Tom Jones

June 7, 1940
  • Tom Jones was born Thomas Jones Woodward in the village of Treforest, near Pontypridd in Wales.
  • At 12, Tom was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and had to spend the next two years in bed recovering. He described it as the worst time of his life.
  • He married his high school sweetheart, Linda Trenchard, in March 1957, when they were both 16 and expecting a child together. They remained married for 59 years, until her death in 2016.
  • He began his career singing in working men's clubs, as the frontmen of Welsh beat group Tommy Scott and the Senators.
  • Woodward was discovered by manager Gordon Mills, who took the young singer to London and changed his moniker to Tom Jones to cash in on the popularity of the sexy 1963 British comedy adventure film of the same name.
  • Mills began promoting his protégé to record companies, eventually getting Jones a recording contract with Decca. His first single, "Chills and Fever", was released in August 1964. It did not chart, but the follow up, "It's Not Unusual," became a huge hit reaching #1 in the UK in early 1965 and making the top 10 in America.
  • Elvis Presley was Jones' idol and they met for the first time in 1965 at the Paramount film studio when Elvis was filming Paradise, Hawaiian Style. They formed a firm friendship that endured until the death of "the King" in 1977.
  • In 1966, Tom Jones won a Grammy Awards for Best New Artist.
  • Tom Jones' UK variety show This Is Tom Jones premiered on ABC-TV in February 1969 after the network paid out over $20 million for the rights. The series ran for two years totalling 65 episodes.
  • A then unknown Elton John (then known as Reg Dwight) sang backing vocals on Jones' single "Daughter Of Darkness" in 1970.
  • Tom Jones appeared as himself in an episode of The Simpsons in 1992.
  • He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on March 29, 2006 for services to music.
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