Saturday, May 29, 2021

We've Just Lost B.J. Thomas


So very sad to hear about the passing of B.J. Thomas on Saturday (May 29th)

Thomas revealed that he had Stage Four Lung Cancer back in March …

But was preparing to fight the battle of his life, vowing to come back and perform again.  (It is no secret that B.J. has battled more than his fair share of demons during his lifetime.)  I guess he never really had a chance.

He has been a personal favorite of mine since I first heard him sing the Hank Williams classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” a #5 Pop Hit in 1966.

Over the course of his career, B.J. Thomas hit The National Top 40 a total of fifteen times.  I was very fortunate to have seen him perform several times over the years … always a good show.  (B.J. most definitely appreciated his fans … and it showed during each and every performance.)  He and his wife Gloria were married for 53 years … and she truly was the love of his life.  (He had to be hers as well, to stick with him through all that she did.)  Their love story was truly one for the ages.

B.J.’s love of Gospel Music came through on many of his hits … and his voice was unique … NOBODY else out there sounded like him … you knew it was a B.J. Thomas song the minute you heard him sing.

We’ll miss you, B.J.  Your music will live on long past all of us.  (kk)


1966 – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (#5)

1966 – Mama  (#15)

1966 – Billy and Sue  (#23)

1968 – The Eyes Of A New York Woman  (#28)

1968- Hooked On A Feeling  (#5)

1969 – It’s Only Love  (#23)

1969 – Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head  (#1)

1970 – Everybody’s Out Of Town  (#15)

1970 – I Just Can’t Help Believing  (#9)

1970 – Most Of All  (#22)

1971 – No Love At All  (14)

1971 – Mighty Clouds Of Joy  (#33)

1972 – Rock And Roll Lullaby  (#11)

1975 – Hey, Won’t You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song  (#1)

1977 – Don’t Worry Baby  (#13)

The Songs of BOB DYLAN - Part 6

BOB DYLAN: The Final Chapter

It's been called everything from sleazy to brilliant...but the bottom line is that the current series of television ads for VICTORIA'S SECRET featuring BOB DYLAN have been a HUGE success...perhaps the biggest in the chain's history.

In the commercial, we hear LOVE SICK, a track from DYLAN's latest album TIME OUT OF MIND. The remixed version of that track (which can be found on the special edition VICTORIA'S SECRET CD ... available for just $10 with any VICTORIA'S SECRET purchase) is included here today as our final BOB DYLAN track.


Well, thanks to my beautiful lady friend, I have a copy of the free CD Victoria's Secret was giving away, and I must admit, I really like it, and in my old(er) age I don't really mind a little commercialism in my music. In fact if there were more commercialism, maybe artists wouldn't need record company leeches sucking off so much of the profit that rightfully belongs to the artists. (Getting off my soapbox now). BTW, thanks for this prolonged tribute to an artist who has long been one of my favorites. His songs always tell a story, the music is always well written, and in HIS old(er) age, I feel like his songs have caught up to his voice especially the likes of "Things Have Changed." Again, thanks for ALL the music and info you provide.
Mike (aka Daddyo)

Hey, I spent the ten bucks, too, and actually waited in line myself to get this CD...and was pleasantly surprised by just how much I truly enjoyed it. (Now if I can just get this damned, new lacy thong to stop riding up my ass, everything'll be perfect!!!)  kk

As an added bonus, we've got a very rare GEORGE HARRISON track that DYLAN wrote. (We featured GEORGE's version of IF NOT FOR YOU earlier in this series and mentioned that HARRISON and DYLAN wrote some songs together both for GEORGE's ALL THINGS MUST PASS album as well as the two TRAVELING WILLBURYS LPs.)
[EDITOR'S NOTE:  A recent 2021 Bob Dylan release captures a number of the George Harrison / Bob Dylan sessions ... including a version of The Beatles' "Yesterday"!!! - kk]

