Paul Jones (singer)
Jones in 1967
|Birth name||Paul Pond|
24 February 1942 |
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
|Genres||Pop music, blues|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, actor, radio and television presenter|
|Associated acts||Manfred Mann
Eric Clapton's Powerhouse
The Blues Band
Paul Jones (born Paul Pond, 24 February 1942) is an English singer, actor, harmonica player, radio personality and television presenter.
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Paul Jones was born as Paul Pond in Portsmouth, Hampshire. As "P.P. Jones" he performed duets with Elmo Lewis (better known as 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. He went on to be the vocalist and harmonica player of the successful 1960s group Manfred Mann. Paul Jones had several Top Ten hits with Manfred Mann before going solo in July 1966. He remained with His Master's Voice.
He was less successful without the band than they were with his replacement, Mike d'Abo, but did have a few hits, notably with "High Time" (1966) (UK No 4), "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" (1967) (UK No 5) and "Thinkin' Ain't for Me" (1967) (UK No 32) before branching into acting.
While his solo career in the UK was mildly successful, he sold few records in the US. He had enough hits in Sweden to have a greatest hits album released there on EMI. Subsequent single releases in Britain in the late 1960s on the Columbia label, as a result of EMI transferring their remaining pop acts from His Master's Voice, included "Aquarius", from the musical "Hair", and a cover version of a Bee Gees song, "And the Sun Will Shine".
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 Guys And Dolls and The Beggar's Opera (Royal National Theatre) Kiss me Kate (at The Old Vic for the RSC), Cats and Pump Boys and Dinettes.
His performance opposite model Jean Shrimpton in the 1967 film Privilege, directed by Peter Watkins, did not bring the hoped-for stardom, although the film later became a cult classic. 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.
In 1971 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. 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. Jones had previously worked with Covington in the BBC's 1975 Christmas production Great Big Groovy Horse, a rock opera based on the story of the Trojan Horse shown on BBC2. It was later repeated on BBC1 in 1977 His gold albums include one for Evita. In 1978 he released a single on the RSO label, orchestrated versions of the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant and the Ramones' Sheena is a Punk Rocker, both produced by Rice. Four years later he appeared as one of the guest vocalists on the British Electric Foundation's Music of Quality and Distinction, on a new version of There's a Ghost In My House.
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 founded The Blues Band and is a member of the Manfreds, a group reuniting several original members of Manfred Mann, and has also played harmonica as a session musician on recordings by such artists as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gerry Rafferty, Dave Edmunds, Katie Melua, Ray Jackson and Marti Webb.
In 2001 Showcase appeared on Hallmark Records. In 2009 he issued Starting All Over Again on Continental Record Services (aka CRS) in Europe and Collectors' Choice in the US. It was produced by Carla Olson in Los Angeles and features Eric Clapton, Jake Andrews, Ernie Watts, Percy Sledge, Alvino Bennett, Tony Marsico, Michael Thompson, Tom Morgan Jr., Oren Waters and Luther Waters. The sequel Suddenly I Like It was recorded in Los Angeles, and was released on 24 February 2015 in the US with its European release due on 24 March.
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. In 2010, Jones 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 and was awarded "harmonica player of the year" in the British blues awards of 2010, 2011 and 2012 as well as Blues Broadcaster of the year and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2011. In the same year, the Blues Federation of America gave him a Keeping Blues Alive Award.
Jones attended Portsmouth Grammar School and moved to the Edinburgh Academy for his last two years of school before winning an Open Exhibition in English to Jesus College, Oxford, although he did not graduate.
Jones was first married (1963–76) to novelist and reviewer Sheila MacLeod. There were two sons from the marriage, Matthew and Jacob. He 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.
- 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)
- "Suddenly I Like It" (2015)
- "High Time" (1966) — UK no. 4
- "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
- "Biography by Richie Unterberger". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
- Paul Jones on BBC4 Blues Britannia 11 March 2011
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London, UK: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 160. CN 5585.
- Scott, A.O. (7 February 2005). "We're Sorry". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Great Big Groovy Horse - BBC Two England - 25 December 1975 - BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
- "Great Big Groovy Horse - BBC One London - 21 December 1977 - BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
- "Nick Vernier Band with Paul Jones". YouTube. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- Roger Trobridge. "National Harmonica League (UK)". Harmonica.co.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Winners of the British Blues Awards 2011". British Blues.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "Paul Jones". Bbc.co.uk. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Radio Times, 15 December 1973.
- British Hit Singles, Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice & Jo Rice, Guinness Publishing Ltd., 7th edition, 1989