Did A Childhood Illness Give Tom Jones His Powerful Singing Voice?
Another good listener question...here goes:
Q: I heard on TV that Tom Jones had some sort of disease when he was a kid that gave him his strong voice. What was it?
A: In the mid-1950's when he was a young teen, Tom went through two years of tuberculosis but it had nothing to do with altering his voice. As to why his Welsh singing voice was so powerful, he explains: “If you don't have a timbre to your voice then the Welsh won't listen. If a lot of today's singers had been born in Wales they wouldn't dare get on stage or even see the lights of day.” So basically, his super-charged singing voice came out of necessity, not illness. (FYI: Tom Jones was spotted performing in Welsh pubs by songwriter Gordon Mills; Mills became Tom's manager and coaxed him to move to London. While they searched for a strong song for Tom to record as his first single, Mills wrote IT'S NOT UNUSUAL for singer Sandie Shaw. After much coaxing, Jones finally got Mills to agree to let him record the song; after it's release in 1965 the BBC tried banning the song, thinking it was “too hot” due to Tom's sexually powerful vocals. Even so, it went to #1 in England and #10 in America.)