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In his native Wales, he is known as "Jones the Voice." Today, TOM JONES 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.
Jones has a fundamental interest in a wide range of musical expression. While he is first and foremost a rocker with a true rhythm and blues soul, he also has a natural ability that could appreciate and understand the burgeoning styles of popular music. 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, Jones was singing at an early age. He sang in the church and with the choir at the Treforrest Secondary Modern School. By 1963, he was playing regularly with his own group, Tommy Scott and the Senators, in the demanding atmosphere of the working class clubs and dance halls. Gordon Mills, a man with a solid performance background who had decided to branch into songwriting and management, went to see Jones work. As Mills recalled: "The first few bars were all I needed to hear, they convinced me that here was a voice that could make him the greatest singer in the world."
Mills became his manager, and took Jones to London to promote him. It was not an easy task; record companies found him disconcerting. The vocal sound was raucous and too powerful, the performance style too forward and sexual. He sounded black and moved like Presley. The two men persisted, and in late 1964 landed a record contract with Decca Records. The first single was not a great success, but the next choice, a new song penned by Mills called "It's Not Unusual," was a huge international hit. Considered 'too hot' by the established BBC radio at the time, it was broken by the pirate offshore station Radio Caroline. By the next year, Jones found himself opening for the Rolling Stones at London's Beat City and gigging with the Spencer Davis Group. The next few years of recording successes found Jones performing a remarkably varied repertoire, cultivating his natural abilities by listening and learning from his favorite artists of the time. His early performance inspiration came from Solomon Burke, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Brook Benton, Big Bill Broonsy, and many other blues and R&B greats.
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 the LPs Tom Jones Live, Tom Jones in Las Vegas, and This Is Tom Jones in 1969. For most of the year, several of the LPs were in the Top 10 Charts in both Europe and the United States.
In 1987 Jones was asked to perform a musical play with a bullfighting theme called Matador on the CBS Epic label. The single "A Boy From Nowhere" reached No. 2 on the British charts that summer, prompting insistent requests for "It's Not Unusual" in the London clubs and a very successful re-release of the song in the charts. A new interest in Tom Jones emerged among a whole new generation of fans.
1997 saw Jones back at work in the US, Europe, Israel, and South Africa. He also recorded the Randy Newman classic You Can Leave Your Hat On for a key scene in the independent UK film 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.
At the start of 2000, Jones was invited by President and Mrs. Clinton to perform at the Millennium Celebrations in Washington. Major tours followed in Europe, Australia, US, Scandinavia, and the UK. The UK tour included five Wembley Arena dates and seven shows at the Cardiff International Arena, making it the largest and most successful tour of his career.
Jones enjoys a consistent international touring schedule throughout the year. He lives with his wife of 48 years, Melinda, in their home in Los Angeles. Tom Jones has managed to grow and sustain his career like few others in the pop music industry. His voice is recognized worldwide and his live performances are legendary. His delivery is as driven as it is seasoned, his persona bold, witty, and charming. He is completely devoted to his craft and talent, and hopes only that the quickly changing faces of popular music allow him to be challenged as an artist. This incomparable voice and unique talent will be touching the minds and hearts of music lovers for many more years to come.