January 26, 2018 – by Hilary Porter for Daily Echo

THEY were the hottest tickets in town selling out within two weeks.

Eastleigh’s Concorde Club rolled out the red carpet for one of the last of the great American crooners Jack Jones who is celebrating his 80 th birthday with a UK tour.

Frank Sinatra described him as “one of the major of singers of our time” and it is easy to see why after this masterful performance.

As soon as he hit the stage you knew that you were in the presence of a major recording star.

He has more than 70 albums to his credit with 32 Top 50 hits on the US Billboard chart including three number ones. Incredibly he has never had a top 75 hit on this side of the pond.

An army of Jack Jones’ fans came from many miles around to pay homage to the Grammy award winning star who has played to packed audiences worldwide.

It was another great coup for the Stoneham Lane club. Jones is the latest in a glittering line up of music legends who have graced its stage from both sides of the Atlantic.

And the singer, whose gigs have included the White House and the bright lights of Las Vegas, was full of praise for the club which has just marked its 60 th anniversary.

He said: “ This a wonderful place to play and I am having such fun.”

It did not take long to see that a big American name was in town with the Hollywood born star’s mega tour bus parked outside and programme sellers doing a brisk trade inside.

Jones mixes swing with jazz and crooning really is in his genes. He has followed in the famous footsteps of his singer-actor father Allan Jones who recorded his hit Donkey Serenade on the night Jack was born.

Jack Jones has his own Hollywood Walk of Fame star right next to his Pa.

With great stage presence, Jones junior effortlessly hit the top notes as he delivered a vintage performance backed by a magnificent array of musicians.

He sprinkled this 90 minute spectacular package with witty one liners delivered with razor sharp accuracy.

Looking every inch the singing superstar, the impeccably dressed Mr Jones loosened his tie and launched into All Or Nothing At All from his Seriously Frank album, celebrating the 100 birthday of his mentor, Frank Sinatra.

Jones’ respect for a well crafted song has led to him recording some of the greatest ballads of all time

And he treated his fans to a selection with a tantalising play list, including The Look of Love, Girl Talk, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face, She’s Funny That Way, For Once In My Life, and Teach Me Tonight.

At times there were tears in his eyes as he delivered tunes which have been so much part of his life.

His fans, who helped to make it one big birthday party for the American visitor, gave him a standing ovation, as he rounded off the night with The Impossible Dream.

A number one on the US Billboard more than 50 years ago, it is a timeless hit.

Amid rapturous applause this American singing legend said: “I don’t know how long it will be before we pass this way again.”

His faithful fans will be hoping that it will be very soon.

Duncan Eaton