Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

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Sara D
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by Sara D »

Here's an example of how BJ Thomas would probably have sung Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head on the original recording if Bacharach hadn't prevented him from adding those grace notes in two or three places. Taken from British TV's Top Of The Pops in January 1970.

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

And, again, the Bob "Dylan" story that just won`t die.
Can someone ask Burt once and for all if, at any time, he had Mr. Zimmerman in mind for this song?

pljms
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Location: London

Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by pljms »

I remember Bacharach being asked that very question on a BBC radio interview a dozen or so years ago and denying that he ever seriously considered asking Dylan to record the song, for the very good reason that even if he had wanted Bob he knew he wouldn't have touched it with the proverbial barge pole, or words to that effect. He did say, however, that the song was offered to Ray Stevens to sing in the movie but that he had to turn it down because of something to do with a conflict of interests involving his record company. Stevens obviously must have liked the song because he recorded it around a year later and with an arrangement that is almost identical to the one on the BJ Thomas record.
Paul

Martin Johnson
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by Martin Johnson »

Sara D wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:34 am
........if Bacharach hadn't prevented him from adding those grace notes in two or three places.
I'm with Bacharach on this. Far from adding anything to the song I think that BJ Thomas's grace notes actually detract from it.

blueonblue
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by blueonblue »

BoJo sings B.J.....(sorry folks !) :lol:

'blue'


bminnick
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:19 am

Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by bminnick »

Published in 2013 by Performing Songwriter, here is a bit more information regarding the single version recording.

Please note Paula's question in the comments, if anyone can shed any light on her ostensible recollection.

https://performingsongwriter.com/raindr ... /#comments

Here is another good article about both the song and the film, published in Vanity Fair 50 years after their release.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/20 ... ad-history

blueonblue
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by blueonblue »

B.J. and Ray........B.j sounds just the same has he did in '69..... remarkable !



'blue'

pljms
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Location: London

Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by pljms »

The poignant thing about 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head' is that it was the last song Bacharach and David wrote that was to become a major international hit. Yes, both 'Close To You' and 'One Less Bell To Answer' were big hits the following year but as we all know both those songs were already several years old by that time. After 'Raindrops' Bacharach and David's most successful song was probably 'Everybody's Out Of Town', which barely scraped into the Billboard Top 30. So three years before the 'Lost Horizon' debacle that effectively broke-up their songwriting partnership, it seems that the writing was already on the wall.
Paul

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

Paul, you seem to be right and it`s inexplicable to me. Given the success of the remakes you mentioned, it`s baffling that the next two Dionne releases bombed. I loved "Who Gets the Guy" and was stunned when it stalled on the charts. (I`m told that it wasn`t even released in the UK). Burt even left it off the subsequent Very Dionne album in favor of "...Green Grass..." - which also disappointed commercially.
Fickle public? Changing times? I`m at a loss.

pljms
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Location: London

Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by pljms »

Blair, changing times, I think. By the early 70s radio stations were starting to play more and more rock music, just when Bacharach's output was noticeably starting to soften and while something with the opulent production values of The Carpenters' 'Close To You' would be expected to be heard coming from car radios in the summer of 1970, something as soft and subtle as Dionne Warwick's 'Paper Mache' wouldn't. No, I don't recall hearing 'Who Gets The Guy' on British radio in 1971 and in fact I don't remember hearing any of Dionne's singles after 'Do You Know The Way To San Jose' and before 'Then Came You'. When in around 73 or 74 I alienated some of my friends by becoming a hardcore fan and collector of Bacharach's music, I was hearing songs like 'The April Fools', 'Odds And Ends', 'Paper Mache' and 'The Green Grass Starts To Grow' for the first time. The prevailing attitude towards Bacharach in the mid-70s as I recall it was that while he was undoubtably a great composer who'd penned many a classic, his time had gone.
Paul

blueonblue
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by blueonblue »

Paul,
I seem to remember British deejay Tony Blackburn playing "WGTG" quite often on his radio show, but he was about the only one.

'blue'

pljms
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Location: London

Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by pljms »

Carrying on the theme of songs written by Bacharach and David in the three years between Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head in November '69 and Lost Horizon in December '72, according to Serene Dominic's book Song By Song twenty-two new titles were released on record during that time, and in chronological order they were; Let Me Go To Him, Loneliness Remembers, Everybody's Out Of Town, Where There's A Heartache, Paper Mache, The Wine Is Young, Send My Picture To Scranton PA, The Green Grass Starts To Grow, Check Out Time, Walk The Way You Talk, How Does A Man Become A Puppet, All Kinds Of People, Hasbrook Heights, Ten Times Forever More, My Rock And Foundation, Who Gets The Guy?, Long Ago Tomorrow, Something Big, I Just Have To Breathe, The Balance Of Nature, If You Never Say Goodbye, Be Aware.

While I think that most of us would agree that there are many top quality songs on that list, including around a dozen I'd cite as personal favourites, they just didn't have the same mass appeal of Bacharach and David's classic 60s hits.

We're all aware of the best known versions of the above mentioned songs, so here's a recording of one of them I've only just discovered.

Paul

Blair N. Cummings
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

Although only a third or so of the above 22 songs were released as singles, it is true that none were the "chart-toppers" that earlier releases were.
When Burt began having serious commercial successes again (with Carole Bayer-Sager), the songs were often so melodically dull and repetitious ("Love Power", "On My Own") that I would never have guessed him to have been the composer.
I give up.

pljms
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:43 am
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Re: Story Behind the Song: Raindrops Keep Fallin'

Post by pljms »

It goes without saying that Bacharach and David's partnership would have stood a better chance of surviving the failure of 'Lost Horizon' if their songs of the preceding three years had been more successful. But in the UK at least what chance did they have of any commercial success when other than 'Close To You' by The Carpenters the only record of a song of theirs that I recall hearing on the radio during that time was 'Everybody's Out Of Town' by BJ Thomas, and that probably no more than once or twice. Yes, even 'One Less Bell To Answer' by The 5th Dimension, a Top 3 hit in the US, wasn't played and consequently it failed to chart in the UK. This was just before the first commercial radio stations had started in the UK so it was all down to the BBC and it was almost like that the powers that be at the corporation's Radio 1 station had decided that the kind of material Bacharach and David were writing was just too subtle and sophisticated in the era of hard rock, glam rock and singer-songwriters.
Paul

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