Jack Jones (singer): Wikis

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Jack Jones
Birth name John Allan Jones
Born January 14, 1938 (1938-01-14) (age 72)
Origin Hollywood, California, United States
Genres Traditional pop, Jazz, Big Band
Occupations Singer, Actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1959–present
Labels Capitol, Kapp, RCA, MGM, Applause, Honest

Jack Jones (born January 14, 1938) is an American jazz and pop singer. He was one of the most popular vocalists of the 1960s.

Contents

Overview

He was rated highly by Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé and Tony Bennett and a major influence on Scott Walker. Judy Garland called him the best jazz singer in the world, although Jones was always a straight pop singer (even when he recorded contemporary material) and rarely ventured in the direction of jazz. Jones won two Grammy Awards. He performs concerts around the world and remains popular in Las Vegas. Some of his best-known recordings are "I Can't Believe I'm Losing You", "L.A. Break Down", "The Way That I Live", "Wives and Lovers" (1964 Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance)", "The Race Is On", "Lollipops and Roses" (1962, Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), "The Impossible Dream", "Lady", "What I Did for Love", and "The Love Boat Theme". He recorded "Strangers in the Night" before Sinatra did.

The early years and Capitol Records

His birth name is John Allan Jones, the only son of actors Allan Jones and Irene Hervey. Jack Jones was born in Los Angeles on the very night that his father recorded his signature song "Donkey Serenade" (a fact that once prompted talkshow host Mike Douglas to say to him: "I won't ask what your middle name is"). The young Jones attended University High School in West Los Angeles and studied drama and singing. His first professional break was with his father, when Allan Jones was performing at the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He recorded a couple of demos for songwriter Don Raye, attracting attention from the music industry. In 1959, Jones was signed to Capitol Records and released the album This Love of Mine and a few singles. None of these records sold well, and his contract was cut short. These early singles were compiled in the budget album The Romantic Voice of Jack Jones, released in the early 1970s in the UK by the label Music For Pleasure.

The Kapp Years

After being dropped by Capitol, Jones was drafted and spent some time in the US Air Force. Back to civilian life, he had more luck with his next company, Kapp Records. In August 1961 he recorded the ballad "Lollipops and Roses" (a song by Tony Velona), which became a hit in the following year.

Jones' biggest hit was “Wives and Lovers” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Today, the lyrics may seem chauvinistic, but this song was a kind of anthem for the urban male of the Kennedy era, hauntingly, since it was climbing the national charts when Kennedy was assassinated. The imagery seems to come from the pages of an early 1960s Playboy Magazine, and a good-looking, smooth-sounding Jack was the perfect vocalist to deliver this classic hit. Singer Bobbi Martin could be considered Jones' counterpart, echoing much the same message in "For The Love Of Him" more than six years later from an agreeing female perspective.

In the Kapp years, Jones recorded almost twenty albums, including Shall We Dance, This Was My Love, She Loves Me, Call Me Irresponsible, I´ve Got a Lot of Living To Do!, Bewitched, Wives and Lovers, Dear Heart, Where Love Has Gone, My Kind of Town, The Impossible Dream, The In Crowd, Jack Jones Sings, Lady, Our Song, etc... Young, handsome and well groomed, Jack Jones was an anomaly in the sixties, eschewing rock and roll trends and opting for the big band sound, lush romantic ballads and the Great American Songbook, although sometimes he recorded something more pop, country or bossa nova oriented. One of his biggest hits, for example, was "The Race Is On", by country music legend George Jones - no relation to Jack. Besides the good choice of material, Jones worked with top arrangers like Billy May, Nelson Riddle, Marty Paich, Shorty Rogers, Jack Elliott, Ralph Carmichael, Bob Florence, Don Costa and Pete King.

