B.J. Thomas

Born: Aug. 7, 1942 in Hugo, Okla.

     Since the mid-1960s, B.J. Thomas has impacted many areas of popular music with 15 Top 40 pop hits, 10 Top 40 country hits, 5 Grammys, and 15 Gold and Platinum Records.

 

     Billy Joe Thomas moved with his family to Rosenberg, Texas at age 15 where he sang in his high school and church choirs. As a teenager, he joined a local Houston rock band, the Triumphs.  The Triumphs became one of the biggest acts in Texas, opening at the Houston Coliseum for Roy Orbison, the Dave Clark Five, and the Four Tops.

 

     In 1965, the band set out to record an album of vintage rock and roll. When they needed one song to finish the project, B.J. recalled his father saying, "Don't come back unless you record something country." B.J. suggested Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." The album sold more than a million copies.

 

     By 1968, B.J. had recorded four gold records: "The Eyes of a New York Woman," "Hooked on a Feeling," "It's Only Love" and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” for the motion picture Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which won an Academy Award for Song of the Year.

 

     In 1976, B.J. released the first of several gospel albums, “Home Where I Belong”, which went platinum. Moving back to country music, B.J. hit the Top 40 ten times with hits like "What Ever Happened to Old Fashioned Love” and "The Whole World's in Love When You're Lonely." His country success led him to become the 60th member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1989 B.J. recorded "As Long As We Got Each Other," the theme song for the sitcom Growing Pains.  He has since written commercial jingles and produced acoustic versions of well-known hits.

B.J. Thomas and Kenny Rogers duet "I Just Can't Help Believin'."
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The Museum of the Gulf Coast is administered by the Port Arthur Historical Society in partnership with the City of Port Arthur.  

P.O. Box 1374, Port Arthur, Texas 77641-1374

Museum Address: 700 Procter, Port Arthur, TX 77640

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Parking and Entrance on 4th Street

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