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December TJI Question of the Month: 2012?

There’s been a great deal of talk about Sir Tom’s career, most especially, what he’s going to do next.

Will he join the panel on The Voice? If he does, approximately three months will be taken up with all that’s involved in 12 episodes. People in the field say that, if he does sign on, he will essentially cut out three months of doing anything else, although he may still be able to do one-nighters near London, where the TV show is done.

Or, with a new CD coming out – supposedly early next year – should he tour in support of that? And, where should he tour? Praise and Blame was a wonderful move into a seldom-explored-by-Tom-Jones area of music and it should have won heaps of awards. It was certified gold in the UK, signifying 100,000 units shipped to retailers, not necessarily units sold.

Most of the fans who visit TJI all agreed that the effort deserved all it got and more but, to get more recognition, it had to get more promotion – specifically in the USA where the population is 312,696,857 (current as of the moment of this writing according to the US Census Bureau as compared to the UK’s most current population number,62,218,761 (2010 number). With the right promotion, there would logically be more units shipped and sold in the USA. (For the record, Europe has more people than North America but they are divided by diverse languages and cultures so every promo effort has to be specifically targeted.)

Note: I am not even remotely suggesting that Sir Tom only tour the USA/North America. He should go where it makes good sense to go to promote his music and get the widest possible audience and sell the most product.

The Grammy® nominations were announced Wednesday night and – although Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Susan Boyle and Seth MacFarlane were nominated – we know who wasn’t. Admittedly, Praise and Blame might not fit in the category in which they were all nominated – Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – but it could fit in a gospel category if (1) the voters were daring enough for a slight departure and (2) if the Grammy® nominating committee had heard it often enough. Well, maybe the next one.

So, here’s the TJI Question of the Month for December, 2011:

In the new year, what should Sir Tom Jones do? Make a commitment to The Voice?? Tour? And if he should tour, where should he go? Should he do anything else?

Thanks, Dre

30 Responses to “December TJI Question of the Month: 2012?”

  1. Susan Says:

    I am not sure what exactly Tom should do except that he should do what makes him happy and what his health allows. I believe that is performing.

  2. SusannePDX Says:

    Of course, I want him to tour more in the US, especially Vegas. He needs promotion in America but I have given up on his management. He doesn’t deserve to just fade away. Who know what 2012 will bring.

  3. Wren Says:

    Tom should do “The Voice” after all he is “The Voice.” It would be interesting to see him on a weekly show and hear his critiques of the new talent. He should tour in the US again, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m past caring. I’d like to see him sing again once more before he dies, but I won’t travel to Europe to do it.

  4. Dre Says:

    Tom should definitly be a judge on the voice if he feels up to do so.
    THE Voice will be the next huge thing on brittish television It will put tom on the map seriously.
    As a spin off many people will be interested to check out his new album and problably buy it.
    If he becomes huge in the uk, the us with some proper promotion will follow in getting interested in his next album.

    On the other hand he doesnt have to proof anything to anyone so we will see what happens, and he should only become a judge if he really feels up to do so.

  5. kat Says:

    I think it would be great for TOM to do THE VOICE, He will get the respect that he is due with all the years that he has spent in the music business,
    And Tom is already Huge in the uk i when to 4 shows this summer & they were all sold out 23 thousand people were at New market.
    But of course Tom performing is what he does best so i hope he will do at least a few shows next year !!!

  6. Adam Mc Ateer Says:

    This is a harder question to answer than I thought. I really cannot answer it. Part of me wants him to completely rest for a year at least and not tour or record cds etc cause he has earned a good rest like that. Other half of me wants him to continue what he does. and thirdly it’s Tom Jones and this means he won’t lie down lol. He should just continue to enjoy being one of the biggest legendary performer and coolest man walking the planet ever and keep it lit!!!!!

  7. lindag Says:

    Sir Tom should do what he feels is best for himself. I just hope that it would include touring in the US and Europe since he always says he enjoys to sing.

    I think doing the television show could wait a few years for when he wants to slow down a little.

  8. Barb Says:

    This is a difficult question. While I would love to see Tom back in the U.S., I think I understand why he has been in Europe so long … he gets much more respect and recognition over there. He would probably get some much needed rest if he did The Voice, since he would be in one place for awhile. The contestants would definitely benefit from his participation. Having said this, I would still love to see Tom in Vegas again or any place else in the states. Tom, please come back to all your U.S. fans!

  9. Joe Murray Says:

    I think he should take the place of Regis 😉 All kidding aside, I feel that if Sir Tom accepts the spot on The Voice, it will seal the deal on his plans (or lack thereof) with North America. With the resurgence of so many standard vocalists, i.e. Barry Manilow & Tony Bennett, it blows my mind that Tom’s management permits him to be glossed over. Don’t get me wrong, Bennett and Manilow are great singers and entertainers, BUT they are stuck in the same mold; doing the same thing they did decades ago. Sir Tom has always had the sense to trail-blaze into new genres, but his management has never been able to keep up with his innovation. What a pity. So, to answer the question, I believe Sir Tom should start the new year with new management and a new direction that brings him back to the North American spot light.

