October 11, 2016 – By Norm Johnson for Vegas to You

jack-jonesI first met a gentleman by the name of Jack Jones back around 1968, when I was Director of Publicity at the now long-gone Thunderbird Hotel. He was to be our headliner in the showroom, thus it was my chore to stage a Media/VIP party for him, and to make sure the world knew he was at our hotel.

I remember how easy he was to work with. Whatever I asked of him he said, “Let’s do it!” If memory serves me, his two weeks (we did two shows a night in those days) were two of our best for the hotel. Then in 1983, I had been employed by Robert Goulet during his first run at the old Dunes Hotel in 1982, and continued to work for Goulet off and on for the next 25 years. But, this time, we were closing out another highly successful run at the Dunes, and guess who was following us in? You got it, Jack Jones! The two singers were great friends, and one thing Robert loved to do was to tease his buddies. So, on closing night we posted a whole bunch of Robert Goulet photos, business cards, and other stuff all over the green room and the dressing room. I do know Jack called Robert screaming at him (it was a joking response of course).

And over the years I’ve caught his shows at various venues in our little village, and have always been fantastically entertained by a warm, funny and wonderful singer of old songs, great songs, and new songs. I call him the “Song Guy.”

allan-jonesDid you know that his father, Allan Jones, was a well-known singer and actor in the mid ‘30s and ‘40s? They called guys like his father “Matinee Idols” in those days. One of Allan’s big hits (and I mean huge) was “Donkey Serenade,” recorded in 1937. I think that’s where he gets the good looks, and beautiful hair. He definitely inherited the right vocal chords, that’s for sure! And here is a little known fact: In 1959 his father was booked into the Thunderbird Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip as the headliner. Guess who his opening act was. His son, Jack! Nearly 10 years later Jack was the headliner.

He has had a lot of great reviews, but the one he sorta cherishes best is from The New York Times when they printed a review of one of his shows: “He is arguably the most technically accomplished male pop singer today…..” Oh, did I mention that he was the voice behind the song for the T.V. show “The Love Boat?”

Jack has been honored with two Grammy Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Golden Palm, and the Palm Springs Walk of Fame to mention just a few of his many awards and honors gained over a lifetime of great works. He has a ton of wonderful recordings and just recently released, what I believe is one of his top five best albums, “Seriously Frank” (celebrating the 100th Birthday of Frank Sinatra), orchestra arranged and conducted by Patrick Williams, with Dave Grusin on piano. The record was subsequently followed-up with a tour in Los Angeles and the United Kingdom in 2016. And, now, he will be at the Smith Center performing in the fabulous Cabaret Jazz room this coming Monday and Tuesday (Oct 17-18).

All I can tell ya, is this guy can sing his butt off. You will hear a gamut of music from his early days right up to today, and of course a few of from Sinatra. I plan on being there that’s for sure!