|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (December 2009)|
Tom Jans (February 9, 1948 – March 25, 1984), was a folk musician from San Jose, California. He is perhaps best known for his song "Lovin' Arms" (also known as "Loving Arms"), which has been performed and recorded by dozens of artists and bands, including Elvis Presley, Dobie Gray, Dixie Chicks, Natalie Cole, Kris Kristofferson, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, Jon English, Rita Coolidge, Livingston Taylor, Etta James, Millie Jackson, Jody Miller and The Beautiful South.
Jans toured extensively with Mimi Fariña -- Joan Baez's sister -- and released a duo album with Fariña in 1971 entitled Take Heart. After splitting with Fariña in 1972, Jans recorded four records as a solo artist, the best of which was a self-titled release for A&M Records in 1974, which included his version of "Loving Arms".
His other albums were The Eyes of An Only Child (1975) and Dark Blonde (1976), both recorded for Columbia Records, which took his music in a more rock-oriented direction. When the Columbia releases failed to find an audience, his career lost momentum and although Jans continued to perform, he issued no recordings until 1982's Champion, a Don Grusin-produced album that was released in Japan only.
Jans suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident in 1983. Jans died of a drug overdose in 1984. Most of his recordings have not been reissued on CD in the United States and are therefore hard to find except in their original LP releases. Tom Waits dedicated a song to Jans, "Whistle Down The Wind (For Tom Jans)", which was featured on Bone Machine.