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Billy Joe Royal dies at 73; sang 'Down in the Boondocks'

Billy Joe Royal dies at 73; sang 'Down in the Boondocks'

Singer Billy Joe Royal, who scored a memorable Top 10 pop hit in 1965 with "Down in the Boondocks" and later became a country star, died Oct. 6 at his home in Morehead City, N.C. He was 73.

He died in his sleep, his stepson Trey Rivenbark said.

Born in Valdosta, Ga., on April 3, 1942, Royal was exposed to country music at a young age, singing with his uncle's band.

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"They had a radio show in Valdosta, and they let me sing," he said in a...

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