Monday, January 27, 2014
Beginning A New Decade
As we brought our lava lamps back to the dorms for the second semester of our freshman year at Vanderbilt in January, 1970, the number one hits of that first month of the new decade reflected our movies and our weather (it seemed to me it rained quite a bit during our winter months at VU). The end of January, 1970 also reflected the beginning of a pop music sensation that only grew in the years to come.
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was a box office sensation at the movies. It also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head",written by Hal David and Bert Bacharach, was sung by B.J. Thomas on both the silver screen and in the Number One pop hit that topped the Billboard charts for 4 consecutive weeks in January, 1970...the first number one song of the new decade of the '70s. The recording also spent seven weeks on top of the adult contemporary charts!
But the film and record performances were not the same. The screen version, seen and heard at the link below, had a seperate instrumental break where Paul Newman (one of the major stars of the movie) did some bicycle stunts. The movie version of the song is also different because B.J. Thomas recorded it while still recovering from laryngitis which made his voice a bit raspier than in the record version. Listen closely.....
According to Wikipedia (for what it's worth) both Ray Stevens and Bob Dylan were offered the chance to record the song for the film but declined. B.J. Thomas recorded the pop hit here in Nashville, the beginning of so many frequent vists here he told THE TENNESSEAN (January 12, 2014) "We feel like Nashville is our hometown too." One of his most recent trips was for a party to celebrate "Raindrops" being introduced into the Grammy Hall of Fame this year. In 2008, Thomas' recording was ranked the 85th biggest song on Billboard's Top 100 All-Time Top Songs...
As you might expect, "I Want You Back" was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame back in 1999.