Saturday, May 29, 2021

B.J. Thomas, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” Singer, Dies at 78 (Video)

[Of related interest: “Oscar, RIP: In a Putsch, Racists Take Over the Motion Picture Academy.”]

By R.C.
Sat, May 29, 2021 8:30 p.m.

N.S.: The late 1960s saw the rise of the new Hollywood, via pictures like The Graduate, from 1967, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch and Midnight Cowboy, all of which were released in 1969.

Most of the forementioned pictures would not have been made, much less released, just a few years earlier, as violating the Hays Code.

The Graduate celebrated extramarital sex, and cheating on one’s girlfriend (with her mother, no less). Butch and Bunch both celebrated criminals, but at least they got killed in the end. That leaves the worst for last: Midnight Cowboy promoted homosexuality and prostitution, had two realistic scenes of simulated, heterosexual sex, and was rated “X.”

However, what is most germane to this item, is that two of the pictures on this list had composers who wrote songs for them that were wildly inappropriate, but which became gold records, and won Oscars for Best Original Song. “Mrs. Robinson,” by Paul Simon, depicted the eponymous character as insane, and as having spent time in psycho wards, but the movie character had no such problem. She may have been a drunk, but she was sane, and the nostalgia attributed to her in the song (“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio…?”) also made no sense. “Raindrops,” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, depicted Butch and Sundance as lovable losers, but the picture depicted them as immensely successful.

Paul Simon, who recently made his retirement official, has been one of music’s most successful tunesmiths. Bacharach and David were one of the era’s three most successful songwriting teams, with the Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Motown’s team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (“H-D-H”), Lamont Dozier, and the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland.




Anonymous said...

Well,a great great song in its day--and for all days.I purchased a B.J.Thomas Greatest Hits collection,just because of "Raindrops" and "No Love at All".Many times back then,I could never understand the words,but the melodies were what made songs memorable to me.
A great distinctive voice,Thomas had,in an era of many distinctive voices and styles--all instantly recognizable.What I liked best was say--in 1970--you'd hear not only 1970 songs on a radio station's playlist,but from the previous 6 years too and they all had musical hooks to lure you in.You could go from,"Indiana Wants Me" to "Galveston",to "The Horse" to,"It's Cold Outside",to "My World Fell Down",to "Light my Fire" to "Raindrops Keep Falling" to "Rainy Days and Mondays" to,"Somebody to Love" to "Never my Love" to "Grazing in the Grass" to ""Sweet Caroline" and on and on(this list doesn't even include the numerous hits by the Beatles,Stones,Simon and Garfunkle or Motown--or the one hit wonders.)

Don't get me started about rap and the singers who all sound like the next one.

BJ Thomas was a heck a singer.


Anonymous said...

Then there's Katherine Ross in "The Graduate" and "Butch Cassidy".I was in love with her from just those two movies--and still am--along with many others like Jill St.John,Joey Heatherton etc.I never saw "The Graduate" until the mid 70s and didn't appreciate Ross until after that,but somewhere around then, that look she had from 1967-1969 became perfection to me.


Anonymous said...

BJ did a lot of drugs too and managed to live as long as he did. He was vocal about the errors of his ways.