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It's Not Unusual by Tom Jones
Album: Along Came JonesReleased: 1965Charted:
This was written by the classical music arranger and conductor Les Reed along with Tom Jones' manager Gordon Mills. They wrote it for the British singer Sandie Shaw, but she turned it down. Tom Jones saw the song's potential, recorded it, and it became his first hit single. Jones recalled to The Mail On Sunday February 6, 2011: "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."
Tom Jones' real name is Thomas Jones Woodward. He was spotted supporting Mandy Rice-Davies by the manager Gordon Mills who suggested the name Tom Jones and secured him a deal with Decca. After a succession of hit singles in the UK and US he moved to California in 1969, performing regularly in Las Vegas.
Tom Jones told the Observer Music Monthly December 2008 that first version he recorded wasn't anything special: "Then my producer Peter Sullivan said: 'You've got a big voice. Nice is not enough. You are not nice!' As a result, the song jumped out of the speakers and became a hit."
Jones recorded this song with many of the top British session musicians of the time. Vic Flick, who played guitar on the track, told us
: "Tom had a goal in life and nothing was going to stop him. He is a great singer and all round good performer - lots of stage presence. His recordings were always good to work on. Great songs, very good arrangements and always a great band."