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
Occupation(s) 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]



  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. 

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