Back in 1985, GEORGE cut DYLAN's I DON'T WANT TO DO IT and the track was featured on the PORKY'S REVENGE Soundtrack Album. In that it NEVER appeared on an official GEORGE HARRISON release (it was, however, released as a Columbia Records single at the time, backed with a DAVE EDMUNDS tune), it has become an extremely rare track.
The PORKY'S REVENGE Soundtrack was recently re-released on's a GREAT soundtrack (to an otherwise God-awful movie), featuring tracks by HARRISON, EDMUNDS, JEFF BECK, CARL PERKINS, WILLIE NELSON, CLARENCE CLEMONS, THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS and a group called THE CRAWLING KING SNAKES, which features ROBERT PLANT on lead vocals accompanied by PHIL COLLINS, DAVE EDMUNDS and PAUL MARTINEZ.

This OFFICIALLY wraps up our BOB DYLAN series ... for real, this time ... other than a few more comments from our readers ... and we hope you enjoyed it.
Special thanks again to Phil (CALOTOONZ) for helping out with our DYLAN feature ... and to everyone else who contributed these past ten days by way of comments and encouragement ... and to all of those who did NOT delete before even giving the SONGS of BOB DYLAN a chance to be heard by other artists.


>>>Several other artists have had HUGE hits over the years covering DYLAN's tunes ... songs that, had he released them as singles himself quite possibly may have failed ... yet, thanks to these cover versions, have gone on to become classics in the process.  (kk)

Some covers of covers have become classics as well. Attached is one of my favorites - Marshall Crenshaw's cover of the Byrd's cover of Dylan's "My Back Pages". What a song!  P.S. Not to offend anyone, but I think people who want to overlook the incredible songwriting talent of Bob Dylan and complain about his voice are the same people who want to complain about Joe Jackson's looks and bemoan the fact that he must appear in his own videos. Meanwhile, I'm treated to "form over substance" crap where I have to watch bimbos trapse around and compete for recording contracts in outfits that show me how long it's been since their last bikini wax ... 


Diana sent along the MARSHALL CRENSHAW version of MY BACK PAGES ... it's attached as a COMMENTS PAGE BONUS today!

Once again Forgotten Hits has great timing. I just bought "The Essential Bob Dylan" this weekend without even knowing he was going to be featured this week! Psychic unity or Big Brother? hmmm. lol
- Hope

OK -
You didn't get Hendrix..
I don't get this guy..
What was that la di da song?
I kinda like the "Everybody must get stoned" and Lay Lady Lay but all the fanfare over this guy escapes me. Maybe after this series I will change my mind, but so far ... Uh Uh (I know Hendrix loved this guy)

In all honesty, I have never considered myself a BOB DYLAN fan either ... I don't think I could make it through a whole album. But, that being said, I have to admit that I absolutely LOVE SHE BELONGS TO ME by RICK NELSON, IF NOT FOR YOU by GEORGE HARRISON, I SHALL BE RELEASED by THE BOX TOPS, THE MIGHTY QUINN by MANFRED MANN ... and several of the OTHER songs we featured this week ... which means that I really DO like the music of BOB DYLAN ... just not as much when it's performed by him!!! LAY LADY LAY, KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR and RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 and #35 are amongst my favorite DYLAN-recorded classics ... and I've got to give the man his due ... he influenced everyone from THE BEATLES to JIMI HENDRIX back in the '60's ... and I find that I genuinely like and enjoy his songs when performed by others ... and that simple fact was the inspiration for this whole series! (By the way, in the liner notes for DYLAN's BIOGRAPH set, he wrote (about JIMI HENDRIX): "It's not a wonder to me that he recorded my songs but rather that he recorded so few because they were all his." In fact, DYLAN later changed his OWN arrangement of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER to reflect JIMI's interpretation!

