August 7: B. J. Thomas - "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," - is 69-years-old today.

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Born in Hugo, Oklahoma, Billy Joe "B. J." Thomas was raised in the Houston, Texas area. Before he began singing professionally as a solo performer, Thomas sang in a church choir as a teenager then joined the musical group The Triumphs. During his senior year he made friends with Roy Head of Roy Head and The Traits. The Traits and the Triumphs held several Battle of the Bands events in the early 1960s featuring Head and Thomas.

In 1966, B. J. Thomas and The Triumphs released the album, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry on Pacemaker Records. The album featured a hit cover of the Hank Williams song, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In the same year, Thomas released a solo album of the same name on Scepter Records.

Thomas achieved mainstream success again in 1968, with the single "Hooked on a Feeling," which featured the sound of an electric sitar, first released on the album On My Way. "Hooked on a Feeling" became Thomas's second million-selling record.

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B.J. Thomas - Greatest HitsHooked On A Feeling

The 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid featured Thomas performing the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," which won the Academy Award for best original song that year, became the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970. Sales of this disc also exceeded one million copies, with Thomas being awarded his third gold record. The song was also released on an album of the same name.

His other hits of the 1970s were "I Just Can't Help Believing" which reached No. 9 on Billboard, "Rock and Roll Lullaby," "No Love At All," "Everybody's Out of Town" and "Mighty Clouds of Joy."

After six years, Thomas' left Scepter Records 1972, and spent a short period, in 1973 and 1974, with Paramount Records. During his time with Paramount, Thomas released two albums, Songs in 1973 and Longhorns & London Bridges the next year.

In 1975, Thomas released the album Reunion (ABC Records, which had absorbed the Paramount label), which contained what would become his second number one hit single, "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." It was his first big hit since 1968, and earned Thomas his fourth gold record. On ABC, he also charted with "Songs" and "Don’t Worry Baby."

In 1976, Thomas released Home Where I Belong on Myrrh Records, the first of several gospel albums to be recorded by Thomas. The album went platinum, and Thomas became the biggest contemporary Christian artist of the period.

During the 1980s, his success on the pop charts began to wane, but many of his singles reached the upper regions on the country singles charts, including two 1983 chart toppers, "Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love" and "New Looks from an Old Lover," as well as "Two Car Garage," which reached No. 3 on the country singles chart. In 1981, on his 39th birthday, Thomas became the 60th member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Thomas scored another hit, recording "As Long As We Got Each Other," the theme to Growing Pains with Jennifer Warnes. A later version, used for the show's fourth season, was recorded with the British singer Dusty Springfield. Thomas first released this track on his 1985 album Throwing Rocks at the Moon.

Thomas has also authored two books including his autobiography, Home Where I Belong, and starred in the movie Jory. Several commercial jingles, to include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Bell phone systems, have featured his singing voice and music.