By Joe Southern
Are you hooked on a feeling?
Do raindrops keep falling on your head?
If you answered yes to either of these questions then you’re probably already a fan of B.J. Thomas. The septuagenarian singer of timeless classics such as “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” and “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” will be coming home May 4 with a concert at the Stafford Centre. Raised around Houston, Thomas graduated from Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg. He will be joined by former Richmond resident and “The Voice” finalist Mary Sarah – who graduated from Foster High School – in a show with a lot of local appeal in Fort Bend County.
“It feels a little like coming home,” Thomas said in a telephone interview with the Fort Bend Star. “I haven’t lived there since ’67 … We’ll have a chance to see some old friends. It’ll feel like a reunion.”
Home for Thomas is Arlington, where he and Gloria, his bride of 49 years, have lived for the past 40 years. At age 74 Thomas is still touring and is even making plans for a trip to Spain later this year. He has played in Stafford several times and said he enjoys the venue.
“I’ve played there quite a few times,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great theater and it has great sound and it’s run by great people.”
Thomas’s roots in Rosenberg came during his sophomore year in high school. He and his brother were attending Reagan (now Heights) High School when their father started an air conditioning business with a friend in Rosenberg.
“I count myself fortunate to be able to get out of the city and into more of a more laid back situation,” he said. “I made a lot of great friends there.”
He sang in a church choir and joined the band The Triumphs before embarking on his solo career. He still performs with the band on occasion, especially at an annual fundraiser for the Bright Minds organization in Wharton and El Campo. He said he would have his own band in Stafford and won’t be performing with the Triumphs. He said he is looking forward to sharing the stage with Mary Sarah.
“She’s a country girl and a great singer,” he said. “I heard her on TV.”
Thomas said when fans come to the concert they can expect to hear his big hits “with one or two things just for fun.”
“There will be some country, rock, pop and maybe some gospel songs and some rhythm and blues,” he said.
His career has produced hits in many of those genres and have earned him five Grammy and two Dove awards. His recording of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” won an Oscar for the writers and was featured in the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” He has sold more than 70 million albums since his career started in 1966.
Thomas said that even this late in his career that he loves to perform and fans young and old keep coming out to hear him.
“I have a lot of good memories tied to my songs,” he said.
He said he never gets tired of performing for a live audience.
“I still love to do it,” he said. “I don’t go out on the road for months at a time but I still have the drive and I still love a lot of the music and the songs.”
In addition to his music and playing a round of golf, Thomas said he really enjoys being home with his family. His wife, daughters and grandchildren are his priority now and he spends as much time as he can with them.
He said he will continue to tour and later this year he plans to return to the studio, but not to make a commercial album.
“I am going to do some stuff that’s going to be online, so fans can expect that this year,” he said.
In the meantime, he said he’s looking forward to being back here and spending time with friends old and new.
“I appreciate all the years they’ve come to see me,” he said.