ASSOCIATION LOCAL 140
B.J. Thomas &
Billy Joe Royal
April 21, 2007
|1964 The Tribute in 2005
at a Firefighters Concert
|April 21, 2007 - Nashville, Tennessee - Pictures by Pat Adams
|Billy Joe Royal by Pat Adams
I missed much of Billy Joe Royal's set, although I can tell you he
ended his set with the classic oldies song "Down In The
Boondocks". I regret that I didn't get to see him do "Hush",
"Cherryhill Park", I Knew You When" and others great oldies, he
had out in the 1960's. He did return to perform "You've Lost That
Lovin' Feeling" with B.J. Thomas later in the evening.
|B.J. Thomas shares the same first names (Billy Joe) as Royal.
It was when Billy Joe Royal returned to the stage with
B.J. Thomas, when I took the pictures of Billy Joe Royal.
What a combination, Billy Joe Thomas and Billy Joe Royal.
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Veteran country and pop performer Billy Joe Royal passed away in his sleep unexpectedly earlier
today (Oct. 6) at his home in North Carolina. He was 73 years old.
Royal was born April 3, 1942 in Valdosta, Georgia. He grew up just north of Atlanta. However, it
was a move to Savannah that helped him to become known as a performer, gaining a huge
following at the Bamboo Ranch. Close to 2,500 people each night would flock to the club to see
Royal and others perform. It was there that Royal would become friends with Roy Orbison, who
gave him encouragement to pursue his dream as an artist.
Royal’s career path took him to Columbia Records, where he released “Down in the Boondocks” in
1965. The song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the Joe South composition helped
him to become a star. In a 2010 interview, Royal recalled the first time he heard the song on the
radio. “I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time, and a radio friend of mine named Dusty Rhodes
played the record. There was no feeling like it. It was an amazing feeling, and led to a great career.”
The singer’s subsequent hits included “I Knew You When” and “Cherry Hill Park,” which became
his final Top-40 on the pop charts in 1969. Royal would leave Columbia for stints on smaller labels
in the 1970s, eventually landing on Mercury Records, for whom he released a self-titled album in
|BILLY JOE ROYAL 1942-2015