The RCA and MGM years

Jones moved from Kapp (in the UK, London Records) to RCA Records in 1967. His first album in the new company was called Without Her. The following releases, If You Ever Leave Me, L.A. Break Down, and Where is Love were in the same style of the classic Kapp records. After A Jack Jones Christmas, he decided to renew his musical direction and image. At the time, he had changed his appearance from the smooth club entertainer of the 1960s Las Vegas scene to the long-haired singer of the early seventies. A Time For Us (1970) marked the transition towards a middle of the road sound. Jones started to record more contemporary material, including covers of people like Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Carole King, Paul Williams, Richard Carpenter, Gordon Lightfoot, Gilbert O'Sullivan, etc... The album Bread Winners (1972) was a tribute to Bread, with eight songs written by David Gates and two by Jimmy Griffin and Robb Royer. Two of his more acclaimed albums of that period were dedicated to two French songwriters: Jack Jones Sings Michel Legrand (1971), and Write Me a Love Song, Charlie (1974), with songs by Charles Aznavour. The Full Life (1977) was produced by Jones and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. On this album, Jones recorded "Disney Girls (1957)" (Johnston's most well known song) and "God Only Knows", a Beach Boys classic. His last LP for RCA was With One More Look At You (1977) - the title song is a Paul Williams composition from the picture A Star Is Born. In 1979, Jones moved to MGM Records, recording the album Nobody Does it Better, which featured disco tracks of The Love Boat theme and his Grammy winner, "Wives and Lovers". His second (and last) MGM album, Don't Stop Now, featured duets with Maureen McGovern.

Recent work

Since 1980, he has recorded only a handful of albums, and now performs in various concert arenas and occasionally appears on the supper-club circuit. He has performed all over the world and has a large following in England, a place he visits almost every year. He even recorded an album there: Live at the London Palladium, that was released in 1995 by the label Emporio. Jones is also well regarded in Japan, where a lot of his old records were released on CD. Although Jones records only sporadically, his new work is always well received. In 1982 he recorded an album for Applause Records, with covers of songs by the Beatles, Billy Joel, The Eagles, etc... I Am a Singer (1987, USA Records) is considered by Jack Jones enthusiasts a minor classic. In 1992 he recorded for Sony Music The Gershwin Album, with songs written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. In 1997 came NEW Jack Swing (Honest Entertainment), with Jones giving a big band treatment to old standards and assorted pop/rock songs. His most recent album is Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett (Honest Entertainment, released in 1999), that was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year. In March 2008, Jack Jones celebrated his 70 years of age and 50 years in show business with a concert at the McCallum Theatre (Palm Springs). The guests were jazz singer Patti Austin, songwriters Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman and singing impressionist Bob Anderson.

Movie, TV and theater

Jack Jones made his movie debut in Juke Box Rhythm (1959), a rock and roll exploitation production. He is Riff Manton, a young singer who is involved romantically with a princess (Jo Morrow). Jack sings three songs. Others performers featured were The Earl Grant Trio, Johnny Otis & His Band and The Treniers. Jones has acted in such minor films as cult horror The Comeback and feature length British TV comedy, Cruise of the Gods. In the latter, he starred alongside comedy writers/actors Steve Coogan, David Walliams and Rob Brydon. He had a humorous cameo in the film parody Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) as Robert Hays avoids searchlights while escaping captivity, the beams become a spotlight on Jones, performing a verse from The Love Boat theme.

The singer was a staple in the sixties and seventies TV variety shows, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Dick Cavett Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Jerry Lewis Show, American Bandstand, This is Tom Jones, The Dean Martin Show, The Judy Garland Show, Playboy After Dark, The Jack Benny Program, The Steve Allen Show, and The Morecambe and Wise Show in Britain. He twice hosted NBC's top rated rock and roll series Hullabaloo. Jones provided the famous opening theme for the television series The Love Boat from 1977 through 1985, and also made several guest appearances on the show. Prior to that, he also provided the vocals to the theme song of Funny Face, The Kind of Girl She Is. When the show returned as The Sandy Duncan Show, he was replaced by a chorus of unknown men and women. He also guested in the series The Rat Patrol, Police Woman, McMillan and Wife, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Match Game, and Night Court. The singer promoted the Chrysler New Yorker in the mid-70's with the "It's the talk of the town" ad campaign. In 1990, Jones recorded Three Coins in the Fountain, which was used in the film Coins in the Fountain that same year. In these last two decades, Jones has been active in the musical theater, acting in Guys and Dolls, South Pacific and others. He went to national tour performing Don Quixote in Man Of La Mancha and was acclaimed by the critics.

