It’s Not Unusual, Until It Is: Tom Jones + The No-Award Year

Here’s the next post in my music history self-study project. I’m checking out each winner of the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, reading a bit of bio info and sharing whichever random points catch my interest, and also building a Spotify playlist of the songs I like best from that artist. I’ll share each post to my Facebook page and invite you to join the conversation there.

You’re getting a double entry this time. First up, this week’s winner: Tom Jones, Best New Artist of 1965

Tom Jones 2009 | Photo: Mykal Burns
Tom Jones 2009 | Photo: Mykal Burns
  • First up in the “things I didn’t know” category, Tom Jones is Welsh, which means he was eligible for knighthood, which he received from Queen Elizabeth II in 2006. So that’s Sir Tom Jones, thank you very much.
  • He has said that his first musical influences were soul and rock & roll. Over the years, he recorded and had hits in various other genres, including country.
  • He was awed by the sound and style of Elvis Presley, and when they met in 1965, he discovered that Elvis was highly impressed by him as well. Read more about their friendship here.
  • Tom is still active today, currently serving as a coach on the UK version of The Voice.

Check out my Spotify playlist “Deb Stanley’s ‘Best New Artists’ Study” to see which Tom Jones recordings I added.

Next up: The matter of 1966, the Year Without a Best New Artist. I couldn’t find an explanation for why no Best New Artist Grammy was given at the 1967 awards ceremony, but I did learn that there were 7 nominees, including Nancy Sinatra, Percy Sledge, and Simon & Garfunkel. Read more about the mystery here.