Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Stagecoach 2010: B.J. Thomas, hooked on Brian Wilson

April 24, 2010 |  7:00 pm

Getprev-3 B.J. Thomas played a mini-game of Six Degrees of Pop Music Separation during his Vegas-friendly Stagecoach set Saturday at the Palomino Stage.

Along with several of his signature hits, including "Hooked on a Feeling," "I Just Can't Stop Believing" and "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," Thomas dropped in a cover of the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby."

The connection?

"Hooked on a Feeling," as you may recall, became a hit again a few years after Thomas' version made the charts, in the wacky "Hookah-chukka" version by Blue Swede. The story goes that the geniuses behing Blue Swede's take got their inspiration from one of the much bootlegged snippets of the Beach Boys' "Smile" album, which had been shelved amid much internal and external resistance to Brian Wilson's grand sonic experiment.

Blue Swede latched onto one piece of tribal-like vocalizing and ran with it in reimagining Thomas' recording.

That made his nod to Wilson an especially savvy tip of that hat.

Then again, maybe he just liked the song.

Click here for photos from Stagecoach.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: B.J. Thomas performs at Stagecoach. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images