When it comes to geriatric singers or crooners, most minds go to the classy ones; Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Leonard Cohen. There’s an image of tuxedos, fedoras and martinis. It’s part of the package required to become respectable in your old age to a new audience that may not remember that at one time you were a bit of a douche, like say, Rod Stewart.
Then there is Tom Jones. He is in a class by himself, for the sole reason of being Tom Jones. He’s the type of guy that would show up unannounced at a funeral, shirt unbuttoned, belt buckle shining and go comfort the grieving widow in a coat closet, no matter what age.
Tom Jones is the epitome of the American Dream, much like Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Psi. He was the son of a coal miner, became a husband and a father at age 16 (okay,maybe that’s not part of the American Dream). Yet at the start of adulthood he was working on construction sites and by his mid-twenties he had sung his way into the international stratosphere with his first break out single, ‘It’s Not Unusual’. He became friends with Elvis Presley, women began fainting at his shows and he hosted his own musical variety show.
In his later years he was knighted by the Queen and has taken on coaching others in UK’s The Voice. So all of this may come as a surprise to many Americans that he did it all in the United Kingdom and was born in South Wales.
Here are some things you may or may not know about the original Tom Jones.
This article was first posted on February 2, 2013