- Jack Jones, Farewell UK Tour, Grand Opera House, York, May 21
- Just A Quickie withc veteran American singer Jack Jones as he says farewell, or does he?
AFTER more than 50 albums, double Grammy-winning veteran American crooner Jack Jones, friend of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams and Mel Torme, is playing his farewell UK tour. Then again, the gentlemanly Los Angeles pop and swing singer may not be ready to put down the microphone after all, as Charles Hutchinson discovers
Jack, surely this canft be right: is it true youfre saying gfarewellh on this springfs tour?
gFirst of all, Ifm not retiring. My promoter thought it was time to do a eFarewellf tour, but itfs not contrived. It probably is my farewell UK tour but none of us likes to put a cap on things.
gI got to thinking about things and Ifve come to the stage in my life where nothing is for sure, and itfs been a wonderful undertaking as Ifve put some video together, some duets and some visual anecdotes, for a video presentation in the show.
gI call it ethe narcissistfs dreamf, though I couldnft be a narcissist as Ifm too old for me now. And then I thought, maybe I wouldnft like to pass away having not done a Farewell Tour.h
How did you put the Through The Years video together?
gIfve put a lot of effort and research into it. I thought there would be a lot of licensing that would be difficult, but Ifm not selling the video, so itfs not been a problem. Itfs just for the tour, which Ifm calling Through The Years.h
Wading through all those years and so many albums, how do you choose a set list for your farewell UK dates?
gWell, therefs no time to go through all the songs and the best I can do is lay out a show that has impact, recalling the things I did years ago, like the show I did at the London Palladium 22 years ago when the arrangements were fantastic. When I played there, it was the only time I recorded a live album, so Ifll be doing some of those arrangements again.
gAnd thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I put it out to British fans to ask them what theyfd like to hear, so therefll be a free-form section in the show for requests.h
What else will feature?
gTherefll be music from Man Of La Mancha [The Impossible Dream] and Ifll be doing some Gershwin songs from The Gershwin Album, which I did years ago in a church with the London Philharmonic, though they couldnft be called that on the album data, but they were certainly players from that orchestra.
gIfll also be singing a duet of Pure Imagination [from Willa Wonka And The Chocolate Factory] with jazz singer Jacob Collier, who does these Six Faces of Jacob Collier videos on YouTube. Ifll be singing live and the six faces of Jacob will come up on the screen, so thatfll be kinda nice.h
If you were to pick out your career highlight, Jack, what would it be?
gThe two Grammys, they were exciting moments, in 1963 and 1965; Lollipops And Roses and then Wives And Lovers. In those days in 1963, it was an intimate occasion, where it wasnft televised, and we just had a big ball at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
gThe second time, I got asked to sing the five nominated songs, not only Wives And Lovers. I got up to sing Tony Bennettfs I Wanna Be Around, but I couldnft remember the words, so I said, eHey, Tony, come up and sing it with mef.
gCan you imagine beating Tony Bennett to an award, though of course he won many, many other times.h
Coming full circle, will you really be saying farewell and settling back into Palm Springs retirement rather than hitting the road again, Jack?
gNo, I donft want to give up performing but I do hate sitting on aeroplanes.
gI donft know if you have this rule over there in the UK, that if youfre over 75 in the USA you donft have to take your shoes off [for security checks] any more, but Ifm wondering, ewhat makes a man of 75 any less of a threat than a man of 74?f, and I know a lot of men whofd like to be in my shoes.h
So, itfs not farewell, Jack?
gItfs probably farewell to denial of getting on in years.h
- Reissue news: "OUR SONG and FOR THE "IN" CROWD" and "LADY and JACK JONES SINGS"
- Zone Records presents two 2 in one CDs from Jack Jones, "OUR SONG and FOR THE "IN" CROWD" and "LADY and JACK JONES SINGS", which are making their long awaited debut on CD.
The albums were released in 1960's respectively by Kapp Records in America, and London Records in Britain.
As well as detailed sleeve notes, the 8-page booklets features the original artworks for the albums, designed in such a way as to allow the purchaser to display either original album covers as front of CDs.
Please find more info for these products on Zone Records website.
- "Jack Jones at the Riverside Resort
- February 26, 2013 - Laughlin Entertainer
When you think Jack Jones, a gas station attendant isn't an image that comes readily to mind. In fact, it is probably one of the last images of Jones you would conjure up, right there with bullrider and sheep shearer. After all, Jack Jones is sophisticate, class, style, grace, romance. Pumping gas and washing windshields? Never.
Well, a gas station attendant pumping gas and washing windshields was what Jack Jones was doing as a day job when he first started his musical career. In fact, he was washing the windshield of a car when he heard a cut from his first album come over the car's radio.
"Hey, son. You missed a spot."
"Yea, but did you hear that sax fill? Oh, you mean the windshield."
Well, Jones soon put down the squeegee and became one of the top romantic balladeers of American music-the genre's equivalent to Audrey Hepburn and fashion-that is, the picture of elegance and sophistication. A classic style that comes both easily and with grace, yet with the innate ability to never take anything too seriously-particularly yourself. Hepburn chose a gown the same way Jones chooses what he wants to sing, knowing instinctively what works, what doesn't and how to make it ones own. A sense of humor-definitely a "must" accessory.
The Audrey Hepburn connection is more than just a metaphor. Others have seen the similarity in their respective styles. In fact, Jones' last No. 1 ranked song on the charts was "Lady," a tribute to Hepburn.
But most casual observers think of Jack Jones as the "guy who sang that 'Love Boat' song"-and that is a shame because Jones music has plied a lot deeper and varied waters over the decades, earning praise and accolades from some impressive corners.
Mel Torme called Jack Jones, "the most 'pure' singer in the world." Judy Garland said he was the 'best jazz singer, ever"; and Frank Sinatra said Jones "is a major singer of our time."
Now, "pure" and "jazz" don't aptly describe the mainstream songs that Jones turned into hits...the songs that made him famous before the "boat"-songs like his Grammy winning "Lollipops and Roses," and the now politically incorrect, "Wives and Lovers."
But Sinatra, Garland and Torme knew of what they spoke. Even when he sang pop tunes, Jack Jones took the ordinary and elevated it to another level. Songwriters and composers knew this well. That is why the likes of Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Michel Legrand and Burt Bacharach and Hal David sought him out to put life and lift into their songs. And it is why he received all the accolades and awards.
In addition to his recordings, Jack Jones is renowned as a leading interpreter of musical theater, with acclaimed performances in such staples as "Guys and Dolls", "South Pacific", "Pajama Game", and his signature role as Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha."
Jones' other credits include film and television roles; an internationally syndicated TV variety show; performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the White House.
Jones continues to tour, to record, to charm and to deliver his music in that same mellow, grand style.
The following are some of the insights into Jack Jones we got during our phone interview with him last year when he played the Riverside Resort...
Jones: For a long time, none of us had a "style"-all of us sounded the same. Steve Lawrence, Vic Damone and I sounded alike.
But I think the more worn your voice becomes in the song choices you make, the more it just seems to evolve and you develop your own style.
Jones: I just try to sing carefully, no showboating You gotta keep from pushing it too far. I have a three-octave range and sometimes I get a little greedy. I have to keep myself in check.
Jones: The first time I heard myself on radio I was driving on Sunset Boulevard and I almost ran off the road. KMPC (in L.A.) was playing that kind of music and they started playing my records.
At the time, there wasn't enough singing jobs coming in so I went back to the same gas station where I worked when I was in high school. I was wiping off this guy's windshield who had the top down on his convertible when the song came on the air. I couldn't tell him (it was me), because he wouldn't have believed me. That was the moment I really realized "I'm finally getting somewhere."
