In his native Wales he is simply known as 'Jones The Voice'. And what a voice! It's a big, powerful, unmistakable voice that's been entertaining audiences round the world for over three decades. On his new album, he is known simply as 'Mr. Jones.'
Tom Jones was born in Pontypridd, South Wales in 1940. He started singing at an early age in the church choir and at school. He transformed his parents sitting room into a stage and often sang for family gatherings.
He left school at an early age and worked at a variety of jobs by day and sang in pubs at night. By 1963, he had gained notoriety with his own band Tommy Scott and the Senators. They regularly played working-class clubs and dance halls. Gordon Mills soon started managing Tom and took him to London. By 1964 he had a record deal with Decca. His second single, 'It's Not Unusual', was a huge international hit. By 1965 he was opening for the Rolling Stones and touring with the Spencer Davis Group.
The hit singles 'What's New Pussycat', 'Help Yourself', 'Never Fall In Love Again', 'Without Love', 'Deliah' and 'Green Green Grass of Home' soon followed. Tom became a sensational live performer, performing in venues that ranged from Las Vegas to arenas worldwide. In 1969, the largest television contract ever signed was for “This Is Tom Jones”, a joint UK/USA production that was a massive cross-Atlantic hit. By 1971, Tom had already sold over 30 million records.
He returned to the UK charts in 1987 with 'A Boy From Nowhere', the theme from a west-end musical 'Matador'. A new generation was soon discovering the voice and by 1988, a collaboration with The Art of Noise on Prince's 'Kiss' put Tom back in the charts and on MTV in Europe and America.
In 1991 Tom collaborated with Van Morrison on the critically acclaimed 'Carrying A Torch'. That same year he appeared at two star-studded UK benefit concerts, The Simple Truth and the 30th Anniversary of Amnesty International concert. A six part ITV show, 'The Right Time', aired summer of 1992. That same summer Tom headlined the Glastonbury Festival.
Another landmark album followed in 1994 with 'The Lead And How To Swing It' produced by Trevor Horn, Teddy Riley, Flood and Alan Moulder, Youth and Jeff Lynne. That same year Tom contributed 'The Tennessee Waltz' to the Chieftains 'Long Black Veil' album.
Always one to recognise a great song, Tom recorded the Randy Newman classic 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' for the hit Oscar-winning film soundtrack 'The Full Monty' in 1997, A year later, Tom and Robbie Williams performed a memorable medley of Full Monty songs at the Brit Awards.
The 1999 release of his 'Reload' album cemented Tom's reputation as an artist with the ability to work with the best of contemporary music. The album sold over 5 million copies worldwide and featured collaborations with the Cardigans, Stereophonics, The Divine Comedy, Van Morrison, Chrissie Hynde, Robbie Williams and James Dean Bradfield among others.
At the start of 2000, Tom was invited by President and Mrs. Clinton to perform at the new year's eve Millenium Celebrations at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. That same year he toured the world and undertook his most successful UK tour ever.
2002 saw the release of Mr. Jones, a collaboration with ex-Fugee Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonder Duplessis. The album was recorded in New York and is a unique serving of up-tempo and ballad rhythm & blues delivered up by that unmistakable voice.
The four CD Definitive Collection, released in 2003 catalogues some of the best moments from Jones' four-decade long career and includes songs from the best selling hits of It's Not Unusual and Kiss to rare covers such as Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay and Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone. Last year Tom also released his Greatest Hits package in the UK and US, undertook a massive tour of Europe and was presented with a BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
His latest release is his 2004 collaboration with Big Band leader Jools 'the piano' Holland. 'Tom Jones & Jools Holland' is a barrage of timeless tracks, with Howlin' Wolf's '200lbs Of Heavenly Joy' kick starting the campaign. 'Good Morning Blues/One O'Clock Jump, 'My Babe', 'Who Will The Next Fool Be' and the classic 'Hanging Up My Heart For You' add to the mix and offer the most intimate insight into the influences of two of the UK's greatest ever performers.