This week, Ira spoke with Jack Jones.
Two-time Grammy Award winner and Emmy winner, Jack Jones, whose new album, “Seriously Frank,” features a tribute to Frank Sinatra during the yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, was born in Hollywood, California, on the night his singer/movie star father, Allan Jones, recorded his hit, “Donkey Serenade.”
Jones’ professional debut was a brief stint as part of his father’s act at the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas when he was just 19 years old. He went out on his own three weeks later, working odd jobs including as a gas station attendant, to support himself while pursuing his singing career.
His first break came when a demo he recorded for songwriter Don Raye found its way to Capitol Records. While with the label Jones recorded a few singles and an album, which he admits was mediocre.
Although he eventually left Capitol. One gem from his album, “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” caught the attention of a San Francisco club owner who booked him for a three week run at Facks. While performing there, he was discovered by Pete King, a producer and artist for Kapp Records who quickly signed him to the label.
As his career gained momentum, Jones developed a deep appreciation for well-constructed songs that also have emotional appeal. His respect for songs that tell stories with meaning and beauty led him to record works by the greatest balladeers of all time: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Harold Arlen, Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman.
He was inspired by great Jazz instrumentalists he discovered during his teen years such as Gerry Mulligan, Clark Terry, Buddy Rich, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Pell Octet, Marty Paiche Dectet, Shorty Rogers and the Giants, and Count Basie.
Jones’ talent and commitment to his art earned him two Grammys for “Best Pop Male Vocal Performance” with his singles “Lollipops and Roses” by Anthony Velona and Bacharach/ David’s “Wives and Lovers.”
On April 13, 1989, he was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, close to where his father’s star is located.
Today, Jones can be found performing concerts to sold-out audiences around the world at performing arts centers, casinos, symphony halls and even intimate cabarets.