Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: B.J. Thomas, “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love”

“What Ever Happened to Old Fashioned Love”

B.J. Thomas

Written by Lewis Anderson


#1 (1 week)

May 14, 1983

B.J. Thomas switched to Columbia Rec.rds in the early eighties, and his faith in his new label was rewarded as he earned his first No. 1 country single in eight years.

Thomas is working with boilerplate material here, tapping into nostalgia for simple times but without the specificity of classics that explored that theme, like “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” and “Are the Good Times Really Over.” 

Thankfully, his rich and expressive voice elevates the material, which he delivers with heartfelt sensitivity.  The production works better on the verses.  The old fashioned backup singers on the chorus are wholly unnecessary.

We’ll see B.J. Thomas again soon, as his renewed success on the country chart continues.

“Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love” gets a B.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. B.J. Thomas was one of the first artists I was captivated by purely by his voice and singing style. In my own ranking of country stars, I didn’t know where to slot him in. He just seemed to come out of nowhere. He didn’t seem to belong to Nashville. He was a stylistic floater.

    But that voice!

    The only other song I knew by him as a kid I heard on my mom’s radio station WCCO. It was “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.)

    HIs later song I enjoyed the most as a kid was “Two Car Garage.”

  2. He also sang the male vocal in “As Long as We Got Each Other” — the theme song to “Growing Pains” with Jennifer Warnes.

    Thomas was equally at home doing pop vocals. Maybe moreso.

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