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Personal life

In the second half of the sixties, Jones had a well-publicized relationship with actress Jill St. John and the two were briefly married. In the early seventies, Jones dated Gretchen Roberts. Next, he was linked romantically to British actress Susan George. After that, he was involved with Kathy Simmons. From 1982 to 2005 he was married to British-born Kim Ely and they had a daughter, Nicole (born in 1991). The singer has another daughter, Crystal Thomas, from a former marriage. Jack Jones now lives in La Quinta, a resort city in Riverside County, California.

Billboard Hit Singles (U.S.)

  • "Lollipops and Roses", 1962, US #66
  • "Call Me Irresponsible", 1963, US #75
  • "Wives and Lovers" / "Toys in the Attic", 1963, US #14 / #92[1]
  • "Love with the Proper Stranger", 1964, US #62
  • "The First Night of the Full Moon", 1964, US #59
  • "Where Love Has Gone", 1964, US #62
  • "Dear Heart", 1964, US #30[1]
  • "The Race Is On", 1965, US #15 (Adult Contemporary #1)[1][2]
  • "Seein' the Right Love Go Wrong", 1965, US #46
  • "Just Yesterday", 1965, US #73
  • "Love Bug", 1965, US #71
  • "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)", 1966, US #35 (Adult Contemporary #1)[1][2]
  • "A Day in the Life of a Fool", 1966, US #62
  • "Lady", 1967, US #39 (Adult Contemporary #1)[1][2]
  • "I'm Indestructible", 1967, US #81, Record World "Non-Rock" Survey
  • "Now I Know", 1967, US #73
  • "Our Song", 1967, US #92
  • "Live for Life", 1967, US #99

Jones had 32 hits on the US Adult Contemporary chart from "Lollipops and Roses" (#12) in 1962 to "The Love Boat Theme" (#37) in 1980; twelve of those singles made the top ten. He also "Bubbled Under" the Hot 100 with singles such as "Follow Me" (#117) and "L.A. Break Down" (#106).

Discography

  • This Love of Mine (1959, Capitol)
  • Shall We Dance? (1961, Kapp)
  • This Was My Love (1961, Kapp)
  • I've Got a Lot of Livin' To Do (1961, Kapp)
  • Gift of Love (1962, Kapp)
  • Call Me Irresponsible (1963, Kapp)
  • She Loves Me (1963, Kapp)
  • Wives and Lovers (1963, Kapp)
  • Bewitched (1964, Kapp)
  • Where Love Has Gone (1964, Kapp)
  • The Jack Jones Christmas Album (1964, Kapp)
  • Dear Heart (1965, Kapp)
  • My Kind of Town (1965, Kapp)
  • There's Love & There's Love & There's Love (1965, Kapp)
  • For the 'In' Crowd (1966, Kapp)
  • The Impossible Dream (1966, Kapp)
  • Jack Jones Sings (1966, Kapp)
  • Lady (1967, Kapp)
  • Our Song (1967, Kapp)
  • What the World Needs Now is Love! (1968, Kapp)
  • Curtain Time (1968, Kapp)
  • Jack Jones in Hollywood (1968, Kapp)
  • Without Her (1968, RCA)
  • If You Ever Leave Me (1968, RCA)
  • The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom [Soundtrack] (1968, RCA)
  • L.A. Break Down (1969, RCA)
  • Where is Love? (1969, RCA)
  • A Jack Jones Christmas (1969, RCA)
  • A Time for Us (1970, RCA)
  • In Person at The Sands (1970, RCA)
  • Jack Jones Sings Michel Legrand (1971, RCA)
  • A Song for You (1972, RCA)
  • Bread Winners (1972, RCA)
  • Together (1973, RCA)
  • Harbour (1974, RCA)
  • Write Me a Love Song, Charlie (1974, RCA)
  • What I Did for Love (1975, RCA)
  • The Full Life (1977, RCA)
  • With One More Look at You (1977, RCA)
  • Nobody Does It Better (1979, MGM)
  • Don't Stop Now (1980, MGM)
  • Jack Jones (1982, Applause)
  • I Am a Singer (1987, USA Music Group)
  • The Gershwin Album (1992, Sony)
  • Live at the London Palladium (1995, Emporio)
  • New Jack Swing (1997, Honest)
  • Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett (1998, Honest)
  • This Could Be The Start of Something Big (197?, Sears) <unlisted LP owned by HT of www.BlackShellac.com>

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 331.
  2. ^ a b c Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), pp. 33, 45 & 52.

External links


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