I guess somebody at Columbia must have thought this was gonna be a bigger hit ... when I was a youngun' going through the 3 for $1.00 45's at Klein's, I must come across a hundred of these ... no "Lay Lady Lay" or "Rainy Day Women" to be found! Just "Wigwam" after "Wigmam" ... and no, I didn't find "Indian Reservation" either ... (yea, I know it's bad, but I couldn't think of anything better)    Mark Q¿Q

Here's a copy of my actual Klein's 45 
(complete with cut out hole) - Mark

Copies of WIGWAM flooded the cut-out bins here in Chicago, too ... and over the years I bought several copies of this single ... yet NEVER found a clean-sounding version ... although brand new pressings, they all had static and hiss. I always liked the song, 'though, and no one was more shocked than me when I heard it on THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS soundtrack! (This isn't a DYLAN song that most people know ... let alone would pick for a movie!) Even MORE shocking was hearing EMITT RHODES' LULLABYE during the film!!! (It's a bizarre soundtrack to an even more bizarre film. THE CLASH, THE RAMONES and THE VELVET UNDERGROUND share disk-space with DYLAN, RHODES and THE VINCE GUARALDI TRIO!!!)                                                                            

Ah yes, Elston Gunn, I remember him well. He showed up at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans last year. Claimed he was Bob Dylan. He played a song or two on guitar, but for the most part played piano on the songs, including Mr. Tambourine Man! The singing was so different than the original melodies, that often I didn't recognize what the song was until half way through. Clearly the worst performance by a major star I ever saw in concert. I have seen Dylan at least a dozen times. The best was in 1974 when he was touring with the Band. The worst was at last year's Jazz Fest when for some reason he decided, once again, he was a piano player. The Dylan concerts I attended have ranged from very good to acceptable to poor. But the piano show at the Jazz Fest was really horrendous.

As for Dylan covers, my personal favorite has always been "My Back Pages" by the Byrds. One of the greatest rock 'n' roll recordings of all time. Another one of my favorite Dylan covers is Manfred Mann's "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)." I loved that song when I was in the seventh grade a nd I still love hearing it today! I also enjoy listening to the Hollies album of Dylan songs. My favorite Hollies cover on the LP is "When The Ship Comes In."
Bruce "No I don't just listen to the Beatles" Spizer

Now THAT had to be an interesting concert!!! As a DYLAN fan, hopefully you've enjoyed our little series ... and were glad to see that we featured both MY BACK PAGES by THE BYRDS and THE MIGHTY QUINN by MANFRED MANN.

A technical correction here ... The #9 placement for "All I Really Want To Do" in Cash Box was based on the combined sales of both Cher's and the Byrds' versions of the song, with Cher's being the bigger seller. Two weeks after that #9 peak, Cash Box downgraded the Byrds' version to the status of "other versions strongly reported," which indicated that its contribution to the song's chart position was minimal. - Randy Price

Thanks for explaining ... I don't know if I'm totally clear on how CASH BOX used to show shared chart positions ... sometimes in all caps (which I'm assuming meant a version that actually was getting PLAYED) and then sometimes up to three or four OTHER versions that nobody ever really heard of.

They can't stand to listen to him??? Try watchin' him. I LOVE Dylan - I love his stories, but watching him is a a real pain. lol I'd listen to him any day, but NEVER, EVER watch him!! ~~ Yumm
Does this mean that you have NOT been inspired to run out and buy VICTORIA'S SECRET underwear due to his leering appearance in those commercials?!?!?  (kk)

I love The Wonder Who's version of Dont Think Twice. Oddly, I only ever come across 45s of On the Good Ship Lollipop by them ... wonder why? Actually, I only like Don't Think Twice in stereo, my mp3 of it seems to be from a vinyl dub though. 

Tom Diehl

I always thought the picture sleeve for the Wonder Who single was pretty clever ... like there was ANYONE on the planet who couldn't tell that this was Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at the time!  (kk)

>>>THE BOX TOPS' version of I SHALL BE RELEASED was damn-near a religious experience! (kk)

The true religious experience associated with this song was with The Band in The Last Waltz. I sobbed through the entire performance. 


I'm a big Dylan fan and John Wesley Harding is one of his BEST ... along with Blonde on Blonde, of course.

