Sir Tom Jones on Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra’s contrasting music advice to him04/28/2021
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Sir Tom Jones rose to fame in the 1960s and became a regular on the Las Vegas residency scene. During those heydays, he became friends with contemporaries like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. And it turns out the two late music legends gave the Welsh singer some contrasting advice.
Appearing on the Table Manners with Jess Ware podcast, Sir Tom shared how he preferred Sinatra’s music to Elvis.
However, he said: “I learned to appreciate [Sinatra] more when I got older. I was 15-years-old when rock and roll began. It hit like a hammer, so anything that wasn’t rock and roll to me when I was a teenager was nothing.
“So then you get older and that’s why we called [my new] album Surrounded by Time because it does make a difference – when you get older you look at life in a different way, all the different parts of your life.
“So when I got into my twenties/thirties, I was then starting to realise how good Frank Sinatra did sing. You’ve got to listen to him to know how really well he sang, so I got to appreciate that.”
However, despite enjoying both the rock and roll of Elvis and the jazz of Sinatra, both stars advised he go for one over the other.
Sir Tom remembered how he went to Elvis with an album of standards he’d recorded.
The King said to him: “I got your latest album, Tom, I love it… but let me tell you something if you don’t mind.
“We leave songs like that to Frank. We don’t do those songs.”
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Sir Tom was wowed by this and when he ended up having a drink with Sinatra at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the crooner said the opposite to Elvis.
The swing legend told him: “Forget that rock and roll stuff, come to us. You can do great jazz records.”
The Welsh singer remembered thinking: “What a situation to be in! Elvis Presley telling me to do more rock type numbers or big ballads as well.
“Not standards, not what Frank Sinatra would be doing, leave that to Frank Sinatra, he said.”
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Sir Tom added: “I said, ‘Well I like doing them all.’ I thought Elvis is trying to pull me one way, Frank Sinatra is trying to pull me the other way, what a position to be in!”
The 80-year-old had been enjoying a bourbon and coke at the bar with Sinatra when a fan spotted the two of them together and asked for a picture.
However, the crooner insisted a professional photograph be taken instead.
The Welsh singer admitted he was really glad this happened as he now has a proper picture at the bar with Sinatra.
Sir Tom is ready to head back on stage this summer after his 80th birthday celebration tour was postponed last year.
He told Lorraine yesterday morning that he’s feeling good since he’s had two vaccinations so far.
The 80-year-old said: “When they got the vaccine…I was first in line for that shot!”
Tickets for Sir Tom Jones’ 2021 tour can be ordered here, while his new album Surround By Time is out now.
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