Don Quixote & ego
Jones: I don't think there's a singer who deep down doesn't honestly believe there's no greater singer than he is. That's a singer's ego.
I did "Man of La Mancha" for a season. There's been thousands of actors who have played Don Quixote--local theater, regional theater and national theater-and I don't think there's one of them who doesn't think he's the definitive Don Quixote.
My dad, Allan Jones, was one of them. He did "Man of La Mancha" on the straw-hat circuit and received the Straw Hat Award for it. I always thought I wasn't going to do Don Quixote because I know how much my father was Don Quixote. But I was asked to perform it and I ended up doing it.
And I was Don Quixote. It's a roll that takes you over and you become that person.
Jones: I had one of these "impossible dream" moments in my youth. Don Quixote sings to Aldonza, who he's renamed Dulcinea, to demonstrate his love to her. She's really a hooker but all he sees is a beautiful virgin like woman.
When I was young, I was naive and, one time, went with a bunch of my high school friends to Tijuana. While they were going after what they went down there for, I wound up in a bar talking to a prostitute and singing to her, "What's a beautiful girl like you doing in a place like this," and that's as far as I went. My friends laughed at me all the way back home.
Favorite recording session
Jones: It was when I was standing in the middle of a huge orchestra in an old converted church in Paris with Michel Legrand conducting. It was all live but I brought the recording back and mixed it in Hollywood at RCA, tweaking a lot of leakage. It was a labor of love and took a long time to do it. I was so in love with the arrangement and the orchestra.
Jones: The Gershwins are my very favorite. I did a Gershwin album in England with a huge orchestra. The music was fabulous and the arrangements were wonderful.
I also love an album I did as a tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman called Love Makes the Changes.
Jones: I kind of see everything that comes out of my mouth as something you might hear in a sit-com from the '70s. I like to have fun. You get to a certain stage in life where things just don't look quite as serious as they used to.
I use the humor in the songs I sing. There's a song I do called "Folks Who Live on the Hill" by Jerome Kern, which is a classic story about a meaningful relationship between a couple with their kids growing up. I follow it with a song by Randy Newman called "Love Story," which is irreverent and says the same thing in a strange way.
The whole "Love Boat" thing
Jones: The song was presented to me by Paul Williams, who wrote it. He said to me, "We'd like you to sing this for the show because it's going to be a series."
I said, "Of course, I'd be honored and I certainly will sing it, and I wish you luck."
But I was thinking, "who's going to watch a show about a cruise ship?"
Well, I went on to inaugurate three Princess ships and became very much in demand on cruises. I performed on the Norwegian line and Royal Caribbean because I "was the guy who sang 'Love Boat.'" At the time, that show really helped the cruising industry.
On the Princess ships, they still play my record as they sail away from port. Sometimes, when I was on a cruise, I would be on deck singing along with it. I'd go incognito and mingle with the passengers. It's a narcissistic thing to do, I know. I remember one time when I started singing along with the song a woman turned to me and said, "Shhhhh."
A touch of jazz
Jones: There's a jazz vignette in the show where I perform one of my favorite jazz ballads, "Angel Eyes" written by an old friend Matt Dennis. It's one of those real torch songs.
- "The Comeback" Blu-ray release
- The upcoming Blu-ray set "Pete Walker Collection" from Kino Lorber/Redemption Films (street date 11/20/2012) will feature the 1978 film "The Comeback" starring Jack Jones.
Special features include an interview with JJ himself.
Pre-Order at: Amazon.com, CD Universe
Please find more info for this product on endfilms.com.
- Jack Jones debuts this week at Feinstein's
- June 25, 2012 - by Jim Bessman for Manhattan Local Music Examiner
Jack Jones is in a hurry to chow down and finish packing for his flight to New York, where the pop vocal great, who lives in La Quinta, Calif., will make his Feinstein's at Loews Regency debut tomorrow night.
He'll be accompanied by his trio (music director Lou Forestieri on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass, Kendall Kay on drums) and New York sax legend Houston Person during the one-week stay at Michael Feinstein's club.
"Michael came to see us last time at the Algonquin and took us to his place for a drink when we were here two years ago," says Jones. "We used to play the Algonquin every fall-after Labor Day-and had a great time. I loved the place, but they closed the room. Nothing lasts forever, and we took a year off of playing New York. But Feinstein's is in a great, stylish hotel and location."
During his June 26-30 run at Feinstein's, Jones will feature songs from his latest album.
"It's called Lovec," he starts saying before garbling the rest of the album title in his food.
"I've always wanted to plug an album with a mouthful of food!" he continues, apologetically, then clearly pronounces the title: Love Ballad. It contains a few new recordings of his 1960s pop hits including "Lollypops And Roses" "Call Me Irresponsible," "The Impossible Dream," and his biggest hit, the Grammy-winning "Wives And Lovers," which was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and reached No.14 in 1964.
"We weren't thinking very deeply in those days," says Jones, referring to "Wives And Lovers"' lyrics, which called for a wife to make herself most attractive for her husband.
"Women loved the song at first," he continues, "and then I never saw such a turnabout! They wound up hating it after I had the hit on it and got a Grammy! But times changed, and women were striving for their own identity--which they deserved, just as they now deserve equal pay for doing the same job as a man. But back then, the National Organization of Women got a hold of it and beat me to death with it!"
As Jones says, he meant no harm, and has since modified and rerecorded the song's lyric for Love Ballad, such that you hear him singing "subliminally in the turnaround at the end": "Hey, little boy. Cap your teeth, get a hairpiece"-a new counter to the song's opening "Hey, little girl. Comb your hair. Fix your makeup."
And while it's not a love ballad as such, count on Jones performing his second-biggest hit, "The Race Is On," which reached No.15 in 1965 and was a cover of the unrelated George Jones' country hit classic.
"My producer brought it to me and said, 'I bet you could do this,' and I said, 'Absolutely-but I can't understand it,'" Jones recalls. "We literally slowed it down from 45 [revolutions per minute] to 33 and got the words right and had a wonderful hit on it--unexpectedly, because it was a country song! But I went to a studio in L.A. and found a kid who could play pretty good country guitar, and we made a real good country crossover record."
And it was a hit, Jones says, because of the young guitarist "who hadn't started singing yet, who quietly came in and quietly left-Glen Campbell!"
Upcoming for Jones is next year's Sammy Cahn centennial, for which he already has a tribute show for theater venues. And while his repertoire is mostly made up of pop-jazz standards-many of which were hits for him and his contemporaries-he does pay attention to the current music scene.
"I'm a big Jason Mraz fan," reveals Jones. "He did some incredible singing on his first album."
- Jack Jones, The Greatest Hits Tour, York Barbican, October 23
- Oct. 21, 2011 - by Charles Hutchinson for The Press
AMERICAN crooner Jack Jones last played the York Barbican in June 2000, a fact that catches him by surprise.
"Eleven years ago doesn't seem like a long time now," he jokes, in recognition of being 73. "I'm glad to be back."
The double Grammy-winning, easy-listening jazz singer has recorded more than 50 albums of swinging renditions of standards and contemporary pop and rock: plenty of material, then, for The Greatest Hits Tour, which swings its way into York on Sunday night.
"The idea of a Greatest Hits show kind of started in the Philippines," he says.
"That's what they wanted there, and so we put together a tour for that and I really got into doing it.
"I enjoyed it so much after doing a tour of the songs I'd done in the country genre in 2008.
"There was a hit I had only in the Philippines, The Lorelei, and when I first played there I was told that if I didn't do it, 9,000 people would roll empty Coke bottles down the aisle, so I did it!
"Fifty years later I go back to Manilla and play to 8,000, so in 50 years I drop only 1,000 people. Not bad. And I did do The Lorelei!"
His British tour will incorporate "a few newer things and things I've always loved, the more traditional American, English and French songbook".
