1977 B. J. Thomas – Don’t Worry Baby
Phil Spector and his wall of sound pushed the Ronettes to #2 on the Hot 100 in 1963 when they recorded Be My Baby. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys worked with Roger Christian to write an answer song to that hit. The title and chorus came from an expression by Brian’s girlfriend, “Don’t worry, baby.”
Brian tried to get the Ronettes to record his song, but Phil always refused to let them record anything he hadn’t written himself. The Beach Boys recorded the song themselves and included it on the album Shut Down Volume 2 in March 1964.
Their record company released the song as a single two months later, but there was just one problem: it was the b-side to I Get Around. The a-side took only four weeks to reach #1 on the Hot 100, and the b-side coasted along for a bit and finally peaked at #24.
The Bay City Rollers covered the song in 1976, but their single only charted in Australia, where it stalled at #34.
B. J. Thomas began his string of hit records in 1966 and reached the top of the Hot 100 twice: Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head in 1969 and the very Country (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song in 1975.
His next three singles failed to reach the top forty, but then he released his cover version of Don’t Worry Baby in 1977.
His version of the song did even better than the Beach Boys’ version, reaching #17 on the Hot 100 and selling over 800,000 copies.
Sadly, that became his last visit to the top forty on the Hot 100. He recorded first Christian music and then Country songs, and topped both of those charts once or twice each between 1979 and 1984.
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