If Not For You by Olivia Newton John :::::: sigh :::::: my favorite record of all time. I have her first chart album, also entitled If Not For You. It's been appraised at $100. It's worth that much just for the picture of her on the cover ... a natural ONJ! She has a healthy, tanned, outdoorsy look as opposed to the pale, air-brushed, soft-focused look that she seemed to favor later on. Ah well ... I still like everything she's ever done. 


I always liked OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, too ... not so much the country stuff (although I think she does a GREAT version of IF NOT FOR YOU) ... but after she revitalized her image in the finale of GREASE and came back with grittier rock tunes, OLIVIA proved that she had the chops to compete with any of the other female vocalists out there. (PHYSICAL topped the charts for an incredible TEN WEEKS ... then an all-time record!) My daughter (who wrote our up-coming '70's TEEN IDOLS / JOHN TRAVOLTA piece) ALSO fell in love with OLIVIA and has seen her in concert a couple of times including very recently ... she says she still sounds (and looks) great!  (kk)

George Harrison paid a compliment to Dylan by the remaking songs, "I'll Have You Anytime", and "If Not For You." George paid a tribute to Dylan's work by presenting these tunes in his own style ... They sounded great ... Two of my favorites by Dylan and Harrison. Blossmwrld

ahhh ... thank you for the nice memories ... my hubby and I love Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band and would play the album often in our little apartment in the early 70's ...

i was never physically attracted to rick nelson (lol), so i can give a reality check to those who think he could act ... on ozzie and harriet, the stories were great, but as rick aged from wisecracking kid to college man ... his acting became very 'wooden' ... but as a kid actor, he was right up there with rusty hammer on make room for daddy ... nelson used to appear every summer in a club in wildwood, nj where i grew up ... never got to see him though ... those were his 'non' cool days to the hippie kids (pre-garden party) ... but lonesome town and hello mary lou turned into a couple of my 'oldie' favorites ... oh well ... dopey me ...

ahhhh - "love minus zero/no limit" and "tomorrow is a long time" are my favorite dylan tunes. i'll probably spend the next few days singing both of them. ed should be stark raving mad by then ... diana

As most of you already know, I was a HUGE RICK NELSON fan ... and I think SHE BELONGS TO ME is one of his best. It's interesting how, although at the time his country/rock material was completely ignored by radio and music fans, it's now considered revolutionary and ground-breaking.  (kk)

>>>HENDRIX was a HUGE BOB DYLAN fan ...  (kk)

Although I never was ... for those that ARE ... has a deal going on the Bob Dylan Limited Edition Catalog Box Set (SACD Hybrid) (Limited Edition) The complete set of 16 disks (and all the hoopla), for $216.27 (with FREE shipping) ... Just a friendly "FYI"

It looks AWESOME ... and would make the PERFECT gift for your very favorite FORGOTTEN HITS author ... since the ONLY DYLAN album I own (other than several GREATEST HITS sets) is NASHVILLE SKYLINE!!!  (kk)

Oh how I remember Johnny Cash standing tall and demanding that Dylan be allowed to be a guest on his television show or it could be cancelled - I so admired him for that when I read about it! 

JOHNNY CASH brought us many artists that we weren't used to seeing on television ... BOB DYLAN, DEREK AND THE DOMINOES, THE MONKEES as a trio performing one of NESMITH's country tunes, LINDA RONSTADT, and many others ... a compilation tape of all his musical guests would be outstanding. (I happen to have a bootleg copy and it's EXCELLENT!!! Next time you guys are in town, we'll have to watch!)  kk

As expected, we received lots of complimentary mail on CALOTOONZ's piece on BOB are a few of those comments regarding a job well done:
Wow Kent, all I can say is what an eye opener! Thank you! 


