#12: Sometime by Gene Thomas

City: Halifax, NS
Radio Station: CHNS
Peak Month: January 1962
Peak Position in Halifax ~ #2
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #53
YouTube: “Sometime
Lyrics: “Sometime

Gene Thomasson was born in Palestine, Texas, in 1937. He started to play guitar at the age of 12. He told author Vicki Welch Ayo, “I played Elks, Moose Lodges, Lion’s (all the animal kingdom clubs) National Guard Armories, etc; every place with four walls and electricity for plugging in the amps.” In the spring of 1961 he released a song credited to Gene Thomas titled “Sometime” and it didn’t get much attention. He released a followup titled “Lamp Of Love” which reached #15 in Houston and charted in San Antonio (TX). He re-released “Sometime” on the United Artists label and this time he got proper promotion.

Gene Thomas was assigned a sub-genre dubbed ‘swamp-pop.’ He wrote “Sometime”.

Sometime by Gene Thomas
“Sometime” is a song about a guy who is hanging on to a relationship. He’s waiting to learn if the gal he adores returns the love he offers her. The bridge in the song sums up his predicament:
Come on and tell me if you love me.
Won’t you please answer yes or no?
Tell me if I’m your one and only,
so, I can either stay or go.

“Sometime” had memorable saxophone accompaniment and a solo. The instrumental backing of the lyrics muted what could otherwise have been a tearjerker. As a pop tune, “Sometimes” was certainly a good mid-tempo dance number.

“Sometime” peaked at #1 in Houston, San Antonio (TX), and Dallas, #2 in Phoenix, and Halifax (NA), #3 in Norfolk (VA), Los Angeles, and Raleigh (NC), #5 in Louisville (KY), #6 in Olympia (WA), #7 in Seattle and Newport News (VA), #9 in San Francisco, #10 in Boston, #13 in San Bernardino (CA), and #16 in Austin (TX) and Vancouver (BC). In the USA, “Sometime” peaked at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late November 1961.

In early 1962, Thomas released “That’s What You Are To Me”. However, the song got passed over. “Crying’ Inside” was a #7 hit in Port Arthur (TX) in June of ’62. But it got little traction outside of Texas. In the fall of 1962, “So Wrong” climbed to #2 in Tucson (AZ), and was a minor hit in a few radio markets around Texas.

In 1963, Gene Thomas offered up “The Puppet”, a country-pop tune resembling some of Roy Orbison’s output. It soared to #7 in Worcester (MA) and #13 in Boston. The flip side, “Peace Of Mind” was a country-infused pop number that peaked at #1 in Port Arthur, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi (TX), #7 in Tyler (TX) and #12 in Manchester (NH). His other notable hit was written by Roy Orbison titled “Baby’s Gone”. It reached #1 in San Antonio, and #4 in Washington D.C.

In 1964, Gene Thomas released “The Last Song”. The country tune reached #1 in San Antonio and #7 in Houston on the pop charts.

Thomas went to work as a songwriter for famous Nashville publishing house Acuff-Rose and later had some more chart success as a member of the country-pop duo Gene & Debbe. In 1967, the duo had regional success with “Go With Me”. It reached #3 in Lansing (MI), #5 in Santa Rosa (CA), and Lakeland (FL), #6 in Boston, and Memphis, #7 in New Haven (CT), Jamestown (ND), and Berlin (NH), #9 in Springfield (MA), and Southbridge (MA). Their biggest hit was in 1968 with “Playboy” which peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 16 weeks on the chart. The pair got romantically involved and got married and had a son. But the marriage was short-lived, and the pair ended their arrangement in divorce court.

When he resurfaced again in 1971, Gene Thomas was charting on the country music surveys with “Babe, I Wish You Well” and “Remembered By Someone (Remembered By Me)”. Over the years, Gene Thomas had success with his songs being recorded by George Jones, Don Giibson, the Everlys, Dean Martin, Eddie Raven, Freddy Fender, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Roy Orbison, Carl Smith, Mickey Gilley, Connie Smith, Johnny Lee, Charlie Louvin and Dottie West.

Gene Thomas died at the age of 74 in 2012 of lung cancer.

March 18, 2024
Ray McGinnis

Chris Gray, “RIP Gene Thomas: Swamp-Pop Singer of “Sometimes” Passes Away at 74,” Houston Press, August 26, 2012.
Vicki Welch Ayo, Boys From Houston: The Spirit and Image of our Music, CreateSpace, 2013.

Sometime by Gene Thomas
CHNS 960-AM, Halifax (NS) Top Ten | January 14, 1962

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