Singer Tom Jones has been performing since the 1960s. His concerts are legendary, with women throwing hotel room keys and undergarments on stage. His voice is strong and powerful, and his performances are energetic and entertaining. The following is a list of my top ten favorite songs by Tom Jones and a brief synopsis of his career.
My Top Ten Favorite Songs by Tom Jones
It's Not Unusual: This is one of the singer’s most famous songs. Originally written for another artist who turned it down, Jones decided to record it and it became his first big hit single. In 2011 He gave an interview reflecting on his good fortune, and said; "I did the demo on this song when it was being offered to Sandie Shaw. I was just starting out and, God bless her, she said: 'Whoever's singing this, it's his song.' Finding great new songs is never easy, and back in those days, finding one that would fit me, the way I felt and sang anyway, was difficult. I'm indebted to Sandie for being so generous."
What's New Pussycat: Written by Burt Bacharach for Peter Sellers' character in the movie “What's New Pussycat?” It was originally written as an instrumental and the words were put in later. The Welsh singer made it one of his most famous signature songs, and Bacharach said he was lucky to get him to sing it.
She's A Lady: Written by Paul Anka, this song is Jones’ highest charting U.S. release, reaching number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-four on Billboard's Easy Listening survey. This was another very famous song for the Welsh singer.
Love Me Tonight: A song about someone to ‘love’ for the night, this song has a fast paced melody with an upbeat rhythm.
Delilah: The songwriter said he was inspired to write this song when he heard 'Jezebel,' and old hit song by Frankie Laine. Some have speculated, however, that he may have also been inspired by the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. The song is said to be great to perform on stage because when the crowd hears the brass at the beginning, they start singing the words immediately.
Green, Green Grass of Home: This is a Country song about a condemned prisoner who longs to escape to the green, green grass of home, and was inspired by a crime scene in the film The Asphalt Jungle. Written in 1964, the song was initially recorded by country singer Johnny Darrell. Jones decided to record the song after hearing a version sung by Jerry Lee Lewis. This song was his biggest hit in the UK.
(It Looks Like) I'll Never Fall In Love Again: A song about heartbreak, this was another hit for the artist.
Kiss: This song was a 1986 single by Prince and The Revolution, from his album Parade. Tom Jones recorded his own version and sang it in an R&B type of style.
Thunderball: the theme song to the 1965 James Bond movie of the same name, Jones said he was thrilled to do a song for a James Bond film.
24 Hours: A song about a man on death row, reflecting back on his life; this slow number features a drum beat throughout the song.
A Brief synopsis of the career of Tom Jones
Tom Jones is a Welsh singer, known for his powerful voice and risqué moves on stage, who began his singing career in the 1960s. His first hit was in 1964, the song "It's Not Unusual" became one of his signature classics. In 1965 he recorded the theme song for the film “What's New Pussycat?” which also became a hit and another signature classic tune. The singer also recorded the theme song for the James Bond movie “Thunderball,” and won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
In 1966 the Welsh crooner had another hit with his recording “Green, Green Grass of Home,” the song topped the charts and was one of the biggest hits in the UK. He performed in Las Vegas for the first time in 1967. Doing a show at the Flamingo, he displayed his unique performing style, wearing tight pants and dress shirts unbuttoned almost down to his navel, he swayed and moved his body in a sensual suggestive way, and the audience loved it.
After getting a taste of being on the Las Vegas stage, he decided to record less and continue to perform in clubs. He played at Caesars Palace and the crowd got so engrossed in the show that the women began throwing their room keys and pieces of undergarments on stage. The same scenario followed at each club, the women would go ‘wild’ and throw personal items on stage, and that became one of his signature traits of his show.
Jones starred in a television variety show from 1969 through 1971 which was broadcast in America and in the UK. He appeared on the BBC's review of the sixties music scene, Pop Go The Sixties, performing "Delilah," and later that year he performed on the TV special “Raquel!” with performers, Raquel Welch, Bob Hope, and John Wayne.
In the 1970s, he went back into the recording studio and released a number of songs, including; "She's A Lady," "Till," "The Young New Mexican Puppeteer," and "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow."
In the early 1980s, the singer started recording country music and had nine songs hit the top 40 on the US country chart. He also had a second television variety show from 1980 through 1981. In 1987, he released the song “A Boy From Nowhere,” the song got to number-two in the UK. The next near, in 1988 he did a remake of the popular Prince song “Kiss.” The well known song had a new twist and it became a hit and won the MTV Video Music Award for Breakthrough Video. In 1989 Jones received the honor of having his name placed on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In the 1990s, he made some television appearances in both the UK and America. He also released the albums “The Lead And How To Swing It,” and “Reload.” In 1992, he lent his voice for the animated character of himself in the cartoon series, The Simpsons.
On September 11, 2010, Jones performed at the Help for Heroes charity concert, and on May 25, 2011, he sang “It’s Not Unusual” during a performance of his most famous hits with the top male contestants on the American Idol finale. Tom Jones continues to delight audiences onstage, and while the enthusiasm of the crowds is still high, the undergarment throwing is not as prevalent today as it once was.
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