B.J. Thomas had scored his first hit in 1966 with a cover of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" which reached the Top 10. Three albums and several lesser hits followed. In 1968 he went to record at Chips Moman's American Sound Studio in Memphis, and working with the studio's house songwriters and session musicians, who took an instant liking to him, his then-flagging recording career got a serious boost.
Two hits came out of the partnership in 1968, both written by Mark James. The first was the brilliant "Eyes Of A New York Woman", featuring guitarist Reggie Young's electric sitar and Mike Leech's soaring string arrangement. It charted at #28. The second, again featuring the electric sitar, was "Hooked On A Feeling", which reached #5 and became one of Thomas' best-known songs. A full album followed, which showcased not only Thomas' superb vocals but the talents of the studio team as well (instrumental backing came from the core group of Reggie Young, keyboardists Spooner Oldham and Bobby Wood, bassist Tommy Cogbill and drummer Gene Chrisman, with Leech's strings adding some extra sheen throughout). As well as songs from the American Sound team (including Wayne Carson's "Sandman", which they had also recorded with The Box Tops earlier the same year), there were covers of The Doors' "Light My Fire" (following the José Feliciano hit arrangement from the same year), Ray Stevens' "Mr Businessman" and the country classic "Four Walls".
Sings For Lovers And Losers (1967) <|> Young And In Love (1969)
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