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.”