"They're very, very loyal in Britain in favouring songs from the old days that they've liked, so I try to include as much of that as I can," says Jack.
"They've seen it all, but they're now seeing me do it as a more mature person, whereas as a young singer, I would arrive, perform and leave by helicopter - and I almost lost my British audience because of that at the time."
Why did he behave that way? "I was young and stupid and needed to go somewhere else... just because I could, but now I don't like helicopters!" he says.
Jack's tour gives him a chance to promote his latest album, Love Ballad, which combines new interpretations of his most popular songs, such as The Impossible Dream and Lollypops And Roses, with the fresh title track that sets the tone for a very personal take on love lost and found.
"If people from outer space were hovering around here and heard all these love songs, they would wonder, 'what on earth are they doing'?" he says, smiling at how many songs focus on that one four-letter word.
Those songs will be sung in York on Sunday in a voice as rich and smooth as ever, although "it seems to be responding to jetlag" on the day of this interview upon Jack's arrival in England.
"So it's not as easy, but when I'm singing, I'm having a good time and I haven't lost the high notes," he says.
So, how does he keep that voice in such velvet nick? "I put it in a jar at night and leave it in the refrigerator!"
- Jack and Eleonora on BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing"
- Oct. 16, 2011
- Jack Jones Launches New Album
- Sep. 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE)
Four-time nominated and two-time Grammy-winning recording artist Jack Jones is back front and center with a new album titled "Love Ballad," a very personal take on love found and lost. "Love Ballad" will be launched September 20 by Aspen Records and available via BFM Digital Music Services on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Napster, and Nokia, among others, as well as in stores.
"There is a personal story behind each of the songs," Jones says. "The title song, 'Love Ballad,' was being played as my wife Eleonora and I were first introduced. It expresses the hope of finding the perfect lifetime partner, who must exist somewhere.
"Being a parent, I see 'Not While I'm Around' as a wonderful adult version of 'Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Wolf?' from 'Sweeny Todd,' with a much darker meaning."
Jones considers one of the most moving moments in his life when he sang "The Impossible Dream," for hundreds of wives of MIAs at the Washington Armory. "We were all wearing wristbands with MIAs' names on them," he recalls. "You can imagine how hard we all cried at the end of it."
"Call Me Irresponsible" came about after Sammy Cahn asked Jones to come to Jimmy Van Heusen's house to hear a song they wanted him to record. When he got there they played Frank Sinatra's recording of the song, which caused Jones to ask, "What do you need me for?" They explained that Sinatra's performance was too realistic and too good to be a hit, which is why they called him. Choosing not to take issue with this, Jones recorded the song - and "was subjected to having a major hit record on his hands!"
Jones, who has always been actively involved in the creation of his records, is credited as producer, personally selected all the songs and did the in-studio mixing and mastering of all the tracks.
Jones continues a busy schedule of live performances in performing arts centers throughout the year. He just completed appearances in front of 12,000 people in the Philippines; the McCallum theater; the South Point Casino Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas; and is scheduled for his biennial tour of Great Britain this fall.
SOURCE: Henri Bollinger Associates
- New album "Love Ballad"
- A Personalized journey through 15 songs from the American
songbook, including re-recorded original hits of JACK JONES. This enhanced by JACK's blog, in the insert.
You can order the physical cd on jackjonesmusic.com.
1 Love Ballad (Pat Tuzzolino & Carl Saunders) 2 I Can't Get Started With You(Vernon Duke & Ira Gershwin) 3 I Can't Wait To Miss You (Jack Jones & Tom Garvin) 4 Sit Down And Write Myself A Letter (Fred E. Ahlert & Joseph Young)@@ 5 Speaking Softly (Pat Tuzzolino & Carl Saunders) 6 Not While I'm Around (Steven Sondheim) 7 Don't You Quit Now (Johnny Mercer & Jimmy Rowles) 8 People (Jule Stein & Robert Merril) 9 The Lorelei (Barclay Allen, Jerry Goldstone, Rosetta Bent) 10 All Or Nothing At All (Arthur Altman, Jack Lawrence) 11 Lollypops And Roses (Tony Velona) 12 Wives And Lovers (Burt Bacharach & Hal David) 13 Call Me Irresponsible (Sammy Cahn & Jimmy Van Heusen) 14 If (David Gates) 15 The Impossible Dream (Joe Darion, Mitch Leigh) 16 Love Ballad Epilogue (Pat Tuzzolino & Carl Saunders)
Produced by Jack Jones
Under the musical direction of Mike Renzi
Arranged by Mike Renzi
Chris Colangelo on Bass
Kendall Kay on Drums
Rhythm tracks recorded at Umbrella Media Inc.
Recording Engineer: Nady Waterman
Second Engineer: Luke Fackler
Mixdowns, Vocals, Sweetening and Mastering at the Orchard Engineer: Jack Jones
Keyboards: Patrick Tuzzolino
Sam Most featured on Sax (Love Ballad)
- New album "Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman"
This is for digital only and the physical cd is available on jackjonesmusic.com.
- DVD Releases
- Jack Jones on "McMillan and Wife"(episode title: "Coffee, Tea, or Cyanide") and "The Dean Martin Show" will be released in DVD form.
Click above links to pre-order at Amazon.com.
- PPB Luncheons honoring Jack Jones
- from Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters website
PPB President Sam Lovullo will present PPB's Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award to Jack Jones at their May 20th luncheon in Sportsmen's Lodge.
- Jack Jones named 2010 Good Samaritan - Nov. 20, 2010: Entertainer honored for his good deeds
- by Gloria Greer for Palm Springs Life
The Rancho Las Palmas Resort ballroom was filled with admirers of entertainer Jack Jones Saturday night, Nov. 20. The beloved and talented performer received the 2010 Good Samaritan of the Year Award from the Desert Samaritans for Seniors. Jones, recently returned from sold out singing engagements in Manila and New York, was thanked for his tireless volunteer contributions to worthwhile non-profits to improve life for those in need.
When he received his award, an unusual miniature piano with a microphone, he was visibly moved and spoke of his respect for Desert Samaritans for Seniors and all that the organization does to give disillusioned seniors "their lives back." He spoke of the hundreds of elderly people in the valley who have lost the ability to deal with every day life.
"I recently Googled the phrase 'Youth is wasted on the young', and a young woman (photo and all) had added 'Medication is wasted on the old.' Thank you for helping us starve off that kind of society," he said.
Jackie Lee and James Houston were Honorary Chairs and encouraged Jones to accept the evening's honor. They also introduced him to the organization honoring him, an introduction that greatly impressed the caring Jones. The mission of Desert Samaritans for Seniors is to "serve as the premier non-profit advocacy agency on behalf of senior citizens in the Coachella Valley, utilizing "hands on" methods through effective social service programs that ensure the financial, physical and/or psychological well-being of every client served." A video showed the impact that Desert Samaritans has had on some of its clients and those depicted in the video were invited guests at the gala function.
Brian Harnik welcomed attendees from the stage and The Rev. Lane Goodwin Hesley, Rector St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, gave the invocation. Bill Seals, Executive Director, gave acknowledgments and introduced the video. Guests were enthralled with entertainment by Mike Ostaski's Art Explosion. The artist made his fast strokes to the beat of music and danced as he finished his on stage portrait of Jones.
Barry K. Williams, president, Michael Andrew Duvall, vice president, Mary Hansen-Faris, treasurer, and Kay Hanson, secretary, head desert Samaritans for Seniors. Other board members are Suzy Friedland, Jean Ann Hirschi, and Judy Vossler. Gold Angel sponsors were Jackie Lee and Jim Houston and Harold Matzner. Wells Fargo Advisors and Mary Hansen and Daryl Faris were Premier Sponsors.
