Fans who come to see B.J. Thomas perform at the Plaza Theatre on Friday can expect to hear all of his hits.
Thomas has recorded more than 60 albums during his music career, which spans five decades.
“I’ve been very lucky,” he said.
Thomas got his start in performing at the age of 15.
“I grew up in Houston. My brother knew some guys who were going to start a band. I got into that band and sang with them,” he said.
The band was called The Triumphs.
“We just played mostly weekend dances and teen things. We were of the age where we didn’t play any clubs. We played the big dance halls in the rural areas around Houston,” he said. “We played all over Texas and eventually in Louisiana. We made a few local records. They would play our records in Houston.”
The song that ignited his music career is one that has deep country music roots.
“I cut an old Hank Williams song in 1965 and it became a hit record locally and then nationally and that’s how I got started,” he said.
Thomas included the song, which was “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” on his first album.
He admits he was not a fan of country music when recorded the song.
“My dad loved country music. I was more of a pop and RB and rock and roll kind of guy,” Thomas said. “He loved Hank Williams and I did too. There’s something about Hank Williams that isn’t so country. He had that mainstream popularity.”
Thomas went on to sign with Scepter Records, the label for which he recorded “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head.”
The song became a million-seller for Thomas. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. It is a song that Thomas performs often.
“I’ve never gotten tired of singing ‘Rain Drops,’” he said. “I’ve got a lot of memories tied to the song.”
Thomas said getting to record “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head” was a result of being in the right place at the right time.
Thomas has continued to record albums since, with the latest recorded in Muscle Shoals, Ala. and released in 2010.
“After I made the new album, we eventually reached an agreement with a label in Nashville and they wanted me to go in and do an unplugged greatest hits,” he said.
Thomas will perform several duets on the upcoming greatest hits album. Who will be featured on the album with him has not been revealed.
“It should be a very interesting, eclectic group of people,” Thomas said.
He anticipates going into the studio to record the greatest hits album in January.
Tickets to see BJ Thomas perform at the Plaza Theatre on Friday night are $25 and can be purchased at the theater’s box office, by phone by calling 361-2101 or online at www.plaza.org. The concert begins at 7 p.m.