In his native Wales, he is known as “Jones the Voice.” Today, he is one of the enduring personalities in the music entertainment business. His unique vocal power, ability and charismatic persona make him one of the most respected, admired and loved performers in modern popular music. Tom has sustained his popularity for more than four decades. His recordings have spanned the spectrum from pop, rock and country to classic standards, rhythm and blues to boogie woogie and rockabilly through to contemporary dance and urban soul.
Born Thomas Jones Woodward in Pontypridd, South Wales, Great Britain on June 7, 1940, his father worked the coal mines of the Rhondda Valley, while his mother tended the house and the two children. Tom was singing at an early age. He sang in the church and with the choir at the Treforrest Secondary Modern School. He would ask his mother to ‘Pull the drapes and announce me,’ as he sang on his ‘stage’ in the sitting room.
In late 1964, after a move to London, Tom landed a record contract with Decca Records. The first single was not a great success, but the next choice, “It’s Not Unusual,’ was a huge international hit. A succession of gold and platinum singles and albums were soon to follow: “Delilah,” “Help Yourself,” “Love Me Tonight” and “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” in 1968, “Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings,” and Lps Tom Jones Live, Tom Jones in Las Vegas and This Is Tom Jones in 1969.
Tom was offered his own television show the summer of 1969. The show’s location was split between London and Los Angeles, and included an impressive roster largely suggested by Tom: Aretha Franklin, Burt Bacharach, Elvis and Priscilla Presley and Stevie Wonder were but a few of the guests involved.
In 1987 Tom was asked to perform a musical play with a bullfighting theme called Matador on the CBS Epic label. Late in 1988, the British avant-garde techno-pop group The Art of Noise requested a collaboration with Tom on a cover of Prince’s “Kiss.” The record put Tom back into the Top 10 charts in Europe and the Top 40 in America.
In 1991 Tom recorded Carrying A Torch, highlighted by a collaboration with an old friend, Van Morrison. Van wrote, produced and played four songs while his band provided the backup.
1991 also saw Tom involved in two benefits in the UK, The Simple Truth and the 30th Anniversary of Amnesty International, aired in the States on MTV. Towards the end of the year Tom participated in The Ghosts of Oxford Street, a new Christmas production conceived and directed by legendary punk impresario Malcolm Maclaren.
In 1992 a television series, Tom Jones: THE RIGHT TIME was produced for the ITV network in the UK aired to wide critical and commercial appeal, and following the production of THE RIGHT TIME, Tom accepted an invitation to perform as the ‘special guest’ at Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England. Later this year, Tom appeared as himself on The Simpsons and closed the year by participating in a live stage performance of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkweed, directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins, in aid of The Prince’s Trust and performed in the presence of HRH.
In 1994, The Lead and How To Swing It (Interscope) was produced and Paddy Maloney of the Irish band The Chieftans approached Tom to contribute the song The Tennessee Waltz to their collaborative project The Long Black Veil.
Highlights of 1996 included a performance for HRH Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Variety Show in London, and playing a role in the hit movie Mars Attacks! In 1997, Tom recorded the Randy Newman classic “You Can Leave Your Hat On” for a key scene in The Full Monty, which went on to become a huge critical and box office hit world-wide, including winning the Oscar for best movie soundtrack.