- Desert Samaritans loves its seniors
- December 5, 2010 - by Barbara Ady for The Desert Sun
The Desert Samaritans for Seniors fundraiser happened early in the social season, but that doesn't mean it wasn't perfectly planned and thought out.
True to its mission statement, the group is an advocate on behalf of senior citizens in the Coachella Valley. Members utilize "hands on" methods through social service programs that ensure the financial, physical and/or psychological well-being of every client served.
This year's honoree, Jack Jones, and his wife, Eleonora, were mingling, as were a large number of former honorees.
After a silent auction loaded with luxury items, guests adjourned to the ballroom, appropriately and tastefully decorated with red roses and music symbols.
Brian Harnik made guests feel welcome. Executive director Bill Seals added his welcome and showed a video about the organization.
Music was provided by the Jack Poster Band. Entertainment was in the form of an athletic and warp-speed painting session by Michael Ostaski, which he describes as an "art explosion." His resulting portrait of Jones was auctioned off.
Major sponsors were Jackie Lee and Jim Houston, Harold Matzner, Mary Hansen-Faris and Daryl Faris, Doris V. Edwards, Suzy and Marvin Friedland, Kay and Barry K. Williams, and Beverley and Douglas Jackson.
Seen around and about were Indian Wells Mayor Mary Roche, Kay Hansen, Jean Ann Hirschi, Ann Greer, Gloria Greer, Adam West, Wayne and Susie Harvey, Pete Schabarum, Gen. Ken Miles and Karen Miles, Jan Harnik, and Bill and Barbara Marx.
- Living under the spell of Jack Jones
- October 14, 2010 - by Pocholo Concepcion for Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines?Jack Jones lived in our consciousness while growing up in the 1970s. No, we didnft seek him out as an idol; it was more like his songs were always on the radio and TV that there was no way of escaping his reach.
On lazy weekend afternoons it was natural to hear gSheh and gWhat I Did For Love,h among many of his hits, on AM radio. At night,TV viewers enjoyed gLove Boath with Jones singing on its soundtrack.
But his popularity actually dates back to the early f60s, when his albums containing ballads and swinging versions of the Great American Songbookstood their ground against the impending British rock invasion.
Jones sounds witty in this e-mail interview.Wefre looking forward to hearing his arresting voice live tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum.
Youfre a famous pop singer, but Judy Garland reportedly once called you gthe best jazz singer in the world.h
I was on her show twice around that time. She was a good friend. At the same time, Mel Torme was the music coordinator on her show. Mel wrote a book about her and claims she said that about me in order to get back at him, as they were having an ongoing feud. I took it with a grain of salt.
But youfve actually recorded songs with various arrangements?big band, country, bossa nova.Which type of music has appealed most to you?
I love big-band jazz, but it is a dying art. I dislike Dorseyesque dance bands, but love to sing with great musicians who can play the charts I have, written by wonderful arrangers. I like to listen to Latin jazz mostly.
You have also interpreted songs by different kinds of artists.Who has made the most impact on you?
Paul Williams, Michel Legrand, and Charles Aznavour. Great emotional and intellectual depth.
Were you surprised when a rock artist like Elvis Costello did a remake of gSheh in almost exactly the same version as yours?
Yeah. Itfs kind of like somebody cutting through your vegetable garden to save time.
Your parents were also in show business. Did they influence your desire to follow in their footsteps?
Yes. They were wonderful performers. However, they hoped I would pursue a less precarious profession. I am lucky to be doing what I love, and have always wanted to sing for my own reasons. Nobody pushed me.
Youfve had a rewarding career.What were some of its low points?
Most of it has been a great adventure. Theonly low points have been moments of being cheated out of something, lied to and manipulated by those who know you will not find out until they are long gone.
What keeps you interested in music?
First, the love of communicating the basic innocence of mankind and seeing the calming effect it has on my audience. Second, working with creative musicians who never play it exactly the same way twice.
Whatfs the greatest lesson you learned from being an entertainer?
People need to be told that theyfre loved (from my opening song by Paul Williams).
- Vocal Legend Jack Jones Releases New Album, Love Makes the Changes
- - Legendary singer Jack Jones, best known for his Grammy-winning vocals for Wives and Lovers and Lollipops and Roses, releases the next chapter in his long history of making hits, Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, out on August 3rd, 2010.-
Los Angeles, CA (Vocus) August 12, 2010
Legendary singer Jack Jones, best known for his Grammy-winning vocals for Wives and Lovers and Lollipops and Roses, releases the next chapter in his long history of making hits, Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, out on August 3rd, 2010.
Jack Jones, noted the "best jazz singer in the World," by Judy Garland, "THE greatest 'puref singer in the world" by Mel Torme and "One of the major singers of our time" by Frank Sinatra, is one of the most recognizable artists in the world. During the 60fs, Jack released his first of many hits Lollipops and Roses, soon followed by Wives and Lovers, She Loves Me, Lady, The Race is On, What I Did For Love, and the Grammy nominated Impossible Dream. These songs paved the way for his musical career spanning over five decades and encompassing more than sixty albums, including Grammy nominated Jack Jones Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett.
A double Grammy winner, Jack performs around the globe to sold-out audiences in venues ranging from Jazz clubs to the London Palladium. Whether he performs with his trio or full Symphony orchestra, his musical perfection, vocal passion, phenomenal breath control and impeccable phrasing all unfailingly illustrate why he stands with the luminaries. From the thematic threads of his shows to his ability to make the largest halls intimate, Jack Jones is the very definition of a complete and total entertainer.
Love Makes the Changes: The Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, was created as a tribute to the lives and shared love of Jackfs good friends and celebrated songwriters, Alan and Marilyn Bergman. During their distinguished career, their songs have been nominated for sixteen Academy Awards, for which they have won three: "The Windmills of Your Mind" in 1968, "The Way We Were" in 1973, and the score for "Yentl" in 1984. "Windmills" and "The Way We Were" also earned Golden Globe Awards, and "The Way We Were" earned two Grammys. Among their songs are: for Frank Sinatra "Nice 'n' Easy;" for Ray Charles "In the Heat of the Night," for Fred Astaire "That Face," " You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," "So Many Stars," "The Summer Knows," "Where Do You Start?," "On My Way to You," "You Must Believe In Spring," to name but a few.
Jack explains the motivation behind the release, "For years, my dear friends Alan and Marilyn Bergman have had the ideal loving and pure relationship, truly sharing almost every ounce of life. I call them: "The Masters and Johnson of Romance." So I wondered, 'How could they possibly perceive what it feels like when the music doesn't keep playing?f Well, on this CD We pay tribute to the most perceptive and creative couple I know. They have inspired me to put many of their wonderful creations into one of my weak story linescEach of these song tells part of the story, most of which you and I have lived through. You write your own story as you follow the songs, and even if it doesn't turn out to be much of a book, it will be one hell of a score."
1. That Face
2. It Might Be You
3. I Wonft Believe My Eyes
4. Nice 'Nf Easy
5. The Windmills of Your Mind
6. In Another Life
7. The Summer Knows
8. Where Do You Start?
9. Medley: the Way We Were / How Do You Keep the Music Playing?
10. On My Way To You
11. Love Makes the Changes
12. What Matters Most
For more information, please visit: http://www.jackjones.org/ or http://www.jackjonesmusic.com
- Jack Jones opens "The TV Land Awards"
- Jack Jones sings of life, love from experience
- January 5, 2010 - by Bruce Fessier for The Desert Sun
Jack Jones doesn't like to discuss past wives and lovers.
He'll do that Saturday at his McCallum Theatre show, "Jack Jones Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman," a concert he describes as "Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy doesn't get girl in the end."
