Gold's Hall of Fame: Tom Jones

4 June 2020, 14:50

Tom Jones
Tom Jones. Picture: Getty

Sir Tom Jones is one of the greatest pop singers of all time, with a career spanning six decades.

With Sir Tom celebrating his 80th birthday in 2020, let's take a look back at his life and career, as we induct the Welsh icon into Gold's Hall of Fame:

  1. Who is Tom Jones and what is his real name?

    Tom Jones in 2015
    Tom Jones in 2015. Picture: Getty

    Born Thomas John Woodward, Sir Tom Jones is a famous Welsh singer.

    His career began with several top 10 hits in the mid-1960s. He has since toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas from 1967 to 2011.

    QUIZ: How well do you know Tom Jones and his songs?

    His voice has been described by one critic as a "full-throated, robust baritone". His musical style has included pop, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel.

    Jones has sold over 100 million records worldwide, with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US.

  2. What are Tom Jones's biggest songs?

    Among his most famous hits include:

    - It's Not Unusual

    - What's New Pussycat?

    - Help Yourself

    - The Green Green Grass of Home

    - You Can Leave Your Hat On

    - Sexbomb

    - Mama Told Me Not to Come

    - She's a Lady

  3. How old is Tom Jones and where was he born?

    Tom Jones was born in Pontypridd, in Glamorgan, South Wales on June 7, 1940. He celebrates his 80th birthday in 2020.

    His parents were Thomas Woodward (1910-1981), a coal miner, and Freda Jones (1914-2003).

    He began singing at an early age, and would regularly sing at family gatherings, weddings and in his school choir.

  4. Who was Tom Jones's wife and does he have children?

    Tom Jones and wife Linda in 1965
    Tom Jones and wife Linda in 1965. Picture: Getty

    In March 1957, Jones married his high school girlfriend, Linda Trenchard, when they were expecting a child together, both aged 16.

    Their son, Mark, was born the month after their wedding. To support his young family, began working in a glove factory, and later moved to construction.

    Jones was married to Linda until her death in April 2016. They stayed married despite his many well-publicised affairs. His affairs once led Linda to assault him.

    He had affairs with well-known women, such as Mary Wilson of the Supremes, TV host Charlotte Laws, and former Miss World Marjorie Wallace.

    Tom Jones and son Mark in 1985
    Tom Jones and son Mark in 1985. Picture: Getty

    One affair also resulted in the birth of a son. In October 1987, while touring the US, Jones had a brief relationship with model Katherine Berkery, who discovered she was pregnant.

    After a legal battle that included DNA testing, a court ruled in 1989 that Jones was the boy's father. He denied the court's findings until 2008, when he admitted they were true. However, he has shown no interest in meeting his son, Jonathan Berkery.

  5. Was Tom Jones friends with Elvis Presley?

    Elvis and Priscilla Presley with Tom Jones
    Elvis and Priscilla Presley with Tom Jones. Picture: Getty

    Tom Jones met his idol Elvis in 1965 at the Paramount film stage, when Elvis was filming Paradise, Hawaiian Style.

    They became good friends, and spent lots of time together in Las Vegas and duetted until the early hours at Presley's private Las Vegas suite.

    The friendship continued until Presley's death in 1977. Tom is also close friends with Presley's widow Priscilla Presley.