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Billy Joe Royal dies, leaving fans "Down in the Boondocks"

Billy Joe Royal, 73, died in his sleep Tuesday in North Carolina

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Billy Joe Royal, 73, died in his sleep Tuesday in North Carolina

8

October

You always remember your first time. I was eight years old when it happened, during one of those summers that movies teach us children never forget.

My first brush with celebrity.

What did you think I meant?

Anyway, it was 1965 at a record store in Anniston, Ala. where Billy Joe Royal autographed a 45 RPM record of his biggest hit, Down in the Boondocks. Two-minutes and 32 seconds of romantic pop anguish, a boy in love with a girl from the right side of the tracks, whose daddy is his boss man. One fine day he'll find a way to move from his old shack. Hold his head up like a king and never look back.

Check out Royal's lipsynch version - as all TV shows did in those days - here.

Fifty years later the song sticks more than the memory of Royal scribbling his name on the 45's label. The record is somewhere at home, in a stack of other vinyl memories. Now seems like a good time to dig it out.

Billy Joe Royal died in his sleep Tuesday at age 73, at his North Carolina home.

 

 

[Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2015 11:28am]

    

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