Obviously, Jack's love life hasn't been all lollipops and roses. The two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, who turns 72 on Thursday, used to say, "I'm getting married again five minutes before I die so I can say she stuck with me through the end." But his fortunes changed last summer when he married an interior designer and former medical researcher from Germany in what must seem like a midsummer's night dream. First of all, Jack met the new Eleanora Jones through an introduction from the previous Mrs. Jones, Kim, his former wife of 23 years.
It's been such a fairy tale romance, Jack made up a story to describe its conception:
"The good fairy looked down at me and said, 'I'm going to send you the perfect woman,'" he told Eleanora. "She kept looking and looking and finally, she said, 'Screw it. I'll go myself.'"
So Eleanora came to their wedding in bare feet and a bridal outfit looking like the manifestation of that fairy.
Jack won't say how many wives he's had ? that wouldn't be fair to Eleanora, he says.
He'd rather communicate his love story through the songs of the husband-and-wife songwriters he's saluting at the McCallum. The Bergmans have written such hits as "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "The Way We Were."
Jack did this show in New York and was so inspired by the audience reaction and a New York Times rave review he went into a studio and recorded his first CD since his 1999 tribute to his friend Tony Bennett, which earned a Grammy nomination.
Audiences on his recent British tour applauded him for a Bergman song that was only recorded as a demo, "In Another Life." The tale of never-ending love says, "In another life, we'll still be together. There'll be no good-bye."
He does a Bergman-Michel LeGrand blues tune recorded but unreleased by Ray Charles, "Love Makes the Changes," that describes how it feels to have your lover leave you. He does the Bergman song "On My Way To You," which so describes his feelings about finding Eleanora, he used it in his wedding. It says, "I wouldn't change a single day/ What went amiss or went astray/ because it led me to you."
"The reason I don't like to discuss my past is there are factions of the business world and society who don't understand and haven't lived through show business," he said over lunch recently in Palm Desert. "To them, (entertainers) are shallow or low people. One thing I have to say for myself is I didn't love them and leave them. I loved them and married them. But it's embarrassing to my wife's family to keep going over and over how many times."
Eleanora travels with Jack, eliminating the separation most entertainers endure. But Jack has learned not to take Tiger Woods' path on the road.
"I only succumbed to temptation when I was very young and I learned from it," he said. "In that time since, I have never cheated on anybody because I don't want to live that kind of life of deceit. Once you get started with a life of deceit, you're done for. You spend more time covering your own tracks when you should be thinking about something productive. You're disgracing and embarrassing your partner."
One thing many people don't understand about entertainers is they can be sexual targets for both groupies and guys trying to look important.
"What it is many time is the agents, the managers and handlers who egg you on," he said. "They'd say, 'Jeez, this girl loves you. She's your biggest fan and I hear she...' They're trying to make themselves look good because they're going to fix you up with the best woman you've ever met. If you're not strong and you haven't made up your mind that you don't want to live that way, then that's what (screws you up)."
What Jack likes most about this marriage is its "normalcy."
"She cares about me and not about what's going to be good for her, and I feel the same way about her," he said. "It's the closest humanization of the term unconditional love."
- Jack Jones has a Cliffs date: Crooner promotes first album since Nineties
- by James Kershaw
Just like fellow singers Frank Sinatra, who worked as a paper delivery boy, and one-time hospital porter Mick Jagger, Jack Jones struggled to get by before finding stardom.
The veteran crooner held down a job as a petrol station attendant when his first album was released in the early Sixties.
"It was a hard period of my life," recalls Jack, who comes from California."In high school I'd been a gas station attendant and when I started singing, I went back to my old bosses and asked for a job to make endsmeet."
But for Jack it was a defining moment in what was to become a glittering career, spanning more than five decades.
"I was wiping a guy's windscreen one sunny June afternoon and my record was playing on his radio,"he says with astonishment.
"I wanted to tell him it was my song, but I just couldn't bear to. He would never have believed me. I remember the song was I've Got a Lot of Livin' to Do. It should have been called I've Got a Lot of Wipin' to Do!"
Almost 50 years, and some 50 albums later, the 71-year-old is still at it, and comes to the Cliffs Pavilion, Westcliff, to perform Saturday, November 28.
The singer is promoting his new album I Never Had it So Good, his first release since the early Nineties.
The album features previously unreleased tracks, covers of classics like the Beach Boys?s God Only Knows and the title track by songwriting duo Paul Williams and Roger Nichols.
He says: "That track I recorded a while ago, but I've always liked it because it's a positive and romantic tale.
"I've been married for five months so it goes rather well with my life at the moment.
"There are some special tracks on the album, ones that were way ahead of their time and sound like they were recorded yesterday.
"It's good to get a release back out there."
Jack's musical tastes are firmly rooted in jazz and swing, and he was inspired by classic crooners such as Sammy Davis and Mel Torme.
During high school, a young Jack was treated to an unforgettable moment when his classmate Nancy Sinatra persuaded her father Frank to sing for the pupils.
Ol' Blue Eyes later commented on Jack's own ability, saying he was "one of the major singers of our time."
Putting these influences aside, the singer is not too sure where his love for the style comes from.
"I have no idea why I like my sound," he says.
"That's just what I wanted to do. You could ask the same thing to Michael Buble now.
"I?m just a complete jazz-influenced person and quite meticulous in doing things in the right way.
"A well crafted song is important to me, and music has to be done in the correct way"
Even though he's performed at prestigious venues like New York's Carnegie Hall and the Oak Room, Jack was most concerned about doing things right than when he sang in the White House ? on more than one occasion.
"I have been there a couple of times," he recalls.
"Once during Lyndon Johnson's presidency, once for Ronald Reagan, and then for Bill Clinton.
"It's very nice performing there, but you feel like you're on your toes and you have to do things properly.
"It?s a bit like meeting the Queen and asking yourself 'are my manners up to par here?'"
When not performing for presidents or singing elsewhere, Jack can be found acting, and has starred in a number of TV shows and films.
One of his most recent roles was as himself in comedy film Cruise of the Gods, starring Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan and David Walliams.
"I had a really great time doing that," he says.
"Steve wasn't around that much, but Rob and I had a great time."
"I have used acting in my work to tell a story and I find that very gratifying."
Jack admits he's pleased to be coming back to perform in Westcliff, a town he's visited many times over the years.
The singer has both family connections to Leigh and a friend of his used to run Talk of the South nightclub, now known as Talk.
"It's pretty, it's on the ocean, it's a typical British resort and it's lovely," he says.
"I love the Cliffs Pavilion as a venue and the crowds are always great and very respectful."
"I'm very much looking forward to coming back."
- Music: Jack Jones at Fairfield Halls, Croydon
- November 22, 2009 - by Graham Moody for Elmbridge Guardian
When Jack Jones steps on to the Fairfield Halls stage on Friday he will no doubt see some familiar faces in the audience, not least one couple who have see him almost 200 times.
The 71-year-old singer of hits like The Race is On, The Impossible Dream and Wives and Lovers tours England every 18 months and has become accustomed to seeing the same faces in the front of the crowd, something he admits is a pretty good feeling.
"It's always rewarding with so many old friends at every show," he says.
"One couple has been to see me 195 times before the start of this tour, they are always sitting down front and that's really really wonderful."
"The last time they flew over to New York to see me and a couple of years ago they came to a show I did near where I live and brought a whole group over with them, so I took them out for dinner."
"We are a part of each other's lives now and its a wonderful feeling to know they have supported me all this time."
"When neither of us are able to get in a car anymore and drive we will miss each other."
Jones has just released a new album over here, I Never Had it So Good, full of songs he recorded years ago but never released.
"It is an album I have had on vinyl and because I got so many emails asking me when I was going to put it on CD I decided to but it together," he says.