To Phil:
Great Bob Dylan piece. Caught what I believe is an error. Dylan's Mr. Jones did not inhabit "Desolation Row." He was immortalized in "Ballad Of A Thin Man."
Bruce "In addition to the Beatles, I'm a big Dylan fan" Spizer

It's always cool to be called a great writer by a great writer ... PHIL had this to say about MR. JONES:
Bruce is correct ... I realized the error after I sent it and never got around to the correction (although I admit to waking up at night thinking about it). Great catch!


Great write up. I've always loved Dylan. I think if he sang 'better,' people wouldn't have taken him seriously. His beauty, anger, love & humanity rang through that voice and paved the way for some many to follow, who don't have pretty voices, but have a hell of a lot to say. BritInvLvr

One of the things I've noticed while putting this whole series together is that the public may have short-changed Bob Dylan's abilities. His lyrics are always paramount ... a living poet, as they say ... Bob had a way with words unmatched by any others.

But listen to some of these INCREDIBLE melodies!!!

ALL of the songs we've featured this past week have impeccable, stick-in-your-head melodies that may stand head and shoulders above the words for some of us more lyrically challenged listeners.  LAY LADY LAY, IF NOT FOR YOU, BLOWIN' IN THE WIND, I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT, KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR, RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 AND #35 ... EVERY single one of these songs has a top caliper memorable melody.  (Honestly, I think that I appreciate his artistry now more than ever, having put this whole thing together.)  kk

thanks to phil for such a wonderful tribute to bob dylan - ed and i were talking about this dylan series the other day and we both agreed that no one would write more lovingly about dylan than phil. he gives words to thoughts i've had about dylan forever, i think. he also has excellent taste and singled out my favorite dylan tune, "tomorrow is a long time". WTG! diana
And thanks again to you and ED for recommending that he write this feature for FORGOTTEN HITS ... congratulations on a job well done!  (kk)

It's a tricky thing...on the one hand, I don't consider myself to be a BOB DYLAN fan ... I never bought into all the intellectual hype back in the '60's and found most of his music boring, annoying and hard to listen to ... just not when it's performed by him!!! (kk)

when i saw that this next series was on bob dylan, my first thought was that i would probably delete it. i totally agree with the above statement, kent, and while i also do not like listening to him, i do love some of the songs he has created for others (who can sing lol). the only song i ever liked that was sung by dylan was "lay lady lay." but i did enjoy the traveling wilburys, too. 

great piece by Phil ... i surprised myself by reading all the way thru it!! lol
mamie :)

I like doing features like this one ... and some of the others recently like BARRY MANILOW, JIMI HENDRIX and BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN to name just a few ... where I get a chance to still expose the music of the artist through other, non-conventional means ... unfortunately, TOO many people on the list see the name of an artist they don't particularly care for and delete before even seeing how we've handled the coverage and what we've done ... one of the most discouraging parts of doing FH, to be sure.  Never the modest type, I think we did a bang-up job on The Songs of Bob Dylan Series!!!  (kk)

Never thought I would comment as I am the silent type LOL, but The Bob Dylan week was outstanding. I have loved Bob Dylan's songs for many years, always preferred when other folks did them. But I do like hearing Dylan sing some of them. 

I grew up and still live in Mobile, Al., where there wasn't a lot of different choices when it came to radio stations. But I always found a way to hear Dylan, and many other artists that y'all have featured, I have been introduced to some music I had never heard before joining this list. Just want you to know that. I have listened to almost everything that y'all have sent. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading everything written.
CALOTOONZ, you did an excellent job, but I have to close for now. I have to go check out these links that CALOTOONZ suggested.

Hey, I just LOVE hearing from first-time writers  / responders ... glad to know we're appreciated (and that you're really out there!!!) LOL Glad you enjoyed the series!  (kk)

Again, some very good remakes of those Dylan songs by the Byrds, Cher, Stevie Wonder, etc.  Dylan is a great lyricist and music writer and I believe one of the best as his songs were remade by so many famous artists.

The 60s will always be my favorite music era and I want to thank you for the wonderful salutes to Hendrix and Dylan.

LAY LADY LAY is a Dylan song that you can understand all the lyrics the first listen! 


