Welcome to part two of the life and music of Sir Tom Jones. It is now the mid-sixties and the charismatic star has a growing legion of fans who loved his voice and dynamic performances. As the music scene began to evolve however, Tom Jones was going to have to evolve with it to maintain his popularity. I will now hand you over to William Price King to take us through the rest of the 1960s.
After performing on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1965, Jones dropped by Colony Records in New York and asked if they had any works by Jerry Lee Lewis. He was given the new country album on which he discovered and recorded the song “Green, Green Grass of Home.” The song reached #1 in the UK, staying there for seven weeks. The song also reached # 1 and on Billboard’s pop chart and #12 on the easy listening chart.
It was now 1966 and the music scene was changing with groups taking center stage. Tom Jones found that his popularity was not quite as buoyant as it had been, and his manager Gordon Mills, moved his star towards a new and more mature audience as a crooner.
With the success of “Green, Green Grass of Home” behind him, his career resumed its upward momentum and Tom Jones topped the charts again in the UK, remaining there for much of the next ten years.
In 1967 Tom Jones began his first residency in Las Vegas at the world famous Flamingo. His signature dress code of tight trousers and shirts opened almost to the waist were a huge draw for his adoring female fans of all ages. He began to record less and focus on his club act, and things could get a little rowdy at the Caesar’s Palace with enthusiastic audience participation in the form of projectile female underwear and hotel door keys.
Away from the fans, Tom Jones found time to enjoy his friendship with Elvis Presley, begun in 1965 on the set of ‘Paradise, Hawaiian Style. They spent a great deal of time in each other’s company, and would duet together in Elvis Presley’s private suite, remaining firm friends until his death in 1977.
“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” penned by Lonnie Donegan and Jimmy Currie, was first released by Donegan as a single in 1962. Donegan asked Jones to record the song, saying that he would “sing the pants off it.” Jones accepted the offer and his cover of the song reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart in 1967. Less successful in the US, the song was reissued in the US in 1969 and peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
The singles that Tom Jones did take time away from Las Vegas to record, all did well, and with a growing fan base unable to travel to his club performances, it was important to keep his music in the charts.
The song “Detroit City” is a working man’s complaint which describes the alienation felt by many rural southerners in the mid North. Written by Danny Dill and Mel Tillis and recorded by Bobby Bare in 1963, this song won a Grammy Award for the Best Country & Western Recording for that year. Tom Jones’ cover of this song in 1967 is very strong and plaintive and features Bare’s spoken recitation. Jones’ version of “Detroit City” earned him a place in the UK Top 10.
From 1969 to 1971, Jones starred in his own TV show, “This Is Tom Jones,” which was based in America and aired in both the U.S. and Great Britain. As a result of the show, Jones was nominated in 1969 for a Golden Globe for “best actor.” From 1980 to 1981, he had a second television variety show, “Tom Jones,”that was produced in Vancouver, Canada, and lasted for 24 episodes.
Jones appeared on 31 December 1969, on the BBC’s review of the 1960s music scene, “Pop Go The Sixties,” performing “Delilah.” In 1970, Jones teamed up with Raquel Welch and Producer/Choreographer David Winters of Winters-Rosen Productions for the television special “Raquel!” The multimillion-dollar television song and dance extravaganza was filmed around the world and included production numbers of classic songs from the era, lavish costumes, and guest performances from Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope.
“Delilah” had been recorded by Tom Jones in 1968 as a soulful rock-and-roll piece featuring a big-band accompaniment set to a flamenco rhythm, with music by Les Reed and lyrics by Barry and Sylvan Mason. Reed and Mason received the 1968 Ivor Novello award for “Best Song Musically and Lyrically” for this piece. “Delilah” became a #1 hit in several countries around the world, reaching #2 in the UK and was the sixth best selling single of that year.
Buy Tom Jones Music: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Jones/e/B000APJ7YA
You can buy Tom Jones’ autobiography: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Sir-Tom-Jones/dp/0718180682/
You can keep up with news and performances: http://www.tomjones.com/news/
Additional material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Jones_(singer)
William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.
His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.
William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking
William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.
Connect to William
Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/
Next week some more great music through the 1970s. I hope you will join us again and your feedback is always gratefully received.