"The songs kind of got lost in the shuffle all these years but they stand up today and were ahead of their time."
"They are all the original mixes just remastered into digital quality."
"I haven't released this one in America but I have just put together my first new vocal album in 10 years over there."
"It's a wonderful album and I just wanted to do it."
"I did this project in New York, a tribute to Alan and Marilyn Bergman, I did these songs and put them in an order they told a story."
"It was so well received on the night and in all of the papers I ran into the studio and recorded it."
- An Aging Lion Reflects on His Glory Days
- September 14, 2009 - by Stephen Holden for The New York Times
The lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, with their focus on the psychology of relationships and the collision of romantic dreams with mundane reality, are traditionally associated with female singer, most notably Barbra Streisand. You might describe many of them as soap-opera ready.
When a male crooner, especially an aging lion like Jack Jones, takes on the Bergman catalog, with its preponderance of ballads, the atmosphere shifts from the boudoir to a twilit sports arena visited by an old-timer ruminating on his glory days.
Mr. Jones, who opened the fall season of the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel on Wednesday with a nearly hour-and-a-half show devoted to the Bergmans' songs, built the program around a boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl story. Eventually reunited, the imaginary couple are grateful for a relationship they initially took for granted. But that scenario was really a way for Mr. Jones to paraphrase his own biography right up through his recent marriage, which he celebrated with the happy-ending ballad "On My Way to You."
Vocally, Mr. Jones has traded beauty for depth. His craggy baritone (reminiscent at times of Mark Murphy) bears little resemblance to the boyish crooning on his first hit, "Lollipops and Roses." Not only his sound but also his perspective is that of a proud, weathered mountaineer (he is 71) testing his reflexes before making another ascent as winter approaches.
If his voice is no longer pretty, it is majestic, its bottom end a deep, rumbling bass-baritone used for intense dramatic emphasis. The upper register is reserved for quirky departures from pop decorum and for blues improvisations. On "Love Makes the Changes," a little-known song with music by Michel Legrand, Mr. Jones became a ferocious blues shouter, and his excellent band ? Mike Renzi on piano, Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums ? followed him into the Chicago blues cellar evoked by the music.
Mr. Jones found fresh things to say in ballads that everyone knows. "The Way We Were" pivoted around the questions "Would we?/Could we?"" each separated by a long, thoughtful pause. The song was coupled with "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?," in which he emphasized its lurking fear expressed in the words, ""he more I love the more that I'm afraid/That in your eyes I may not see forever."
Fear, pride, nostalgia and new beginnings: Mr. Jones put himself on the line.
Jack Jones performs through Saturday at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, Manhattan; (212) 419-9331, algonquinhotel.com.
- A singing slice of history at Yoshi's
- August 13, 2009 - by David Becker for Bay Area Jazz Examiner
I'm not even going to attempt to assess the artistic merit of lounge/jazz singer extraordinaire Jack Jones - the very thought gives me a headache.
But there's no denying the historical achievement of the white-haired wonder, whose two signature tunes both are key elements in defining a certain period in American culture.
Of the theme from "The Love Boat," not much needs to be said. If you were part of the swinging '70s, it's a siren call from the pre-AIDS, pre-Moral Majority days. If not, it's 24-karat kitsch.
"Wives and Lovers," the Burt Bacharach-penned treatise on how a woman should please her man, is a more complex matter that invites closer scrutiny. Aside from the stunning (by today's standard's) sexism, consider that the whole song is based on the premise that the average woman spends the afternoon at home while her breadwinning hero fights the world. Really, it used to work that way. Or at least it was supposed to.
To really appreciate the song in a modern context, I suggest having it playing in the background as you watch "Revolutionary Road." The song starts to sound positively sinister.
And don't even get me started on Jones' earworm of a theme song for the Chrysler New Yorker. Or that hair!
The maestro makes a rare San Francisco appearance at Yoshi's on Friday and Saturday. Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m., and tickets are $35.
- Jack Jones' five decades of love songs
- August 13, 2009 - by Carolyne Zinko for Sun Francisco Chronicle
Should we hold singer Jack Jones or songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David responsible?
"Hey, little girl/ Comb your hair, fix your makeup/ Soon he will open the door/ Don't think because there's a ring on your finger/ You needn't try anymore/ For wives should always be lovers too."
So begins - by modern standards, anyway - what may be one of the most politically incorrect songs of all time, "Wives and Lovers." But back in the day, it made Jones' career, earning him a Grammy in 1964 (the first of two in his career). Jones, who for five decades has been among the biggest names in the world of romantic balladeering, is coming to Yoshi's on Friday for a two-night stand. It was in San Francisco that he got a break in the 1950s - a three-week gig at Fack's II, which led to his discovery by Kapp Records producer Pete King, who signed him to the label.
Jones, no sexist throwback, is a self-described "mushy guy" who likes expressing his tender side in song. The son of Hollywood crooner Allan Jones ("A Night at the Opera," "Show Boat") has recorded works by Sammy Cahn, Cole Porter and the Gershwins, and counts among his influences and heroes Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett. At 71, his voice is nimble and lush, his phrasing fluid.
Unlike Tom Jones, he's not going to dabble in a country-western career, or try his hand at dance club mashups or remixes. He's an unapologetic musical purist.
"I love analyzing what goes into making two people happy together," Jones said in a phone chat from his home in La Quinta, near Palm Desert, this week. "I have a lot of experience in researching it."
By that, he means several marriages, including his most recent, to former Bay Area resident Eleonora Peters Laub, an exercise pal of his ex-wife's whom he married two months ago.
"There is something so cathartic about expressing it with music, with song," Jones said. "There is something about expressing yourself that way that is good for the soul and for the upper respiratory system. And now, in the later years of my career, my voice is just there - knock on wood - and I don't have to think about producing it. When I was young, my low notes were not there yet. I can do stuff with my voice now that I never could."
Tail-end Baby Boomers may recognize him as the voice of the theme song to the 1970s ABC-TV show "The Love Boat." Still younger fans are being made thanks to the Internet.
"We ran into two flight attendants from Lufthansa on their way back to the airport," he said. "They said to my wife, who is German, 'Who is that guy?' and she said, 'That's my husband, a singer, Jack Jones.' 'Jack Jones?' they said. 'He's on my iPod.'
"And then I heard from Sweden, from some guy who wrote in to my Web site," Jones said. "He said he wasn't a big fan, but he wanted to bring his son to see me at the Palladium in London because he's a big fan. He was 17 years old!"
Now Jones' biggest fear isn't stage fright or boredom singing the same songs over and over again, but image in a culture celebrating celebrity and youth.
"I want to perform with a bag over my head," he joked. "I don't want to spoil the illusion, because they'll see I'm an older guy. I used to curse people aiming a camera at me - unflattering angles, posted on YouTube. Now I can't complain because it's opened up a whole new market."
Jack Jones performs at Yoshi's, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco, on Friday and Saturday. Shows at 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets: $35; see www.yoshis.com for details.
- Artifact heralds career in pop
- Gig promoted in ad helped launch performer who sang "Love Boat" theme song, will land here again this week
July 8, 2009 - by Jerry Fink for The Las Vegas Sun
An ad in an old Las Vegas newspaper, turning yellow with age, bears witness to the beginning of the long, illustrious singing career of Jack Jones.
Jones was 19 years old when the ad ran in 1957, announcing that he would appear for a week with his father, Allan Jones, at the Thunderbird. Also in the show were the Thunderbird Dancers and comedian Don Tannen.
Allan Jones was a well-known actor and singer, perhaps best remembered as the romantic straight man to the Marx Brothers in "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races." His big hit song was "The Donkey Serenade," recorded on the day Jack was born - Jan. 14, 1938.
He invited his teenage son - who had just signed with Capitol Records - to join him for the Las Vegas engagement.
