Jack Jones was a very popular singer in the 60's who had five records reach the pop top forty despite his style, which was conspicuously different from the many popular rock singers of the same era.
He was born John Allan Jones in Hollywood in 1938. Jack's father was Allan Jones, who had a top ten hit of his own with Rudolf Friml's The Donkey Serenade, recorded on the very night that Jack was born. Jack's father was a popular singer himself in the 30's and his biggest hit was the operetta The Firefly with Jeanette MacDonald in 1937. Allan Jones had acting/singing roles in the Marx Brothers' films A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races. Jack's mother was actress Irene Hervey.
Jack studied vocal arts while in high school and joined his father's act for a brief time after graduation. By the early 60's Jack Jones was beginning to establish himself as a singer. He had a pleasing light baritone voice, an attractive style, and the ability to choose good material. At a time in American pop music history when the British Invasion was in full force, Jones and his Sinatra-type singing style and choice of songs were quite successful.
From 1962 to 1968 Jack put twenty records in the top 100, recording most of his early hits on the Kapp label, and later on RCA. The first of these was Lollipops And Roses. Another successful song for Jack Jones was Call Me Irresponsible. This song was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, who had written a number of successful hit songs for Frank Sinatra; Sinatra once referred to Jack Jones as "one of the major singers of our time." Jones' recording of Call Me Irresponsible was featured in the Oscar-winning 1963 film Papa's Delicate Condition, which starred Jackie Gleason.
Jones' first to crack the top forty was the Burt Bacharach-Hal David composition of Wives And Lovers, inspired by the motion picture of the same name, in 1963, when he was 25 years of age. At number 14 it would be his highest charting hit ever. Another that did nearly as well was The Race Is On in 1965. Other top forty hits for Jack Jones in the 60's include Dear Heart, from the film of the same title, The Impossible Dream (The Quest) from the musical Man of La Mancha, and Lady, the last in 1967. He also recorded many albums that sold well. Jones is also notable for his recording of The Love Boat Theme. His snow white hair came to be his trademark. By the late 60's Jack's popularity waned and his record sales diminished, but he managed to remain popular on the club circuit.
He was married a number of times; his second wife was actress Jill St. John. In the 80's and 90's he had a successful run in Las Vegas, and he has remained a popular act in clubs across the United States into the twenty-first century, as well as in Great Britain.
Jack has won many awards in his time including Grammy Awards twice, for Lollipops And Roses and Wives and Lovers. Perhaps the songs that are associated with him most closely are his two biggest hits from the 60's, Wives And Lovers and The Race Is On.
Return to Rock-and-Roll Page.
Return to Home Page.
Send email to the author, Tom Simon firstname.lastname@example.org.