Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on my Head sung by B.J. Thomas.
Yesterday sunshine. Today rain. That’s life in a nutshell with or without Coronavirus confinement. Today’s song, Rain Drops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, shares one thing with yesterday’s We’ll Sing in the Sunshine—a nearly insanely catchy tune.
Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head was written by the power duo of Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which starred Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katherine Ross. It won an Oscar for Best Original Song and David and Bacharach also won for Best Original Score.
|Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on My Head played on the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid soundtrack while Paul Newman and Katherine Ross cavorted on a bicycle.
After a number of singers turned down an offer to sing the song on the soundtrack including Ray Stevens and Bob Dylan B.J. Thomas, a pop/country crossover artist with roots in Christian music got the assignment. The offer came on the heels of two hits—The Eyes of a New York Woman and Hooked on a Feeling. The meticulously picky Bacharach rejected Thomas’s first six takes. The film version featured a separate vaudeville-style instrumental break in double time while Newman and Ross performed bicycle stunts—an iconic scene from an iconic movie...
The single by Thomas reached was a separate recording from the soundtrack. It reached #1 on charts in the United States, Canada, Norway, and reached #38 in the UK Singles Chart. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in January 1970 and was also the first American #1 hit of the 1970s.
In 2004, it finished at # 23 on AFI’s 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, the single was ranked 85th on Billboard’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs and placed 95th in the 55th Anniversary edition of the All-Time Hot 100 list in 2013. Billboard Magazine also ranked the song 15th on its Top 50 Movie Songs of All Time list in 2014.
|B.J. Thomas in 1972.
The success of the song was so overwhelming that in 1970 just about every top artists in emerging adult contemporary genre recorded it including David and Bacharach’s go-to voice Dionne Warwick, Bobby Gentry, Peggy Lee, Engelbert Humperdinck, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, and Andy Williams.
But it is always B.J. Thomas’s voice we hear when this earworm gets into our heads.