The sex bomb himself with the big 1960 hits like it’s Not Unusual and What’s New Pussycat. But Tom had fantastic success in the charts in the 1970s and on TV too with primetime TV shows on the BBC. He is one of Britain’s true singing legends and deservedly so.
Tom was born in 1940 in his beloved Wales. In his early 20s he was a lead singer in a beat group, only a few years later he was an international singing sensation. Performing hits hits in LA, being asked to sing on a bond movie and winning Grammys. His TV shows were shown worldwide, and the man just oozed sex and attracted huge stars to appear with him, Including Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.
The 1970s saw Tom still at the top of his game. In 1970 in the UK charts he had a top twenty hit with I Who (Have Nothing) which was a Ben E King hit in 1963. I always thought that Tom’s version was the original, well as they say everything comes around again and again. In fact the song goes back further than that, as it was based on an Italian song from 1961.
In to 1971 Tom had one of my personal favorites with She’s A Lady written by Paul Anka, the man who gave Frank Sinatra My Way. I remember Tom bellowing it out on a TV show at the time, and I thought then that I wanted to be Tom Jones. A nice dream whilst it lasted.
But not all turned to gold for Tom as his TV shows started to dwindle in the US.S and his next two singles did very little on the BBC charts at the time. Luckily at the end of 1971 he came up with a blinder of a song called Till which peaked at No. 2. The song can actually be traced back to the 1950s and France, and had been in the charts several times by other artists. But of course it was Tom who made it a great song.
But 1972 saw his last top thirty single hit in the charts with the strangely titled The Young New Mexican Puppeteer, a song about politics and a Mexican puppeteer. Strange but very true.
Although the singles dried up Tom would go on in his career to sell over 100million records, and in the 70s in terms of albums he had eight top thirty albums. Not bad for a global star at all.
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