1969 Billy Joe Royal – Cherry Hill Park
After scoring three top forty singles in 1965 and 1966, Billy Joe Royal had difficulty returning to the Hot 100. Ironically, he selected and recorded several singles that became hits, just not for him: they became hits for other artists who recorded cover versions of his songs.
In 1967, Billy recorded Yo-Yo, a single that didn’t even reach the Hot 100.
The Osmond Brothers covered the song and it became their first hit, reaching #3 on the Hot 100 in 1971.
These Are Not My People was a song written by Billy’s friend Joe South (who had written several of Billy’s earlier hits). Billy’s single sounded a lot like an intentional “tribute” to Bob Dylan, but stalled at #113 in 1967.
The song later became a minor hit for Johnny Rivers, reaching #55 on the Hot 100 in 1969.
Billy’s last single in 1967 was another song written by Joe, Hush.
While Billy’s version stalled at #52, Deep Purple took the song to #4 on the Hot 100 in 1968.
Billy finally returned to the Hot 100 with a hit of his own when he recorded Cherry Hill Park in 1969. The single peaked at #15 on the Hot 100.
Billy kept releasing pop singles through 1978, but never got close to the Hot 100 top forty again. He began appearing in minor roles in movies and television shows and eventually tried something different: Country music.
In 1980, Billy began recording songs aimed at the Country music marketplace. It took awhile to break through, but in 1985, Burned Like a Rocket reached the top ten on the Country chart.
Over the next six years, he scored five more top ten records and six more top forty singles on the Country chart.
His highest charting single on that chart was a cover of Aaron Neville’s Tell It Like It Is. Billy’s single peaked at #2 in 1989.
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