B.J. Thomas will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Harris Center for the Arts. Courtesy photo

Entertainment

Thomas’ hits keep on fallin’

By From page A6 | September 20, 2017

A five-time Grammy winner who has sold more than 70 million records and is ranked in Billboard’s Top 50 most played artists over the past 50 years, B.J. Thomas comes to Harris Center for the Arts with a classic songbook known to nearly everyone. He continues to do 60 to 80 shows annually throughout the U.S. and internationally.

A true American institution whose iconic pop, country and gospel hits defined their respective generations, Thomas has found a unique way to celebrate an incredible half a century in music and some 47 years since his first gold selling hit on Scepter Records.

The film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” featured Thomas performing the Bacharach/David song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” which won the Academy Award for best original song that year and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970. Sales of it also exceeded one million copies, with Thomas being awarded his third gold record (preceded by “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, the Hank Williams tune, and “Hooked On A Feeling.”) Other hits of the 1970s were “Everybody’s Out of Town,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing” (No. 9 in 1970, covered by Elvis Presley), “No Love at All,” “Mighty Clouds of Joy” and “Rock and Roll Lullaby”.

In recent years, Thomas has released music on Curb Records, as well as the CD “The Living Room Sessions,” which featured intimate acoustic re-imaginings of 12 of his most renowned songs: “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and even “Don’t Worry Baby” (a Beach Boys classic first covered by the singer in 1977). Thomas recorded many of these as duets with a perfectly fulfilled “wish list” of guest artists from different genres, including Richard Marx “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)”, country legend Vince Gill (“I Just Can’t Help Believing”), bluesman Keb’ Mo’ (“Most of All”), Lyle Lovett (“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”), rocker Isaac Slade, lead singer of The Fray (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) and producer/songwriter turned popular contemporary standards singer Steve Tyrell (“Rock and Roll Lullaby”).

The surprise emergence of the Oscar winning “Raindrops” in a key scene in “Spider-Man 2” underscored Thomas’ continued place as an identifiable cultural touchstone. He is the only artist to successfully move to the top of three music genres not as a crossover and also have crossover success, including gospel:  Four of the singer’s Grammy Awards were earned from his work in gospel, in the category of “Best Gospel Other: Incl. Sacred, Religious or Inspirational Recording, Musical or Non-Musical.”

His band for the Harris Center performance includes Tom Wild, guitar; John Francis, bass; Tony Crow, keyboards; and Mel Watts, drums.

B.J. Thomas will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Tickets are $28-$48 with premium seats available for $53. Purchase tickets online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at (916) 608-6888 from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

Harris Center For The Arts

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