Tom Jones Talks About Elvis

This week Tom Jones is to release a stunning collection of gospel, traditional and spiritual songs which critics are already hailing as one of his finest works. Run On, also recorded by Elvis, is among the songs on the album. And the veteran sex bomb, who still has adoring female fans chucking their underwear on stage, says he is thrilled to be back making waves at an age when other stars are hanging up their microphones. Elvis and I would sing gospel songs around the piano.

When Sir Tom recorded songs for his new album Praise And Blame, the memories of his close friendship with buddy Elvis Presley came flooding back. He revealed it was the King who first told him to sing gospel after they did a duet together in late night music sessions in his Las Vegas hotel suite in the 1970s.

"We'd stand around the piano and sing gospel songs together.
"Elvis said: 'Do they sing gospel in Wales?' I said 'yes but they are called hymns'. So Elvis replied: 'Why don't you record some of them?'
"I told him ... one day I will."

The superstar singers first met in 1965 when the Jones-boyo was invited on to the set of Elvis' movie Paradise Hawaiian Style. They became instant friends and remained so until the King's death in 1977.

Tom said: "It was my first year in the business. Elvis knew my records and wanted to meet me. I was very nervous.
"I walked into Paramount Studios in Hollywood and he waved across. I thought at first he was waving to somebody else. He walked over and told me how much he loved my voice. Elvis said: 'How the hell can you sing like that?'
"I said: 'Well, you're partly to blame. I listened to your records when I was a teenager'.
"Elvis was a great guy, very down to earth. I still miss him."

But the Welsh music legend reckons Elvis, who would have been 75 this year, would not still be recording.
He said: "Elvis loved being Elvis. I don't think he'd like growing old.
"He was a great looking guy and it was sad when he put on weight towards the end. That really bothered him.
"He felt life had caught up with him. He was messed up."

