10/7/15-Billy Joe Royal passes

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Billy Joe RoyalBilly Joe Royal, a guest on "The Lost 45s" known for such hits as "Down in the Boondocks," "I Knew You When" "Cherry Hill Park" and "Tell It Like It Is" has died at age 73, according to news reports. Mr. Royal died in his sleep on Tuesday at his North Carolina home.
"Mr. Royal was born April 3, 1942 in Valdosta, Georgia, and began singing at an early age. As a young man he performed on the radio program "Georgia Jubilee," which is where he met artists like Jerry Reed and Joe South. It was South who penned Mr. Royal's 1965 breakout single, "Down in the Boondocks."
He had a career resurgence in the 1980s after signing with Atlantic Records. "His first release for the label, "Burned like a Rocket," was sent to radio in the latter part of 1985. The track was rapidly climbing the country singles chart, and had just entered the top ten in January 1986. Then, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, and due to the title of the song, the release began to fall quickly back down the chart.
"His next fourteen single releases hit the country charts, with the biggest being his cover of "Tell It Like It Is," which hit No. 2 in 1989. Royal's 1987 album The Royal Treatment earned him a Gold certification, as well. The singer credited great songs – and his producer for his career renaissance."

Written by: Barry Scott

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