"That was my first professional gig," the 71-year-old two-time Grammy winner said from his home in La Quinta, Calif.
The newspaper was found by his former drummer John Nasshan, a disc jockey on KUNV 91.5-FM.
"John and a friend of his were remodeling a house and they went down underneath the floorboards and found a whole bunch of junk down there, including an old newspaper with the ad in it," Jones said.
He keeps the ad framed on a wall at his home but doesn't need it to remind him of his debut.
"We had special material written for it," Jones said. "We did a parody of 'Que Sera,' the Doris Day hit. Then I did a solo and Dad would sit and read a paper while I was singing. It was fun. Then we would do another duet, 'The Donkey Serenade.'
"It gave me enough of a taste of what it must be like to be a star in Las Vegas. It was a good experience." Jones - who was influenced by Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett, among others - grew up in a house full of music.
"My father was more of a classical singer than anything else. He did light opera," Jones said. "He wasn't thrilled that I was doing Sinatra all the time."
After Vegas he appeared in small clubs across the country while Capitol tried to find a niche for the young man who was a natural for pop and jazz at a time when rock'n' roll was taking off.
"Capitol wanted me to be a rock singer," Jones says. "They were trying to push me in that direction. They'd give me songs and I did some of them, but they were terrible, not even good rock 'n' roll songs. They fired me. I couldn't sell rock 'n' roll."
Shortly after that he was drafted and spent a couple of years in the Air Force. After his discharge he was performing at small club in San Francisco when Pete King of Kapp Records heard him and signed him.
"Kapp was a very proactive label," Jones said. "They were very adventurous and signed me to do what I could do best, which was quality material."
The first song the label gave him was "Lollipops and Roses" (1962), which earned him a Grammy for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance. It also earned him an engagement at the famed Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
"That was my real debut," says Jones, who has recorded more than 50 albums, with 17 charting on Billboard's Top 20 list.
There was a rapid succession of hits, including "Wives and Lovers," "Dear Heart" and "Call Me Irresponsible." Jones was selling millions of pop records in the '60s and '70s when the world was obsessed with rock 'n' roll.
"I survived," he says modestly.
One of his most well-known recordings is the theme from "The Love Boat," a TV series that ran from 1977 to 1986. He did some acting, but not a lot. With his movie-star good looks he could have been a natural for film.
"I wanted to do that, but I happened to get a hit record right off the bat," he says. "At the time I was going to acting class and I was trying out for roles. But I got successful as a singer and it kind of swept me away. I kept saying, 'I'm going to get back to it,' but once they get hold of you and see a lot of money being made on the road, they don't want to support your full agenda. So you're busy and not exposed to what's going on ...
"Martin Scorsese wanted me to be in one of his hit movies, 'Casino' or 'Goodfellas,' I think, but I wasn't able to get out of something I was committed to. That was extremely frustrating."
Jones keeps up a heavy work schedule, with an upcoming tour of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He'll be back in Vegas in September for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon at South Point. He's working on remastering some of his hits. He plans to have an album out this year paying tribute to songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman. He's working on a DVD taped at an earlier performance at South Point.
And he may take up golf again, after laying off for years because of back problems.
"I just had a wonderful operation," Jones says. "Laser surgery cleaned up the discs in my back. I wasn't able to do anything. Now I'm totally free ... My back is back to where it was 35 years ago ... I may go back to golf. I used to say to my doctor, 'Just make me a bad golfer again.'"
- Jonesing for the Classics: Rediscover the American Songbook with pop singer Jack Jones.
- February, 2009 - by Chelsea Greenwood for The Boca Raton Magazine
You may not know his name, but you certainly know his voice, especially when you hear Jack Jones crooning the theme to "The Love Boat." When he first recorded the song, Jones didn't recognize a hit in the making, he says.
"I said, 'Good luck with it. Between you and me, I don't know who's going to watch a show about a cruise ship.'"
But Jones has had enough successes during his 50-year career to compensate for that oversight. Raised in Hollywood by his singer/movie star father, Allan Jones, and actress mother, Irene Hervey, Jones has been performing for as long as he can remember. Over the years, he has produced more than 50 albums (17 of which made Billboard's Top 20 list) and he has won two Grammys for best male pop performance with "Lollipops and Roses" and "Wives and Lovers." He has performed with Judy Garland and Dean Martin, and he counts Mel Torme and Tony Bennett as friends.
Now, Jones tours the country to bring audiences back to that golden age of entertainment with his renditions of classics from the American Songbook; he'll be performing at the Royal Room (The Colony Hotel, 155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach, 561/659-8100, thecolonypalmbeach.com) on Feb. 24-28 and March 3-7.
Here, the singer whom The New York Times called "the most technically accomplished male pop singer of a vanishing ilk," reflects upon his accomplished career.
What did you learn about performing from your father? He wanted me to be trained as a singer, as a proper singer, not just somebody who goes out and abuses his voice. So he sent me to two different operatic teachers, and I'm most thankful for that because, knock on wood, throughout my career, I haven't had any nodes or nodules or anything like that on my cords.
I read that you were inspired by a performance that Frank Sinatra gave once at your high school. What effect did it have on you? I was already a fan. My ears perked up when I was buying his albums and studying them, studying the phrasing, the interpretation. The whole mindset behind what he was doing was just fabulous compared to other pop singers. Nancy [Sinatra] was a friend of mine; one day, Nancy didn't say anything about [the performance], we were told to be in the auditorium for an assembly. So we went down there, the curtain opened and out walked Sinatra.
It was just wonderful. He was doing all those songs for swingin' lovers like, "Got You Under My Skin" and "Jeepers Creepers." That was good stuff in those days. We didn't know much else. All we knew was the beginning of rock 'n' roll. We didn't have a lot to distract us from the Sinatra kind of stuff.
Your career took off during a period?the mid-60s?when rock music was starting to capture the imagination of the younger generation. At the time, you also were a young man. What was the attraction of the big band sound, and did you feel that was a risky move given the trends at the time in music? I really wanted to be a rock 'n' roll singer, but I couldn't do it. [Kapp Records] signed me, and then I went in the Air Force Reserve. They gave me two weeks off, and, during the two weeks, I made an album; that record was called "Lollipops and Roses." Now we're into [the era of] rock 'n' roll, and here's this beautiful album with lush strings, and we're thinking: "We don't have much of a chance with this, but we like it; it's pretty." And "Lollipops and Roses" started to become a hit in Boston. And they essentially said, "If you shorten this record somehow, you could have a hit. It's a little bit too long." So we did, and it was a hit. Then I won a Grammy. [laughs]
It [his career] all was rolling along, and I couldn't stop it if I wanted to. But at the same time, I was too young almost to catch up with what was going on. I was trying to be a confident and sophisticated performer performing for older people than my generation.
You were a mainstay as a guest during the heyday of television variety shows and talk shows. What was your favorite show to appear on and why? I loved doing the Bob Hope Show, and I did quite a few of those. I loved Bob; I loved the light comedy and the fun of it all. The other one I used to do all the time was Dean Martin. That was the most fun; his attitude was so relaxed.
Judy Garland was another favorite of mine. As unpredictable as she was, that was her charm. When the audience watched her and heard her sing, the unpredictability of it all was part of the allure. You never knew when she was going to get to the end of that note and if she was going to show up. It was very exciting, but she was one of the most fun people to sing with.
We did the "Judy Garland Christmas Show," and we used to sit and wonder if the show was actually going to be taped because she wouldn't come out of her dressing room. Her agents and managers would be begging her to come out.
They had a "Yellow Brick Road" painted on the floor from her dressing room all the way to the stage. It was really like dealing with a little child.
