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Tom Jones

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South Wales

Sir Thomas Jones Woodward, KBE (born 7 June 1940), best known by his stage name, Tom Jones, is a Welsh pop singer particularly noted for his powerful voice. He was born in Treforest, near Pontypridd in South Wales.

He rose to fame in the mid-1960s, with an exuberant live act which included wearing tight breeches and billowing shirts, in an Edwardian style popular amongst his peers at the time. He was known for his overt sexuality, before this was as common as it became in subsequent years.

In 1963 he became the frontman for Tommy Scott and the Senators, a local beat group. Clad all in black leather, Tom soon gained a reputation in the South Wales area. The Senators were still all unheard of in London.

In 1964 they laid down a few tracks with maverick Telstar producer Joe Meek, and took them to various labels in an attempt to get a record deal. The plan was to release a single, Lonely Joe / I Was A Fool, but the ever-flighty Meek refused to release the tapes. The group returned to South Wales and continued to play gigs at dance halls and working mens clubs. One night, at the Top Hat in Cwmtillery, Tom was spotted by Gordon Mills, a London-based manager originally from South Wales. Mills became Tom’s manager, and took the young singer to London. He also renamed him Tom Jones. The Senators became the Playboys, and later still the Squires.

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