BJ Thomas was an multi-award winning singer. Thomas defied the constraints of genre and style. When he found a song that moved him, he cut it.
After a long career, he left behind a catalog of country, pop, and gospel hits. Some of his songs were more than award-winning hits, though. A handful of them became cultural touchstones. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and “Hooked on a Feeling,” are both deeply engrained into American pop culture.
For instance, BJ Thomas recorded “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However, it has been reused in countless movies and TV shows. At the same time, it has been covered by several artists. There’s a good chance that you can hear the opening line in your head when you read the title. Also, “Hooked on a Feeling,” got a huge resurgence in popularity in the late-90s. Do you remember the dancing baby videos that were all over the internet? The song opens with, “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Chaka.” You know the one. Well, that was the Blue Swede version. However, Thomas cut it first.
In short, BJ Thomas contributed more than just a few hit songs to the world. Thomas enriched our culture and left a lasting mark on the music world.
Since he passed away yesterday, many people are suddenly remembering how great of a singer he was. However, some folks took didn’t need that reminder. Garth Brooks is one of those folks.
Garth Pays Tribute to BJ Thomas in 2000
Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Burt Bacharach, and a host of other stars performed a medley of Oscar-winning hits. They honored several songs and the films that introduced them to the world.
Bacharach kicked the whole thing off by talking about how theater has always introduced audiences to new music. This started long before movies. However, it still happens to this day. Then, a string of the best voices in the music business sang the Oscar-winning tunes while clips from their films played.
Garth Brooks starts by singing “Everybody’s Talkin’,” from the movie Midnight Cowboy. Then, about halfway through the medley, Garth came back again with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” as clips from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid played on the wall behind him.
When it took place 21 years ago, it was one icon paying tribute to another. Today, though, the performance seems to carry a little more weight. BJ Thomas was a legend. He may be gone but not even the grave can silence such a golden voice. His music will live on long after we’re all gone.