Time waits for no man.
I’m getting tired of hearing news like this.
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” singer B.J. Thomas has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The 70-year-old legendary singer said he is receiving treatment in a Texas health care facility.
“I just wanted to take this unique opportunity to share my gratitude to Gloria, my wonderful wife and my rock for over 53 years, my family, friends, and fans,” Thomas said. “I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to record and perform beautiful songs in pop, country, and gospel music, and to share those wonderful songs and memories around the world with millions of you. I ask all of you for your prayers during this time and that my music can live on with you.”
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” was written for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Dionne Warwick convinced Bacharach to consider Thomas to sing the song. No one knew that the song had already been turned down by Bob Dylan and Ray Stevens.
The day before he was to record the song, Thomas was warned by his doctor not to sing. “I had come off a two-week tour and had laryngitis and was barely able to eke out the thing for the soundtrack,” Thomas recalls. He struggled through five takes before Bacharach was satisfied. An exec from 20th Century Fox at the recording session congratulated Thomas on how much his raspy voice sounded like Paul Newman’s.
Thomas says, “There’s maybe only two or three times in my career when I felt like I’d recorded a hit record, no doubt, and that was one of them.”
This won the Oscar for Best Song From A Motion Picture at the 1970 awards.
Two weeks after the soundtrack was recorded a single version of the song for radio was recut at A&R Studios in New York, this one with a healthier performance from Thomas. Released in October 1969 to coincide with the movie, “Raindrops” climbed to No. 1 on January 3, 1970, and stayed there for four straight weeks.
At the 1969 Grammy Awards “Raindrops” was nominated for BEST CONTEMPORARY VOCAL PERFORMANCE, MALE. It lost to “Everybody’s Talkin'” by Harry Nilsson, who also beat out “Games People Play” by Joe South, “Gitarzan” by Ray Stevens, and get this, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.