Tom Jones - Biography

Tom JonesTom Jones (born June 7, 1940) is a Welsh pop singer with a large and powerful voice. He was born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, Wales. He married and had a child at the age of sixteen, long before becoming a pop idol. Despite frequent and much publicized infidelities, including an affair with the dethroned Miss World of 1973, USA's Marjorie Wallace, he has remained married and a family man. He lives in the USA, but makes regular visits to his native land of Wales. 

Musical career

He rose to fame in the mid-1960s, with an exuberant live act which included wearing tight breeches and billowing shirts, in an Edwardian style popular amongst his peers at the time. Jones was awarded the Best New Artist Grammy in 1965.

Following several hits in the UK, he became a Las Vegas lounge singer and his image quickly changed. He was known for his overt sexuality in the 1960s, before this was as common as it became in subsequent years. Ladies would swoon and scream, and in 1968, starting at New York's Copacabana night club, some would throw their panties on stage. Soon after, in Las Vegas, they started throwing hotel room keys.

Jones had an internationally successful television variety show from 1969-1971 titled "This Is Tom Jones."

His early hits include:

  • It's Not Unusual (1965)

  • What's New Pussycat?, written by Burt Bacharach for Woody Allen's What's New, Pussycat? (1965)

  • Thunderball, the theme for the James Bond film (1966)

  • The Green, Green Grass of Home (1966), his most successful single, which became associated with his native Wales, despite being written about the USA

  • I'll Never Fall In Love Again (1967)

  • Delilah (1968), the usual choice of song for impressionists "doing" Tom Jones

  • Help Yourself (1968)

  • Without Love (1969)

  • She's A Lady (1971)

Jones's recording career slumped during the seventies and eighties, though his touring continued successfully. When he appointed his grown-up son as his manager, another change of image followed, and he is now highly respected by other singers.

His recording career was revived in 1987 with his first major hit single in over a decade, A Boy From Nowhere, taken from the musical Matador. Following this, he started to record with a younger generation of musicians. These recordings included:

  • Prince's song Kiss (1988, with The Art of Noise)

  • Talking Heads' song Burning Down The House (1999, with The Cardigans)

  • Baby, It's Cold Outside (1999, with Cerys Matthews of Catatonia)

  • Iggy Pop's song Lust for Life (1999, with The Pretenders)

  • Randy Newman's song Mama Told Me Not To Come (2000, with Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics)

  • Sex Bomb (From 1999's Reload (perhaps the single was released in 2000?), with Mousse T)

  • You Need Love Like I Do (2000, with Heather Small of M People)

  • Tom Jones International (2003)

His Reload album, released in 2000 became the biggest hit of his career. An album of cover versions recorded as duets with contemporary artists, using their record producers, and utilising their recording methods, it reached number one in the United Kingdom, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.  In 2002, he released his latest album, Mr. Jones, which was produced by Wyclef Jean and included the singles Tom Jones International and Black Betty. In 2003, he was honoured with a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004 his Sex Bomb single became a major US club hit.

Tom Jones Official Website

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