Hello, Billy Joe Royal has enjoyed a long and very successful career in both pop and country music. Billy Joe was born on April 3, 1942 in Valdosta, Georgia and raised in Marietta, Georgia. He has charted 9 Billboard Hot 100 hits and 15 country hits. In high school he formed his own band, the Corvettes, and performed around the Atlanta area as a teenager. During this time he met and became friends with Joe South, who would write a few of his hits. Billy Joe moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1963. His friend Joe South called about a song he had written and asked him to come to Atlanta to record it. That was the record that made Billy Joe Royal a household name and a Top 10 recording artist.
On July 3, 1965 DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS made its Billboard Hot 100 debut. The single record on Columbia Records label was a huge hit as it climbed the chart to #9. The single became a #1 hit on the Canadian singles chart. DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS remained on the Hot 100 for 13 weeks. In September of 1965, Billy Joe followed up with another big hit, I KNEW YOU WHEN. The single became a #14 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and went to #1 again, on the Canadian singles chart. In December of 1965 he charted his third hit of the year, I’VE GOTTA BE SOMEBODY. The single became his third Top 40 hit of the year, charting at #38 on the Hot 100. It was a big hit in Canada, charting at #15, giving him, 2 #1 hits and a Top 20 hit in 1965. All three of these records were written and produced by Joe South.
Billy Joe began touring with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars. 1966 was not a good year on the charts. Two of his records reached the Hot 100, they were: HEART’S DESIRE, #88 and CAMPFIRE GIRLS, #91. In 1967 his recording of HUSH in September, became his biggest hit since late 1965. The single charted at #52 on the Hot 100. His next big record would come in October of 1969, that’s when his last big pop hit, CHERRY HILL PARK made its debut. The record was huge on radio and at the record shops, climbing the Hot 100 to #15. It also became a Top 10 hit in Canada, charting at #8 on the Canadian singles chart.
There would be two more Hot 100 hits. In 1971 he would chart, TULSA at #86, it would also be his last Columbia Records Hot 100 record. In 1978 he charted, UNDER THE BOARDWALK on Private Stock Records. This would be his last Hot 100 hit, charting at #82.
In the 1980’s, Billy Joe had a string of country hits. Songs like: BURNED LIKE A ROCKET-#10, I’LL PIN A NOTE ON YOUR PILLOW-#5, OUT OF SIGHT AND ON MY MIND-#10, TELL IT LIKE IT IS-#2, OLD BRIDGES BURN SLOW-#11 are a few of his many country hits, in fact Billy Joe charted 6 Top 10’s and 10 Top 20 hits between 1985 and 1992. Billy Joe is still active as a performer…his classic recording of DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS is the song that he is most identified with. His hits continue to be in rotation on oldies radio…and on country music radio, each day. Billy Joe Royal, is a big hit maker from the “Golden Era Of Rock and Roll”.
Till the next time—Joe