A chance encounter
Tommy Woodward was spotted by Gordon Mills who was out with his wife Jo and best friend Gordon Jones. Mills later said,
The first few bars were all I needed to hear; they convinced me that here was a voice that could make him the greatest singer in the world.
Gordon renamed the singer Tom Jones, and took him to London.
Tom Jones is born
There, he recorded the single ‘It’s Not Unusual’ for Decca records, written by Mills, wife Jo and Les Reed. It was an instant hit.
During 1965, Tom received a Grammy for ‘Best New Artist’ and was nominated in the categories of ‘Best Contemporary Rock and Roll Song’ for ‘It’s Not Unusual’ and ‘Best Male Contemporary Rock and Roll Vocal Performance’ for ‘What’s New Pussycat.’
Gordon secured a number of movie theme songs for Jones to record, including the Top Ten hit ‘What’s New Pussycat’ (June 1965) and the James Bond theme song ‘Thunderball’ (December 1965.) The singles ‘What’s New Pussycat’ and ‘Green Green Grass of Home,’ went Gold in 1966, and again in 1967, Tom went Gold with ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ and enjoyed three more chart hits the same year.
Tom was voted Number 1 Vocalist in the U.S. and back home in England, Tom broke All Time Box Office Records at London’s Premier Show places – The Talk of The Town and the Palladium Theatre. In 1968 the single ‘Delilah’ went Gold in the British Charts and he had another Number 1 Hit with ‘Help Yourself.’ In the same year, The Variety Club of Great Britain awarded Tom ‘Show Business Personality of the Year’ and he starred in the Royal Command Performance meeting Queen Elizabeth for the first time.
Gordon also secured a 78 Episode T.V.Show ‘This Is Tom Jones’ which landed Tom in The Guinness Book of World Records for the largest contract ever signed by an individual in the UK. In 1969 Tom went Gold again for the singles ‘Without Love’ and ‘Love Me Tonight.’
A year later in 1970 Tom again went Gold with two more albums and was named ‘Entertainer of the Year’ by The Friars Club. He shattered Maddison Square Box Office Records and was hailed as ‘The Rage of our Time.’ In 1971 Tom got a Gold Album for ‘She’s A Lady’ and ‘Till’ topped the Charts Worldwide.
On stage, Jones played up his sexual appeal. He always radiated a raw sexuality, which earned him a large following of devoted female fans who frequently threw underwear on stage. Jones’ following never diminished over the decades and he still performs to this day.