When TOM JONES‘ office called, we were speechless!

Oh, & we also have a Signed Photo and a pair of Front Block Tickets at his July concert in Reading to give away!

The Village Eye office phone rings… “Hello, this is Tom Jones’ office here.  He is sorry he has been unable to call you personally but as you know he has been very busy with The Voice, and now he’s just about to jet off to America to start a tour”.  Editor:  [picks jaw up from flaw] clears throat, says ‘err, hello’ and listens…

You see, as superstars go, we think you’ll agree that they probably don’t come any bigger than Sir Tom. So when we heard that he was coming to town and got in touch with his team to see if he wanted to have a chat with us – never in a million years, did we expecting to hear a thing.  “Tom is really looking forward to playing ‘Reading’ at last”.

Fresh from his recent win with Ruti on this year’s series of The Voice, at 77, Sir Tom doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. In fact, we think he just gets better!  Complete with his new hip, Tom will be visiting Reading this summer as part of a tour of Stately Homes.

Celebrating a music career that spans over five decades, Sir Tom will perform at Englefield House on Sunday 8th July, as part of a series of concerts at some of the country’s most beautiful venues. His management told us that he’ll be performing all of the favourites – and we can’t wait!   “ We know you’re running a competition to win tickets to his concert in July, so he’s asked us to send you a signed photo to add to the prize” Yes. please.

So what do we know about Sir Tom? It’s well documented that the Welsh can ‘belt them out’.  But just how did a young man from ‘The Valleys’ become one of the worlds most recognisable music icons?

As a boy, Sir Tom had tuberculosis, which saw him bedridden for around two years.  This convalescence meant he had little to do during that time other than to listen to music…. which is where it all began.

Marrying his childhood sweetheart Melinda in March 1957, shortly after they had their only son, Mark. To support his young family, Jones worked various jobs including in a glove factory and in construction.  In the evenings he played at various pubs and clubs to top up his income. Then in In 1963 Tom became the lead singer of a small local band ‘Tommy Scott and the Senators’. It was at a gig in The Top Hat, Cwmtillery, where his first Manager, Gordon Mills spotted the singer and signed him up.  After Gordon passed away in 1986, Jones’ son Mark stepped into the fold and has managed him ever since.

Although his first single in 1964, “Chills and Fever”,  didn’t chart, the follow up “It’s Not Unusual”, became an international hit after offshore pirate radio station Radio Caroline promoted it – instantly propelling him to superstardom.  Since then, he has sold over 100 million records with thirty-six top 40 hits in the UK and nineteen in the United States. There is only one word to describe him. Legend.

Now, Sir Tom is the proud owner of many a musical prize, a Silver Clef Award for Lifetime Achievement and a Knighthood from Her Majesty The Queen in 2006 – but did you know he once won best actor at the Golden Globes? The singer picked up the gong at the 1970 ceremony in the best actor in a TV musical or comedy category, for his show This Is Tom Jones. He’s also appeared – as himself – in a number of TV programmes and films, including Mars Attacks!, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and The Simpsons, and has even turned his hand to acting, playing Dick Turpin in an episode of 1980s TV show Fantasy Island!

He’s sung with pretty much every legend in the music industry too: Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Robbie Williams – even Elvis! He’s covered songs by Prince, Leonard Cohen, Lenny Kravitz, Beatles, Ram Jam, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, Van Morrison and Engelbert Humperdinck… The list goes on.

Sir Tom has huge plans penned into his diary for the rest of the year too.  In addition to his upcoming USA and UK tours, he’s also revealed that he’ll be performing for the Queen at her upcoming birthday party –  and is preparing to take any request that comes his way from the monarch!

“Does he fancy a set at The Sunshine Festival, Marvellous or even at Burghfest then?” we ask. “Unfortunately not, he’ll still be on tour!”   Never mind.  We tried.

We have a signed photo and a pair of Front Block Tickets for his concert on 8th July in Reading to give away… If you’d like to win this exciting prize, enter here and answer the following question:

Where will Sir Tom be performing on July 8th?

a: Englefield  b: Mapledurham  c: Wellington

Terms & Conditions: Closing date for entries is midnight on Thursday 31st May.  The winner will be picked at random and announced on our Facebook page (please click here and like us if you haven’t already done so) and notified by telephone on Friday 1st June.   Competition entry limited to one per person over the age of 18. Winner agrees to a picture being published in a future issue of the magazine. No cash alternative.