Older Houstonians' first taste of B.J. Thomas came with his cover of Hank Williams Sr.'s "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" in his original band, the Triumphs. The Lamar Consolidated alum would go on to the bright lights of the recording industry within a decade, teaming with pop maestro Burt Bacharach for "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," the musical calling card of Paul Newman and Robert Redford's classic buddy flick Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Later on, hits like "Hooked on a Feeling," "I Just Can't Help Believing" and "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" installed Thomas in the pantheon of grinning, nice-guy singer-songwriters. By the early '80s, he was juggling fans of his countrypolitan, rock and gospel output, after a more spiritual calling saw him praising the Lord and leaving behind the nightlife. The man can turn out a helluva — we mean heckuva — version of "Amazing Grace."
From Hank Sr. to "Amazing Grace": Lamar Consolidated alum B.J. Thomas.