Billy Joe Royal

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Billy Joe Royal
Billy Joe Royal.png
Billy Joe Royal in 1966
Background information
Born (1942-04-03) April 3, 1942 (age 72)
Valdosta, Georgia, United States
Origin Marietta, Georgia, United States
Genres Rock and roll, country
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
Years active 1950s–present
Labels Sussex
Website Official website

Billy Joe Royal (born April 3, 1942, Valdosta, Georgia, United States) is an American singer.


Born in Valdosta and raised in Marietta, Royal became a local star at Savannah, Georgia's Bamboo Ranch in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for the 1965 US Top 10 pop hit "Down in the Boondocks," which, along with the singles "I Knew You When" (Top 20, 1965) and "Hush" (1967), were written and produced by Joe South. His 1969 single, "Cherry Hill Park," peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] In the 1970s his recording of "Heart's Desire" gained popularity among Northern soul enthusiasts and was regularly played in Northern soul nightclubs.[2]

During the 1980s, Royal scored a successful comeback with several Top 10 country hits, including "Tell It Like It Is," "Burned Like a Rocket," and "I'll Pin a Note on Your Pillow."

Billy Joe Royal's career experienced a major second wind during the 2000s due to regular airplay on oldies radio stations. His music was further exposed to younger generations through a movement known as by The Beat Army, an online music forum based on Facebook, which is operated by author and music producer Paul Collins. Royal continues to tour regularly, performing concerts at casinos, music festivals and clubs in Canada, the United States, Japan and throughout Europe. Royal's set lists include a mixture of songs representing multiple genres from the 1960s to the present day.

Royal played Robert Ally in the indie Western film Billy the Kid (2013), co-starring country singer Cody McCarver.[3][4]



Year Album Chart Positions RIAA
US Country US CAN Country
1965 Billy Joe Royal
Down in the Boondocks 96
1967 Billy Joe Royal featuring Hush
1969 Cherry Hill Park 100
1980 Billy Joe Royal
1982 Folio
1987 Looking Ahead 21
1987 The Royal Treatment 5 Gold
1989 Tell It Like It Is 15 31
1990 Out of the Shadows 24
1991 Greatest Hits 32


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US CAN Country CAN
1965 "Down in the Boondocks" 9 1 Down in the Boondocks
"I Knew You When" 14 1
1966 "I've Got to Be Somebody" 38 15
"It's a Good Time" 104 Single only
"Heart's Desire" 88 56 Billy Joe Royal featuring Hush
"Campfire Girls" 91 68 Single only
1967 "Yo-Yo" 117 42 Billy Joe Royal featuring Hush
"These Are Not My People" 113
"The Greatest Love" 117
"Hush" 52
1968 "Storybook Children" 117 Single only
1969 "Cherry Hill Park" 15 8 Cherry Hill Park
1970 "Every Night" 113 Singles only
1971 "Tulsa" 86 81
"Poor Little Pearl" 111 91
1978 "Under the Boardwalk"A 82 74
1985 "Burned Like a Rocket" 10 Looking Ahead
1986 "Boardwalk Angel" 41 37
"I Miss You Already" 14
1987 "Old Bridges Burn Slow" 11
"I'll Pin a Note on Your Pillow" 5 17 The Royal Treatment
1988 "Out of Sight and on My Mind" 10 7
"It Keeps Right on Hurtin'" 17 *
1989 "Tell It Like It Is" 2 2 Tell It Like It Is
"Love Has No Right" 4 3
"Till I Can't Take It Anymore" 2 3
1990 "Searchin' for Some Kind of Clue" 17 33 Out of the Shadows
"A Ring Where a Ring Used to Be" 33 43
1991 "If the Jukebox Took Teardrops" 29 24
1992 "I'm Okay (And Gettin' Better)" 51 68 Singles only
2009 "Hard Rock to Roll"
  • A"Under the Boardwalk" also peaked at No. 37 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Chart positions Album
US Country
1987 "Members Only" Donna Fargo 23 Winners


  1. ^ "Billy Joe Royal". Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  2. ^ Nowell, David (1999). Too Darn Soulful – The Story of Northern Soul. London: Robson Books. p. 118. ISBN 1-86105-270-7. 
  3. ^ "Billy the Kid". A Cold Day in Hell. Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Billy the Kid (2013)". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]