When did you sense that the "Love Boat" theme song was starting to take on a life of its own? At every cruise that would take off from Port Everglades, they' play my record. Everyone would stand on the side throwing confetti and singing "The Love Boat." I went out there one time incognito and stood there to see if anyone would notice it was me. I started to sing, and somebody told me to shut up because they couldn't hear my record playing.
Do you think that the classics that you, Tony Bennett and others continue to perform, and that so many people still enjoy, will continue to be appreciated by future generations? It all depends on marketing. I think you can make anything trendy if you have enough resources, so it depends on which they think they can do more with.
Eventually, all the people that can relate to that music will die off, and these kids will be left with four and five chords to play for the rest of their lives. My daughter, who [turns] 18 in February, we sit in the car and she plays stuff, and there's a lack of sophistication in music itself because it's so easy for kids to put a song together. It's become easier and easier, and the bar has gone lower and lower as far as musicianship.
All us guys are going to die off, and then I don't know what music is going to be. It's going to be like going into that bar in "Star Wars"?listening to strange sounds and funny-looking people.
What do you think audiences seek when they come to your shows? The romance. It's funny, women come in and some of them are like little girls; they're between their 40s and 60s, and they just want to swoon?of course, I look at myself in the mirror and go, "Not at this." But that's what's going on. It's not like Tom Jones; they're not looking to throw their underwear on stage. They just want to have that romantic moment.
- Jack Jones Is Still Swinging!
- February 22, 2009 - by Leslie Gray Streeter for Palm Beach Post
A reviewer once lamented that Jack Jones might most be remembered for the theme of a lovingly cheesy television comedy about romantic shenanigans on a cruise ship.
"He said 'It's too bad people think all he's good for is singing that song,''" Jones remembers. "And that tells you something right there.
"The song, of course, was the theme from ABC's The Love Boat, but Jones happily knows that people understand his talents extend far beyond the soundtrack of the Lido Deck. The 71-year-old crooner, who returns this week to Palm Beach's Royal Room at the Colony Hotel, has had lots of hits - Lollipops and Roses, Call Me Irresponsible, Love with the Proper Stranger, The Impossible Dream and others.
Having celebrated his 50th anniversary in show business last year, the singer, who could count Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Tony Bennett as fans, takes his Love Boat fame in stride.
Q: So you celebrated your 50th anniversary in show business last year. What was that like?
The brain is something. It doesn't want to look at it as having gone by that fast!
Q: I Understand that you saw Frank Sinatra sing at your high school in Los Angeles, because his daughter Nancy went there,too.
She was a year behind me. She was this little skinny kid carrying her books. We used to talk in the patio at lunchtime. ... They kept it kind of quiet - we were just summoned to an assembly, and he was there. I had already started to examine his renaissance. He had already come back from that dark place he had gone to, and he was a teacher of breathing and phrasing. I realized how great he was, and suddenly he was playing at my school! It was like being in heaven.
Q: Your father, Allen Jones, was famous, as well.
He wasn't famous like Frank. You know, he was big in the late '30s and very well known for Donkey Serenade, and for being in Show Boat. But by the time I got to high school, no one knew who he was, like my daughter's friends with me. I have an 18-year-old daughter, and those kids only know me because I'm visible here in town. Otherwise it wouldn't mean that much to them. We had her 18th birthday party at the house. When the kids were leaving, they spotted my Grammy and went nuts.
Q: Do they know that you're actually famous?
I don't make that big of a deal about it. They know I'm on the road. We have our own niche that has nothing whatsoever to do with what's on the radio. I do like some of it, like John Mayer - I'm gonna put his song Daughters in my show. And then Jason Mraz, who is just extremely gifted. There are a few in any generation that are prolific.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a singer?
There was never a question. I was one of the lucky ones. My daughter's sung with me several times, but she's not passionate about it. Now with music the way it is, it's not as challenging as it used to be.
Q: In what way?
People are gonna say I'm a snob, but it's not as challenging as it used to be from an aesthetic and intellectual point of view. Then somebody like John Mayer comes along and makes people think. Or ... what's that guy from Hootie and the Blowfish? Darius Rucker. Somebody pointed out to me a song he wrote about his daughter, that was absolutely profound. There is some stuff that is going on that is challenging, but there's so much that the media pumps out there for commercial reasons that isn't. It's all follow the bouncing ball.
Q: What is it about the crooner era that has endured, and has so many younger guys singing it too?
It allowed people to touch each other, both figuratively and literally. You can dance, and touch each other cerebrally.
Q: In your 51st year in show business, what do you know about being a performer that you didn't know when you started?
When I started out, I had nothing to talk about. I had no history. Somebody said "You know, you should talk more," so they sent me to this wonderful television writer Harry Crane, who used to write for all these variety shows. He said "What you do is, you go out there, do a couple of songs and then you say, "You know, this room is so small, a man dropped his toupee on the floor, and they had wall-to-wall carpeting!" I said "I can't do that!" My own self-effacing humor developed over time. I tell the history of the song, where I was when I heard it. It all comes together, and that doesn't change. I do that in front of a symphony and at the Colony. When you come see me there, you'll see. It's all the same thing.
- The Singerfs Singer: Jack Jones at Cerritos
- November 17, 2008 - by Glen Creason
Unfortunately, many of us who came of age during the dawning of the Rock and Roll era missed out on some really great popular music from traditions predating the Shaking, Rattling and Rolling. I can remember seeing these dinosaurs on variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and even Jack Parr crooning the classics of the Great American songbook while I yawned away, waiting for Elvis or the Beatles to raise my youthful blood pressure. Now, in the early September of my years I have rediscovered the glory of these great entertainers and am saddened that I missed them the first time around. Greats like Mel Torme, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Matt Monroe, Robert Goulet, Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney come to mind when I cast back into TV-land for guest-singers on such shows. Happily, some of these great ones still make appearance and can still belt out the classics like they did when Hector was a pup. On Sunday afternoon, one of the real prime examples of such fountain of youth singers was on display at the Performing Arts Center and his show was a revelation for we wet behind the ears rock and rollers. Jack Jones, guest reveler on untold shows in the 60fs and 70fs put on a clinic of the vocal arts and left an entire hall in awed adulation of his limitless, ageless set of pipes. For close to two hours Jones told a charming story or twenty, moved out into the crowd of avid fans pressing the flesh and just put gilt edges on some really great songs. The show offered a delightful variety in the material, ranging from Cole Porterfs "Our Love Is Here to Stay" to Leon Russellfs "A Song for You" that stretched the melodies and emotional impact to the limits. There were certain classics like Johnny Mercerfs hard edged "I Want to Be Around," the utterly romantic "What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life," a crisp "It Was Just One of Those Things" and a decidedly regal "Stranger in Paradise." There were also surprises from more contemporary sources like a beautiful "God Only Knows" from the Beach Boys songbook, "Just In Time" done as a bossa nova, an R&B soaked "Kansas City" that did Wilbert Harrison proud, and a swinging "All of Nothing at All" that Jones boomed nonchalantly while striding around the orchestra seats thrilling his fans. Of course, the dapper one could not escape the hall without singing his vinyl record hits of "Lollipops and Roses," "Theme from the Love Boat," and the dangerously chauvinistic "Wives and Lovers" much to the delight of the mostly female audience. Backed by a very good quartet centered on pianist Jeff Colella, Jones time and time again sent notes to the top row of the hall with range to spare and turned ballads to pure silk in the lower registers. His best work on a full and satisfying afternoonfs "work" was the exquisite singing of a minor classic called "Our Song" and a magnificent reading of "Somewhere" from "West Side Story." After hearing this absolute master class in vocal appreciation I kind of wished I had listened a little more closely back in 1967 instead of leaving the tone arm up on that "Meet the Beatles" album. I wonder whatever happened to them?