The world famous singer Tom Jones may be most known for hits such as “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New PussyCat?”, but his stardom has permeated all of culture as we know it. He has attained the kind of celebrity status where pretty much everyone knows who he is, and he is much beloved across the entire globe. Interestingly, his career has taken many more twists and turns than most people likely realize. Before one particular turn of fate lead him to his fame as something of an iconic pop crooner, he nearly found himself in the midst of a grittier rock based career.
It was in 1964 that Tom Jones was nearly on the verge of losing everything. His wife Linda was supporting him for the most part, thanks to her gruelling factory job. In the meantime, Tom kept on pursuing his passion of music. He released a rock based song known as “Chills & Fever”, a somewhat dirtier sounding track than you’d ever expect if you’re only familiar with the work that landed Jones his eventual superstar status. This was a song not unlike something the Rolling Stones would have put off, with gritty guitar works and some aggressive drumming.
That song didn’t exactly take off however. At this point, Jones’ manager Gordon Mills found Jones some much needed work in creating a demo for Sandy Shaw, a much more established artist, to work within the studio. That song eventually became the widely known “It’s Not Unusual”. Jones fell in love with the song himself, and begged his manager to record the final rendition himself. Through great reluctance and the fortunate permission of Shaw, the recording was made and the single was released in 1965. Against all odds, it became a number one hit in the UK.
Not long after, Jones found himself performing in Vegas and attaining something of a worldwide notoriety. His career continued on for the following decades, with his somewhat loud personality and admirable swagger gaining him many countless fans. While he sometimes loses touch with the limelight, he has remained ever present in the music world, and he entertains many people to this day. So popular is he as a singer that many a Sir Tom Jones tribute act has appeared to bring his music to a demanding audience.