Source: Elvis Information Network / Updated: Jul 27, 2010 
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alsubebe (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 6, 2010report abuse
I'm not sure why anyone cares what TJ has to say about E.
EIW (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
Interesting one this as I run an Elvis Fan Club here in Wales but enjoy the music of Tom Jones and have seen him in concert several times. I believe that Elvis felt a connection with TJ, they had similar backgrounds both had suffered from poverty and both had an intuitive feel for music which released them both from their disadvantaged beginnings. Elvis saw TJ as an equal, a peer and they demonstrated a mutual respect for each other. The fact that TJ is talking of his relationship with Elvis will have no impact on his record sales but he recognises that he is now following Elvis' gospel routes by singing the songs he grew up with himself in Welsh chapels. My heart is with Elvis which means I welcome the stories that his friends tell of him as it these stories that helps our understanding of Elvis' complexities.
Monster (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
In defence of Tom Jones he absolutely did have the subtlety to sing songs like Stand By Me and Suppose but unfortunately not after 1973. If you need proof listen to any of his ballads from the albums Green Green Grass of Home and Delilah - sublime singing on both these albums. But in the seventies even the most tender understated ballad was delivered with a throaty growl suggesting that Tom's cigars and Vegas stints had shaved off the softness he once had leaving him with just his incredible range and power. Elvis and TJ's voice were both more mature in the seventies compared to the smoother quality they had in the sixties but whilst Elvis could still bring tears to the eyes with his singing on his 1970's ballads Tom unquestionably lost any smoothness or smokiness he had before then. Maybe that's what constant touring and Vegas does to a singer? Tom Jones was never an Elvis impersonator - if anything vocally speaking he was far more influenced in his style by soul singers like Otis Redding and Jackie Wilson. And he has only ever been respectful of Elvis. He may not sell as many records but Tom Jones is waaaay to big a star/living legend even to rely on forty year old stories of hanging out with Elvis. If he's asked the question he'll tell the anecdotes but he doesn't jump up and shout about Elvis at every given opportunity.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
Swen - thanks for the respect. Everything is relative when it comes to liking Elvis For instance I find a person to be a 'strange Elvis fan' when they say they enjoy his soundtracks much more than All Shook Up or Dont Be Cruel. Yes there is a person on this site that has stated that several times. I also find it odd when a song of the day like Devil In Disguise gets many negative responses. It was one of his biggest hits post 1962 and yet many dont care for it, so to me that is strange. When did I think Elvis was great? No one touched him 1956-62, no one. Then the soundtracks and bad decisions made him a person with a lot less impact in the music world from 1963-1968. The comeback years again were great late '68 to 1970. Then I feel another rut started in 1971 with patchy albums, robotic Vegas & tour performances and again a lot of bad career decisions, especially no world tour. Yes I saw him at MSG several times and it was thrilling to finally see him, but something was just missing. You had to be there I guess. If Elvis had put this album out instead of TJ, the critics and fans would be praising it as the greatest thing since sliced bread! Of course it doesnt make TJ a better singer than Elvis, I never said that. But the material is sure better than most Elvis 70's albums. Does that make me strange? Your call.
Brian Quinn (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
Whilst a very powerful and successful singer, Tom Jones was not in Elvis' class. He was not an original or historic figure. His record sales are nowhere near those of Elvis. His fan base is mainly female and over 50. Most importantly, he belts out songs and has not got the subtelty to do tracks like 'Stand By Me'; 'Suppose'; 'Please Don't Stop Loving Me' or 'Am I Ready'. Elvis' early 70's material was arguably some of the best he ever made and in my opinion far better than Tom Jones has EVER made. Tom lacks the 'feeling' Elvis could get out of a song. That's why he is THE KING.
Swen (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
Hi "d"! I respect your opinions and your right to have them all the way, but you´re one strange Elvis fan?!?
When you wrote this I came to think of your negative MSG concert reviews.
And I would have given my right arm just to be there!!
When was El good then, "d"??
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
The new Tom Jones cd is better than anything Elvis put out in the 70's with the exception of Elvis Country. Sorry, but its true. Highly recommended.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
I also hate Elvis impersonators, but to dismiss Tom Jones as an impersonator is silly & ridiculous. I never heard of Tom Jones dissing Elvis. I consider both men fine singers. I give Tom kudos for a fine new album. He took a new direction & I hope it pays off.
Chop983 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2010report abuse
I hate Elvis impersonator's and of all the Elvis impersonator's in the world I hate Tom Jones the most, It's the usual thing talk about Elvis as if they we're equals (on Elvis' terms, of course) then proceed to belittle him.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2010report abuse
I bought the Tom Jones cd & I highly recommend it. Had Elvis lived this is the music he may have sung.
Monster (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2010report abuse
I'm a huge Tom Jones fan (prefer Elvis of course!!!) I saw him in concert four times now though the last time (three years ago) wasn't great to be honest. But when I saw him in the mid nineties I couldn't believe the notes he was hitting and sustaining. Nowadays he still hits the notes but he cheats it a little bit more which although disappointing is understandable for a man in his seventies. Anyway, my point is seeing TJ even just a few years ago makes me pine for what could have been with Elvis turned his life around and had he had maybe even another twenty years with us or more. I know his voice may have matured and changed (as has Tom's) but he would still have been blasting out the good stuff in concert and who knows, maybe I would have made it to one of his shows in the mid nineties as well. Oh, one last thing, whilst I love Tom Jones' voice, for me it hasn't been the same since about 1973. It's lost all semblances of the beautiful subtlety it had in the sixties. Quality of recording material is one thing but compare the tone of his voice in the sixties to that of the mid seventies onwards and it's practically a different instrument. Elvis' voice clearly changed but he could still convery real emotion on record up to the end that I'm afraid TJ has sadly lost. But check him out in concert though! :)
Brian Quinn (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2010report abuse
Elvis' version of 'Run On' is 100 times better than the Johnny Cash version in my opinion. Cash has such a monotone voice. I can only listen to a few of his records at any one time.

