Tom Jones Still Rolling

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Sir Tom Jones, turning 79 on 7th of June, will perform a spring run in the U.S., including appearances at “Stagecoach Country Music Festival” from Indio, California and at “Jazz Festival” from New Orleans, Louisiana, before heading to Europe and U.K. The tour kicks off 25th of April in San Jose, California, includes stops in locations like Jacksonville and Atlanta and wraps up on 11th of May in Hollywood, Florida.

On the 9th of October 2015, Tom Jones released “Long Lost Suitcase”, the third in a trilogy of albums, following the 2010 “Praise & Blame” and the 2012 “Spirit In The Room”. The album accompanied the musician’s autobiography “Over the Top and Back” and dived into a musical era that meant the world for Jones’ growth as a musician. His love for American roots music – blues and folk, such as the one sung by Sonny Boy Williamson or Willie Nelson, is almost palpable in this album, even if Jones grew miles away from the American musicians that he admires.

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The “King of Rock’n’Roll” Elvis Presley is one of the singer’s idols and Jones makes sure he pays him a tribute in the Gillian Welch’s “Elvis Presley Blues”. After all, everybody wanted to be Elvis, not just like Elvis. “Elvis Presley Blues” track is just a sample of the beautiful musical mixture that Tom Jones has offered his fans with this album,  showing that all the musical styles and genres that the musician had listened since his childhood are part of who he is now.

Born as Thomas Jones Woodward on the 7th of June 1940 in Pontypridd, South Wales, Great Britain, Tom Jones quit school when he was 15 and took on various jobs, like singing in night clubs. A true admirer of blues soul, he signed a contract with a record company in London and in 1965 he became popular in the U.S. with the “It’s Not Unusual” song, which made it to Top Ten. A year later he won the “Grammy Award” for “Best New Artist”. His success increased when he performed the themes for the movies “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Thunderball”.

Between 1969 and 1971, he hosted the “This Is Tom Jones” variety show, which featured some of the biggest names in classic rock and was broadcasted by ABC. He continued to release hits like “Delilah”, “What’s New Pussycat” or “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”. During the ‘80s, he recorded several country songs and in 1999 he released the “Reload” album, in celebration of 35 years of a musical career. The album registered the biggest sales of his entire career (around 5 million).  “Sex Bomb” with Mousse T, “Burning down the house” with “The Cardigans”, “Mama told me not to come” with “Stereophonics” are just a few of the titles that enabled Tom Jones to return to his loyal fans’ attention and to become popular among the young generation.

In 2004, Tom Jones recorded an album of roots Rock n Roll with Jools Holland. In 2006, the musician was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen, an honor that brought him once again in front of Her Majesty during the “Queens Diamond Jubilee concert” held at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

In 2008, Tom Jones offered fans a perspective of his complex self, putting in the songs of the album “24 Hours” a piece of his inspirational life. Tom’s 39th studio album called “Praise & Blame” marked a “get back to basics” approach on music. The album, produced by Ethan Johns who worked, among others, with “Kings of Leon”, featured live performances and was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s studio in Bath, England. The album was released in 2010 and was received with appraisals by the singer’s fans.

Two years later, in 2012, Jones released a new album, called “Spirit In The Room”, which featured songs written by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, and Leonard Cohen, amongst others. The same year, he became a coach on the British version of “The Voice”. Sir Tom Jones continued his successful artistic journey by touring in 2014 and by performing alongside Ed Sheeran at the premier sporting event in Australia – AFL Grand Final – held at Melbourne Cricket Ground. He performed at “Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit concert” and at the first “BBC Music Awards”, with Paloma Faith and the “BBC Concert Orchestra”.

2015 was also a busy year for the Welsh musician: he continued to coach at “The Voice”, he performed at the Bob Dylan’s tribute during the “MusiCares Person Of The Year” event and at the 57th edition of “Grammy Awards”. The next year, Tom Jones released his first autobiography, called “Over The Top And Back” and the accompanying album “Long Lost Suitcase”. He also hosted the BBC’s “Children In Need” fund-raising event, joined by some of his friends from music and comedy.

In his personal life, however, tragedy stroke, when he lost his life companion, friend, and wife, Melinda. The grief over his loss imprinted a never-seen-before emotion to the live performances he offered with his band, obtaining extraordinary reviews in Europe and in the U.S. The tour from 2018 also garnished rave reviews from fans and critics and this year’s coming tour seems that will follow this “tradition”. Over the years, he got involved also in animated movies (“Duck Dodgers” and “The Simpsons” series, “The Emperor’s New Groove”) and films (Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks”, “Playhouse Presents: King of The Teds for Sky Arts”).

Tom Jones’ more than half of the century career is really an impressive one. “BRIT Awards” for “Best Male Performer” and “Outstanding Contribution to Music”, 19 singles in the U.S. Top 40, “Silver Clef Award” for “Lifetime Achievement”, sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, “Hitmaker Award” from the “U.S. Songwriters Hall of Fame”, U.K. Music “Trust Award”, “GQ Man Of The Year” are just some of the awards, distinctions, and performances that mark this career. He remains one of the few musicians whose journey started at the beginning of modern music and continues to influence generations of fans all over the world.


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