Billy Joe Royal

Drift Away

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Billy Joe Royal is best known, at least to rock fans, for his country-tinged mid-'60s hit "Down in the Boondocks." Penned and produced by Joe South, "Boondocks" features a churchy echo and a born-on the-wrong-side-of-town theme that makes it an effective track even 40 years later. The song is included here, as are two other Joe South tunes: "Rose Garden" and the organ-led "I Got to Be Somebody," which was also a hit for Royal. The balance of the collection is made up of cover songs, including a trio of Drifters hits ("Spanish Harlem," "Stand by Me," and "Under the Boardwalk") that are surprisingly suited to Royal's country-soul approach.

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