Billy Joe Royal is an American singer.
Billy Joe Royal was born in Georgia in 1942 and raised as part of a musical family. He first began performing as a teenager, was featured on local Georgia radio, and recorded his first single in 1962. In 1965 songwriter/producer Joe South (whom he had known for several years) called him up to record a demo for a song originally intended for Gene Pitney. The demo led to Royal himself being signed to Columbia Records, and his demo version of the song being released. "Down In The Boondocks" gave him his breakthrough hit in 1965, charting at #9. His debut album followed, produced by Joe South and featuring many more of South's compositions. With Royal's quivering vocals to the forefront, it featured a distinctive style of pop music with hints of country and R&B, genres which were represented by covers of Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away" and Jimmy Hughes' "Steal Away". Two more of the South-penned songs saw release as singles and charted well - "I Knew You When" got to #14 and "I''ve Got To Be Somebody" reached #38.
|> Billy Joe Royal Featuring 'Hush' (1967)