Tom Jones and Me 69



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I only met Welsh singing sensation Tom Jones for an hour or so in 1965 but the memory of him has remained indelible in my mind.

Tom was touring Australia with a ‘Best of British’ concert group, along with Manchester’s answer to the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits.

Peter Noone, lead singer of the Hermits had been a school friend of my room-mate back in Manchester and he’d sent her 6 tickets for the concert downstairs in the Beat Basement.

Dressed in a crocheted black mini, with my waist length blond hair ironed straight, I sat on the edge of my chair when Pete came over to our table with Tom and the rest of the Hermits.

After introductions were made, we all got up to dance to another of the concert bands and I found my hand tightly clasped in Tom’s large grasp. He wore a dazzling white silk shirt, undone to just above his waist and skin tight black and white hounds tooth pants and out on the dance floor he dazzled under the disco lights.


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We danced close, close enough for me to catch a waft of his aftershave and then it was his turn on stage. He took my hand and led me to a table at the edge the performing area, where he opened his bracket of songs with ‘It’s Not Unusual’, directing his focus on me and serenading me the whole time he sang.

Back at our table with my friends and the Hermits, I sat on his knee with his arm around my back and felt the vibrations in his chest whenever he spoke with that lilting Welsh accent. He told me that, like most Welsh men, he’d grown up with music, singing and joined a male choir as a schoolboy, as was the tradition in his coal mining town back home.

Our magical night ended at midnight, when the ‘Best of British’ musicians boarded their coach for the long overnight drive to Melbourne, where they were all playing the next night.

I don’t remember the drive back to the Nurse’s Home or of undressing and crawling into bed that night. I kept reliving the feel of Tom’s hands on my cheeks as he slowly kissed me before boarding the coach, travelling on through the next 4 decades, with his own unique way of singing his way into the hearts of women around the world.

Tom Jones – you’ll always be one of my greatest memories.

What a memory! Do you have a memory that is simply unforgettable?

Annie Payne

While I work in my own home-based small business as a personal historian, I firmly believe that memories are strongly related to music, as demonstrated by this memory which was stimulated hearing the Lovin' Spoonful today. In my day to day work, I help people to gather, organise and preserve their life stories to leave as a legacy for the future. And, I practice what I teach, having last month presented my son his own book of memories for his 40th birthday. After writing 40 of my own favourite memories of him, I then contacted as many friends stretching back to both primary and secondary school friends to workmates spanning the past 22 years, both interstate and overseas! I urge Starts at 60 members to start sorting through their old photos and writing down or recording their memories for the future!

  1. Thanks for sharing. What a wonder memory and great story to be handed down through history from generation to generation.

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