Just for the record Tom's latest album has dropped to No.2 on the UK Midweek album charts behind Eminem.
snowplow floater (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2010report abuse
Elvis put on weight at the end but so what, he still sang better than ever and looked pretty good most of the time. Who's to say he still wouldn't be performing, i mean he loved music way too much to ever quit singing. He could have become a much bigger country star, imagine someone like Elvis Costelloe writing and producing an album with the real Elvis or T bone Burnett. I'm sure musicians would have queued to work with Elvis. I blame his management for ruining his ability to break out of the rut, plus the industry he supported, musicians, family, friends all drained him financially so he couldn't quit even if he had wanted to because he was too loyal for his own good. Tom is honoured to have sang gospel with Elvis around the piano. Tom's main influence was Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom even found Green Grass of Home on a Killer record.
Mark S. (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2010report abuse
I personally enjoy Elvis’ Vegas/“MOR stuff” the most. :-) However, I do wish he wasn’t as afraid to lose his fanbase as he was and cared a bit more about himself and his “art”. Oh and in my humble opinion Johnny Cash’ version of “Run On” can run circles around TJ’s and Elvis’ for that matter...
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2010report abuse
If only Elvis had had the guts to record such a 'back to roots' album as this. But no, he took the easy way out - recording MOR stuff and playing to the blue rinse crowd in Vegas. What a tragic waste of talent.
KTemple (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 28, 2010report abuse
Deano1, very true in relation to Run On and Johnny Cash. It did get some attention from the media though. Tom's is worth a listen. Either way Elvis' version is the superior one.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 28, 2010report abuse
JLpResLey - You are right, admire was probably the wrong word for me to use. I guess there weren't enough people who truly respected Elvis, the artist, in his inner circle...KTemple, no offense to Mr. Cash, but anyone could have done a better version of "Run On" than he did. In his defense though, he wasn't in the best of health when he recorded it.
KTemple (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 28, 2010report abuse
Has anyone heard Tom's version of Run On from his latest cd?? It very good, much better than Johnny Cash's a few years ago. I'd recommend Tom's new album, praise and blame.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 28, 2010report abuse
Deano1 - I agree with you, I don´t think they were in any danger to be shot by Elvis. But, with the drug abuse and all the guns he had, it´s not always going to be safe. Tom Jones himself has commented on Elvis and his guns a few times, and how much that shocked him. However, I don´t agree about your comments about the admiration. I feel that you pretty much admire the man if you are a yes-man. And it´s not only Tom Jones that admired Elvis, pretty much every artist in show business back then admired Elvis. But I think that the inner circle protected him very much from the outside world. Now, when we are talking about staying healthy we seem to focus on the medications. But he was kept from seeing other stars, which he could get a huge kick of. I think he´d been a lot happier, and I think that had affected his health in a good way. But, Tom Jones admired Elvis for his music, not because he was fun to hang out with.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 28, 2010report abuse
JLpResLey, I am not saying that his friends were the only reason for his problems and yes I too feel that ultimately Elvis was responsible for himself and his untimely death. I don't however think his friends were ever in danger of being shot by Elvis and I don't think that many of them looked at Elvis with the admiration that a Tom Jones did.
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Once again I am amazed by the child like postings by a small minority of people on this site. How is Tom Jones promoting himself, by mentioning his friendship with Elvis? Nobody will buy or not buy this cd because of his relationship with Elvis. They will buy it if they are a Tom Jones fan & if it's good music or not. Wake up the vast majority of the people now buying cd's are no longer interested in Elvis. It's just the older fans such as myself & that number is ever dwindling like the number of survivor's of the Korean war. It's just a fact & the way things go. A progression of time. I will listen to the Tom Jones cd & if it strikes a chord I will probably buy it. I will probably also buy the dvd Elvis On Tour The omission of Johnny B notwithstanding.
IndescribablyBlue (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
The last two comments started me thinking on what Elvis would like to be doing now. With his great talent in front of a camera, and awesome talent with a microphone, I'm thinking he'd be perfect for music videos. That would take a lot of what Elvis didn't like about the music business right out of what he could excel in. No traveling to speak of, no daily performances to wear him out, work to his own schedule. He could make a video, take a break and make another when some piece of music moved him. Perfect. We miss you terribly, Elvis.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
I have nothing against Tom Jones, I´m not a fan but I respect him a lot. He continues to pay tribute to Elvis, which is great. There is no question that TJ and Elvis got along great, and I don´t think TJ talks about Elvis to get publicity. But sometimes I feel that media make too much of a deal with these kind of stories. I´ve read that someone said that Elvis and Tom Jones were best friends, they were never best friends. The same thing happened with Glen Campbell, they got along great too, but Elvis wasn´t that close to any other celebrities. Yes, Tom Jones is healthy and is still recording today, and he deserves some credit for that. But then again, Tom is Tom and Elvis was Elvis. I´m so sick of all these stories that Elvis was surrounded by "yes-men" Yeah, he was, but we all know that Elvis could be pretty violent with all those guns he had. If they hadn´t been "yes-men", perhaps they wouldn´t have been any man. They tried the best they could, Tom Jones could not have made Elvis healthier, only Elvis himself could do that. In the end, Elvis did what Elvis wanted. It´s so sad, but I totally believe that.
silkphoenix (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
While I am a big Elvis fan, I am also a Tom Jones fan. I am glad they got along so well because it's so often that people in the entertainment industry tend to jealous with each other. If Elvis were alive today, I hope he would be a contemporary recording artist and not doing any live shows. Not that I don't want him to do live shows, it's only that live shows need a lot of energy and since Elvis always do his utmost on stage, live shows will exhaust him very easily. We have to face the fact that energy goes down as age goes up. I always think Elvis is a much better ballad/gospel singer than a rock n'' roll singer, maybe just my preference of songs. When he sings those ballads, you can always "melt" in the songs with him. One of my most favorite is "I Miss You" which I can listen to it all day all night and never get tired of it. Whenever you are, Elvis, we miss you.
