One of the “biggest” songs of all time was a tune entitled “Me and Mrs. Jones,” a song about (of all things) “infidelity.” The song was performed by Billy Paul, a really nice guy who is “extremely approachable.” I toured with Billy for years and had a lot of fun on his gigs. The interesting part about his career is that even though he is “amazingly popular” overseas, he doesn’t do a lot here in the United States. We would perform in huge stadiums in places like Brazil and yet here in the States he would often do little gigs like block parties and even bars. If you ask him the story about the song “Me and Mrs. Jones” he would gladly tell you that he didn’t even like the tune and it was the very last song to go on that album. Even he never imagined that it would become as big a hit as it did. Some publications actually have him listed as a “one hit wonder” but that is actually not the truth when it comes to Billy. In Europe he had a tremendous hit doing a cover of Elton John’s classic “Your song.” He also had a few lessor known R&B hits that achieved “moderate fame” in his career. My all time favorite tune of his is a simple little song entitled “Love buddies.” If you get the chance, I hope you can Google it to check it out for yourself. Billy has been around for a long time, and considering what he has been through in his life (He had to overcome some major habit issues) it is amazing to note that he has actually outlasted most of the other artists at Philly International Records. He was able to “get his life straight” with the help of his partner, manager and wife (all in one) Blanche. If you talk to her, she does “NOT” like to be called “Mrs, Jones” and will let you know that fact in a very hot second. Even though Billy is now “up there” in age, he “still” manages to travel overseas and do gigs. I remember performing a gig in Brazil with him and the women in the audience were throwing “white roses” to him (and to me) onstage. That atmosphere was absolutely crazy, but a fun gig nevertheless. One story said that Billy’s fame would have continued on if not for one particular song he recorded that changed his image. One of the funkiest tunes you will ever hear is a piece by him entitled “Am I Black enough for you.” While the lyrics are somewhat racy, it is still one of my favorite tunes from him. While many others from that era have left us, Billy Paul is still here and still going strong. If you ever hear of him performing in your area, I hope you take the opportunity to go check him out. I think you will be glad you did. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always, I wish the very best to you that life has to offer.
Billy Paul and Brett Jolly performing in Tunisia, Africa