Lay Lady Lay is my favorite from him too. :) 


"Lay Lady Lay" certainly proved that Dylan could, in fact, sing with something besides that nasally whine, and actually could find a nice round tone -- with pitch, even! I guess he needed to show us he could really sing if he wanted to, but simply preferred the "screw you" (those who might be overly anal about singing the "right way" should go listen to Jim Nabors maybe) attitude of his usual delivery.
Can't say I ever totally got Bob Dylan though, other than being thankful for how he helped people like Jimi (good series on him, BTW), The Byrds & The Turtles ... and that harmonica is downright annoying for the most part.
What a cocky little punk he was in that B & W movie that was out around '70. He was giving everyone a mess o' crap, one being being young Donovan L.
We do have Zim to thank for the vocal stylings of Tom Petty that are so fun to make fun of.

>>>it inspired me to go out and buy my very first BOB DYLAN album, NASHVILLE SKYLINE...not a bad place to start a DYLAN album collection, btw!) kk
hey, that was the first one i bought too ...
my brother had others ...  but i remember it well.

always liked his 'country' days.

... renfield

Another wonderful series, my friends! 

Back in 1979, my mother's friend's son called me up and asked if I wanted to see Dylan at the Universal Ampitheatre. It was a last minute thing and he told me that the girl he originally asked had just backed out. So I tell him, hell yeah! Throw some make-up on and a clean pair of jeans and out the door I go.
Cue up the "No No Song" now. The guy and I smoked a bunch of pot in the parking lot before the show and I remember being really high walking to my seat and that Dylan wore a lot of eye make-up and he sang many of his hits and well known songs. I do remember trying to sing along but he sang them very differently so that was hard to do. But that's all.
This was right before Dylan's conversion to Christianity and I thought I lost my chance to see a Dylan show straight. I learned my lesson. No more smoking dope before a concert ... save it for a Cheech & Chong movie.

The Angel Collection is my fav part of the catalog. Thanks for this great series on Bob Dylan. Enjoy your vacation ... you deserve a break.

Oh, we'll still be around ... just a series of long weekends for now ... the REAL vacations don't kick in till later!!! (LOL) 

Thanks so much for doing Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan (not two of your favorites, obviously, but two of mine) back to back. I personally think "The Times They Are A-Changing" might be the best song ever. It's my favorite, by Dylan or any cover I've ever heard.

No, not two of my favorites...but, hopefully, we've done them justice just the same.

Two songs that we did NOT feature the first time around that absolutely deserve to be heard and have, over the past several years, been added to the list of Dylan Classics, would have to be "Forever Young," released in 1974 yet, despite a TON or airplay tha continues to this day, incredibly never charted, and "To Make You Feel My Love," which became an INSTANT classic the minute it came out in 1997 ... and was quickly covered by just about EVERYBODY!!!

We can't rerun this feature without featuring these two tracks ... the first, by Mr. Robert Zimmerman himself, and the second as covered by Billy Joel, a pretty good songwriter in his own right!!!  (kk)

Another favorite Bob Dylan story that happened in recent years (well after this series was first published in 2004) was at an outdoor concert when some fans in the back got together and started screaming "Free Bird!!!"

To the shock of everyone there, Dylan said, "OK," and then the band tore into a performance of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic.  THAT'S one of the things I love about all this great music ... when a guy who has literally already been out on the road for the past 50 years still enjoys what he's doing enough to have a little bit of fun on stage!  (kk)

2020:  Ironically, Dylan selling his publishing catalog this past December, for something like 400 gazillion dollars, will almost guarantee the floodgates to open for his music to now be licensed for any number of commercial products (at Universal Music’s choosing ... Dylan himself will have absolutely no say as to how his music is used in the future.)  It represents the first time that he has licensed one of his songs to be used in this way since 2004, when he struck a deal with Victoria’s Secret for their Angel Collection line …

Which was just about the time our Bob Dylan series first ran here in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)