#713: Mama by B.J. Thomas
Billy Joe Thomas was born in Hugo, Oklahoma, in 1942. His family eventually moved to Houston, Texas. When he was in his teens playing baseball, Billy Joe Thomas took the name of BJ. This was because there were too many boys on the baseball team with the name of Billy Joe. During his teens he sang in a church choir. In 1958, BJ Thomas heard “To Be Loved” by Jackie Wilson. He credits the song as being a catalyst for his love of singing. In the late 50’s, in grade eleven, his Junior year, BJ Thomas became lead singer for a local band named The Triumphs. He got to know Roy Head and the Traits. The Traits and The Triumphs participated in several Battle of the Bands events in the early 60’s. In 1966, BJ Thomas got a record contract with Scepter Records. He released an album, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. The title track, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” climbed into the Top Ten in the USA and #3 in Vancouver.
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