-eyed soul jewel in need of discovery. Written by Mark James, it was first released on the “Young and in Love” album in June 1969 and later became the B-side of “Everybody’s Out of Town.” Video Credit: Created by Jeremy Roberts / YouTube; Music Credit: Gusto Records
According to the official Ed Sullivan website, “ On January 25, 1970, 27-year-old B.J. Thomas appeared onThe Ed Sullivan Show’ for the first time. ‘The new recording sensation from our country, B.J. Thomas!’, said Ed Sullivan while introducing the singer. That night he opened his act singing ‘Old Black Magic.’ Then he moved on to perform ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ in front of a set that replicated a rural landscape. Accompanying his act were a few dancers who incorporated umbrellas into their routines. At the end of his performance, a fake cloud was brought on top of Thomas and water started pouring on top of him as if it was really raining.” Video Credit: SOFA Entertainment

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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