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B.J. Thomas performs at Hollywood Casino

28 May 2008

BAY ST. LOUIS, Mississippi –- (PRESS RELEASE) -- B.J. Thomas will be performing live in concert at 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, July 11th & 12 th at Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis. He owns one of the most distinctive voices in American pop music—a reassuringly masculine timbre conveyed with a smattering of unique embellishments that represent a distillation of the most influential genres in pop culture.

The Grammy-Award winning artist has racked up an impressive record of selling more the 70 million records, 2 Platinum records, 11 Gold records, 5 Grammy awards; including 15 Top Pop/Rock songs and 10 Top 40 Country hits. A few of his many hits include "Raindrops keep Fallin' On My Head," "Eyes of a New York Women," "Hooked on a Feeling, "Rock and Roll Lullaby," "I Just Can't Help Believing," "Hey Won't You Play Another Done Somebody Wrong Song," "What Ever Happen to Old Fashion Love," "Two Car Garage," and many, many more. Tickets start at $19.95 and are available at Tokens Gift Shop.

Nothing about the identifiable sound of B.J. Thomas' voice has changed, but there's a re-energized commitment behind it. Recognizing the continued loyalty of his fans, B.J. re-launches with the forthcoming Curb Records release of "Love to Burn," his first new studio album in almost a decade.

Concurrent with that project, he will be contributing six songs to the soundtrack of the independent picture "Jack's Corner," is in production with Allan Swartsburg and Bob Mann of NY Deep Diner on an upcoming Brazilian album in which B.J. lends his voice in an exciting new style; and created "Raindrops & Boondocks," an HD video of a recent live concert.

"We've always tried to do the right thing as far as getting our music out and encouraging people with positive music," B.J. reflects.

Indeed, many of B.J.'s signature hits—the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," the million-selling "Hey Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," and his career-igniting cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," invariably find the plots' protagonists employing some level of positivity to overcome the universal battle with loneliness.

Continuing his supportive inclinations, a series of positive-themed discs were embraced by the gospel community, giving him the first four platinum albums in gospel history. A brief-but-successful foray into country music—dotted by "Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love," and "New Looks From An Old Lover," written by his wife, Gloria, Red Lane and Latham Hudson—emphasized classic family ideals and commitment, as did the still-familiar theme to Growing Pains, "As Long As We Got Each Other," sung on the tube with Jennifer Warnes.

His lyrics aren't just words to B.J. Thomas. He's lived out his musical ideals, turning down career opportunities for years when he thought they might interfere with the home life he established in the Dallas, Texas, area with Gloria and their three daughters Paige, Nora and Erin.

"We weren't really silent," he observes, "but we weren't really chasing the prize, so to speak," said Thomas. But an interesting confluence of events helped to recharge B.J.'s career commitment. The girls grew up and left home.

The surprise emergence of Raindrops in a key scene in movie "Spider-Man 2" underscored his continued place as an identifiable cultural touchstone. And he discovered through technology just how deep and loyal his fans' commitment runs. "One of the real catalysts behind this is I did an interview with an online disc jockey," B.J. explains. "He interviewed me and then put some music together for a one-hour package that could be accessed on the Internet, and he had 3.5 million downloads in three days. So we said, 'Hey, our people are sitting right there. We just gotta figure out a way to reach them.'"

"Love to Burn," a release that synthesizes the wide-ranging styles that have influenced his career. It includes a barrelhouse version of "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," a song originally associated with Elvis Presley, whose landmark recordings "Suspicious Minds" and "In The Ghetto" came when he used producer Chips Moman and his associated musicians, the same guys who contributed to such B.J. Thomas classics as "I Can't Help Believing," "Hooked On A Feeling," and "No Love At All." "Love to Burn" digs into Allen Toussaint's New Orleans-flavored "Play Something Sweet" (Brickyard Blues) and features a Dobie Gray-penned ballad "Stranger in the Mirror," which finds B.J. in movingly sensitive form.

In a sign of real synchronicity, B.J. was also approached to do his first acting role since the 1973 movie "Jory,"which introduced Robby Benson. "Jacke's Corner" writer-director Jeff Santo had developed the script with B.J.'s Rock And "Roll Lullaby" as sonic inspiration. B.J. re-cut the song for the picture, and ended up on screen, a marked change after resisting that line of work.

"Gloria and I actually sat down after I finished 'Jory', and she wanted to know if I wanted to pursue being an actor," he notes. "At that time, I was on the road almost 300 days a year. The music was very successful, and both of us kind of agreed that movies would take too much time—that I would just pay attention to my music."

After his initial successes on a small Southern label, B.J. signed with New York's Scepter, where the roster also included Ronnie Milsap and Dionne Warwick. In fact, it was Warwick who introduced B.J. to songwriter-producer Burt Bacharach, leading to his performance of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" for the movie "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid." The song has shown an amazing resilience—it was featured in Forrest Gump when Tom Hanks' character encountered President Lyndon B. Johnson; it made the soundtracks for Clerks II, The In-Laws and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle; and it appeared almost in its entirety during Spider-Man 2.

B.J. has shown a comparable resilience. He married Gloria at the Chapel of the Bells in Las Vegas just weeks before "Hooked on a Feeling" hit the Top 10. Their relationship remains intact nearly 40 years later, a tangible sign of his sincerity in his find-the-silver-lining musical themes. "We've always had each other, even through the hard, wild, stupid, crazy times," he says. "She was just right there for me, and I've been there for her, too. If there's anything that got me to today it was having her."

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