Billy Joe Royal
Billy Joe Royal (born April 3, 1942) is an American singer. Born in Valdosta, Georgia, and raised in Marietta, Royal became a local star at the Bamboo Ranch in Savannah 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. In the 1970s his recording of "Heart's Desire" gained popularity among Northern soul enthusiasts and was regularly played in Northern soul nightclubs. During the 1980s, Royal had 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". Royal's career experienced a second major period during the 2000s due to regular airplay on "oldies" radio stations. His music was further exposed to younger generations through a movement known as 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. His set lists include a mixture of songs representing multiple genres from the 1960s to the present. Royal played Robert Ally in the indie Western film Billy the Kid (2013), co-starring country singer Cody McCarver.