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Swen, you spoke for how Elvis would feel today and I wonder how anyone knows what Elvis would have felt or been doing if he was alive today??? I heard Priscilla once say he would be an Adult Contemporary singer and I suppose it is possible. Perhaps he would have been an oldie artist and showed up for nostalgia purposes only. Maybe he would have become a recluse like Marlon Brando or maybe decided to become strictly a country singer (he was headed that way when he died, but he could have changed direction). Perhaps, he would have become a true movie star and left concerts and recordings behind. I don't think anyone was saying that if Elvis had hung out more with Tom Jones that his career would have become like Tom Jones'. Just maybe he would have taken better care of himself and had more passion for his career and his life if he had hung out with someone like TJ more. It is a shame that partially because he hung out with yes men, pretend friends and hanger-ons, that we will never know what he could be doing today (and thinking).
Swen (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
"That woke you up, didn´t it", as Elvis once said? Not unexpectedly I agree with you, Mickey. I get tired of hearing Tom seeking and getting attention by telling the same old stories about Elvis like they were best mates and equals. And I most certainly do not agree with dgirl. I would have hated to see the king presenting himself to the world like good ole Tom is these days. And so would Elvis by the way. And Lex´s comment speaks for itself. Thanks once more, my friend. :( Wish you all a fantastic holiday, and hope I won´t get killed in Wales. :D
MickeyN (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Before we all rush to bash Swen, I think that there is some truth in the assertion that Tom Jones is using his connection with Elvis to boost his (already remarkable) career. There have been over the years a number of interviews (usually in programmes about Elvis) where Tom has stated his friendship with Elvis and in some of them he comes across as promoting himself (how he "taught" Elvis some of his Vegas moves etc etc) BUT (and it's a big BUT) he is almost always positive about Elvis, he knows the value of publicity and he has earned his right to a bit of self-promotion by being a fantastic entertainer and personality. I wish that EPE or Sony or whoever now "owns" Elvis would be a bit more active in promoting Elvis and his legacy - for example using Tom Jones's success with this album to promote Elvis's Gospel music.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Tom Jones is a great singer and performer..I saw a few times In Concert...Great !!
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
While I was a never a fan of Tom Jones, I do respect him as a peformer. It is great that he has always had kind words for Elvis and has never wavered as an admirer, supporter and friend of Elvis. Yes, dgirl is right with her comment about Elvis hanging out more with Tom Jones more often. Elvis should have surrounded himself with people who respected him and truly wanted to be his friends.
EJF (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
I had the good fortune of watching Tom in concert last year here in Malta and I tell you, at 70 he still possesses one helluva voice and puts on a real good show. I read one time that when he met Elvis for the first time Elvis asked, "How the hell do you sing like that?" and Tom replied, "You're partly to blame"! Nicely put. They sure respected each other and always made it a point of watching each other's show whenever possible. Keep it up Tom. Elvis would be proud of your new album.
Brian Quinn (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
According to Midweek Charts in the UK Jones is set for No.1 with his new album.
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Tom Jones has never shirked away from his deep admiration of Elvis. The fact that he - time and again - praised Elvis and acknowledged his decisive influence on his career says a lot. Neither Elvis nor Tom Jones need to boost their popularity.
Though one should remember that we all gain weight as live goes by, I agree with DGirl that maybe Elvis should have changed his entourage at the end of his life. It would have made a vast difference.
lray (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Tom was a good friend of Elvis. Tom is a very secure and sincere guy. He always has been. It is true he still has a great voice. Check out a CD on Hip-O Records that came out in 2003 called Martin Scorsess Presents the Blues: Red, White & Blues. then listen to tracks 1: Tom Jones and Jeff Beck, Goin' Down Slow 9: Love Letters 12: Hard Times. and without Jeff 19: Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Universal Music Enterprises B000072802.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
I almost forgot : dgirl's remark of Our Man should have hung out more with Tom : yes indeed, very good remark !
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Hi Swen, seems you really got it wrong here ! Tom has always been talking about Elvis in a very positive way. This statement he made now is not the first one in favour of Elvis. As for Tom himself : one of my all-time "greats" , great personallity, great voice , so pls don't bash the guy, I have a lot of respect for him and so should you. Always El.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Tom Jones is great. He was friends with Elvis, so why not talk about it? He is proud they were friends. Oh and one other thing. 33 years after Elvis left us, Tom is still here, healthy and making records. Maybe Elvis should have hung out with Tom more.
drjohncarpenter0117 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Oh Swen, all of Wales will be looking for you my friend as Sir Tom is held in the same regards as Memphis is to Elvis,to be honest with you Tom Jones has often told stories of his friendship with Elvis and how much Tom was in awe of Elvis so i don't see the connection in Tom telling Elvis stories to re-ignite his career.........Tom Jones through the years has managed to change his reportoire and still remains down to earth and always remembers his roots, you may not of seen the advert on tv for Tom's new album but let me tell you all the music reviewers are raving about this album so he must be doing something right??...........and we have Elvis Presley to thank for giving us Tom Jones.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Swen didn't notice the world while sitting under his rock with his Elvis-collection.
Loesje (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
Swen you obviously haven't seen any of his recent concerts!
Swen (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 27, 2010report abuse
His way of getting attention now that the world starts to forget him. Sad!

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