Paul Jones (singer)

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Paul Jones
Pauljonessevenoaks.JPG
Paul Jones, Sevenoaks, Kent, June 2011
Background information
Birth name Paul Pond
Born (1942-02-24) 24 February 1942 (age 72)
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Genres Pop music, blues
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts Manfred Mann
Eric Clapton's Powerhouse
The Blues Band
The Manfreds
Website Official website

Paul Jones (born Paul Pond, 24 February 1942)[1] is an English singer, actor, harmonica player and radio personality and television presenter.

Career[edit]

Paul Jones was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire. As "P.P. Pond" he performed duets with Elmo Lewis (aka future founder member of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones) at the Ealing Club, home of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, whose singers included Long John Baldry and Mick Jagger. He was asked by Keith Richards and Brian Jones to be the lead singer of a group they were forming, but he turned them down.[2] Jones then went on to be the vocalist and harmonica player of the successful 1960s group Manfred Mann.[1] He had several Top Ten hits with Manfred Mann before going solo in July 1966.[1][3] He remained with His Master's Voice.[3]

He was less successful without the band than they were with his replacement, but did have a few hits, notably with "High Time" (1966) and "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" and "Thinkin' Ain't for Me" (both 1967) before attempting to branch into acting.[1] While his solo career in the UK was mildly successful,[1] he sold few records in the US. He had enough hits in Sweden to have a greatest hits album released there on EMI.

From 1966 he also worked as an actor, first in films and television and then on stage, including West End shows such as Conduct Unbecoming (also on Broadway), plus the musicals Cats and Pump Boys and Dinettes. He has worked with directors such as Sir Richard Eyre, Peter Gill and Toby Robertson.

His performance opposite model Jean Shrimpton in the 1967 film Privilege,[1] directed by Peter Watkins, did not bring the hoped-for stardom, although the film later became a cult classic.[3] Jones was cast as a pop singer in the film, and sang the songs "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" and "Set Me Free", which Patti Smith covered in the 1970s.[1]

In 1972 Jones recorded Crucifix in a Horseshoe with White Cloud, a New York-based session group featuring Teddy Wender on keyboards and Kenny Kosek on fiddle.[4] In 1973 he played the title role in Bob Fosse's production of Pippin at Her Majesty's Theatre in London.

In 1975 he guest starred in a TV episode of The Sweeney ("Chalk & Cheese") as a boxer turned gangster named "Tommy Garret". In 1976 he performed the role of Peron on the original concept album of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita alongside Julie Covington as Eva, Colm Wilkinson as Che and Barbara Dickson as the Mistress. His gold albums include one for Evita.

In 1985, he became the host of the children's TV quiz Beat the Teacher, and stayed for the next series the following year. In 1990 he appeared in the children's series, Uncle Jack. In the meantime, he enjoyed a parallel career as presenter of radio programmes focusing mainly on rhythm and blues, notably a long-running weekly show on BBC Radio 2, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011.

He is also a member of the Blues Band and the Manfreds, a group reuniting many original members of Manfred Mann,[1] and has also played harmonica as a session musician on recordings by artists including Gerry Rafferty, Dave Edmunds, Katie Melua, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Marti Webb.

In 2001 Showcase appeared on Hallmark Records.

His most recent solo album is 2009's Starting All Over Again on Continental Record Services (aka CRS) in Europe and Collectors' Choice in the US.[1] It was produced by Carla Olson, and features Eric Clapton, Jake Andrews, Ernie Watts, Percy Sledge, Alvino Bennett, Tony Marsico, Michael Thompson, Tom Morgan Jr., Oren Waters and Luther Waters. A sequel was recorded, again in Los Angeles, in February 2012.

On 4 May 2009 Jones and his harmonica featured in a song during a concert by Joe Bonamassa in the Royal Albert Hall, London. That same month saw the single release of "I'm Your Kingpin" by Nick Vernier Band with Paul Jones on harmonica.[5] In 2010, Jones also featured on two versions of "You’re Wrong" from Nick Vernier Band's Sessions album. In 2012, he featured on a song "Solid Ground" on Oli Brown's album Here I Am.

Jones is currently the president of the National Harmonica League[6] and was awarded "harmonica player of the year" in the British blues awards of 2010 and 2011, as well as Blues Broadcaster of the year in 2011[7]

Personal life[edit]

Jones attended Portsmouth Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, although he did not graduate.

Jones was first married to novelist and reviewer Sheila MacLeod, and is currently married to the former actress, and latterly Christian speaker, Fiona Hendley-Jones. He converted to Christianity in the mid 1980s as the result of being invited by Cliff Richard to a Luis Palau evangelistic event. Jones had appeared opposite Richard in the 1960s, on a television debate show where he had, at the time, opposed Richard's viewpoint. In December 2013 Jones was featured in BBC One's Songs of Praise, performing and talking with Aled Jones about his faith.[8]

Jones has a son, Matthew, with whom he was pictured for the front cover of the Radio Times in 1973 along with actor Jon Pertwee (then starring in Doctor Who) and broadcaster Michael Parkinson.[9]

Solo discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • My Way (1966)
  • Sings Privilege & Others (1967)
  • Love Me, Love My Friends (1968)
  • Come into My Music Box (1969)
  • Crucifix in a Horseshoe (1972)
  • Starting All Over Again (2009)

Singles[edit]

  • "High Time" (1966) — UK no. 4[10]
  • "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" (1967) — UK no. 5
  • "Thinkin' Ain't for Me" (1967) — UK no. 32
  • "Aquarius" (1969) — UK no. 45

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Biography by Richie Unterberger". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Paul Jones on BBC4 Blues Britannia 11 March 2011
  3. ^ a b c Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 160. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ Scott, A. O. (7 February 2005). "We're Sorry". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Nick Vernier Band with Paul Jones". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  6. ^ Roger Trobridge. "National Harmonica League (UK)". Harmonica.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  7. ^ "Winners of the British Blues Awards 2011". British Blues.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Paul Jones". =bbc.co.uk. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Radio Times, 15 December 1973.
  10. ^ British Hit Singles, Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice & Jo Rice, Guinness Publishing Ltd., 7th edition, 1989

External links[edit]