  10. Gill Says:

    I don’t think Tom should do The Voice,he is too good for that not that he won’t give excellent advise,his voice is still strong so he should carry on singing all over the globe if he feels up to it.However,his manager may think this is the way for Tom to go as he is no longer a young man,and it could lead to more TV work even his own program again,hence cutting down on touring and expenses.

  11. David Says:

    Today’s Daily Mail says Tom is definitely on the show. I reckon the denials are just about negotiating money. One hopes they don’t reach an agreement. I’d like to see him tour.

  12. SusannePDX Says:

    I agree with lindag, the show can wait until he has to slow down. Joe Murray, you hit the nail right on the head (management).

  13. Moderator Says:

    Joe & Sue: You each know me well enough (aside from this site) to know I would never, ever attempt to suck up to Management. But, I have to say that this team has brought Tom Kiss and Reload. Of course, there’s not been much in the decades since, but they do deserve credit for those things.

    But, a (good) part of the reason that Bennett and Manilow have such massive success today, decades after they began, is their fans. They serve the fans, they listen to the fans – In all, they understand that fans are key to success throughout a career. Out of loyalty, fans are likely to criticize and critique and that is a valuable function of fans. Listening to those who cheer for a performer’s success – the fans – does not mean giving up management responsibility for a career. It means that acknowledging, respecting and being willing to work with fans is, in a word, smart.. That is lacking here and that is a pity.

  14. Joe Murray Says:

    Ellen, I agree with you. This management team did give us Kiss; a great career move for Tom. Mark deserves credit for Kiss and rejuvenation it spawned. As for Reload, the album was a fantastic idea and Tom made it into a huge success. Management, though, dropped the ball. Reload was a non-U.S. album. I find it hard to believe that after Reload blew up the charts globally that Tom’s management could not find a label to back a U.S.-based duets album. The fact is they did not broker the deal for a US Reload and settled on a “greatest hits” release (Reloaded). They missed the boat on yet another rejuvenation of Tom’s career stateside. A greatest hits release did not, and does not, do Tom justice.

  15. Lloyd Says:

    Regardless of whatever Sir Tom does in 2012…..if he would just give us 2 weeks at the MGM I would be so happy!

  16. Judy Says:

    Maybe doing The Voice would be a change for him, but I think he has more energy for touring and likes it a lot more. Only he can decide. It is a shame that he is not been in Vegas for a year or so. He played there for so long and so many people would still love to see him. The US has been there for him for so many years and to snub Vegas is a shame. On this tour, it seems he went back to the past hits, so maybe his management understands this is still what we go to see him for. Yes the new ones are good but the fact that Tony Bennett still sings San Francisco says something and he should follow suit and sing the ones everyone loves.

  17. Pat Lowndes Says:

    That is not an easy question …I’m not sure about the Tv show .Tom has always said he loves singing live in front of an audience. Also he wants to record more, would the TV show leave him time for that. What ever he does I hope it makes him happy

  18. Dre Says:

    if tom’s appearance at the voice works out fine(and i think it will) he will be able to tour everywhere to stunning wages and large audiences.
    the second “praise and blame” album wil go on like a storm and prior to the voice they could work something out with the bbc and broadcast some of the this is tom jones shows.
    this is theire change if they spoil it they should represent someone else but not tom.

  19. Stewart Says:

    I think making a commitment to the voice is probably a good career move, and if he is recording the second P & B, I’m sure it will help the sales in the UK. I wish his next album would get the proper promotion in the U.S., but I have given up on that. Joe is right…his management blew it with Reload. They also blew it with P & B, following up on his his successful appearance on American Idol, etc. It’s a shame, because it looks to me that Tom will never have another major hit in the U.S. I don’t begrude Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow or Neil Diamond their success, I just think Tom deserve’s at least as much. I hope I’m proven wrong, but I don’t believe Tom will be remembered in the U.S. as a great singer, a great voice, or an artist (except for his true fans who have followed his career and really know his work). He will be remembered by most as the Las Vegas entertainer with the tight pants and open neck shirt who had women tossing their underwear at him while he sang “What’s New Pussycat?”.

  20. Pat Lowndes Says:

    That Stewart would be very sad .

  21. Stewart Says:

    Pat: I agree. It makes me very sad, and as I said, I hope I’m proven wrong. But, I base this sad prediction on the history. In the U.S., Tom’s last hit single, “Kiss”, was in 1988…23 years ago. And, Kiss was not a huge hit in the U.S. It reached number 31, so it was a moderate hit here. The album, “Move Closer” which contained the hit “Kiss”, didn’t even chart. Before Kiss, you have to go back to 1976 for a U.S. hit for Tom “say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow”, which reached number 15 and the album I think reached reached number 76. Before that, you have to go back to 1971 for a top 40 U.S. single, “Puppet Man”, which reached number 26.

    When I think of all the great singles since Kiss that should have done well in the U.S….Carrying a Torch, If I Only Knew, Burning Down the House, Sexbomb, Mama Told Me Not to Come, TJ International, It’ll Be Me, Stoned in Love. And the albums like Reload, Tom and Jools, 24 Hours, Praise & Blame. I would argue that Tom should be doing better than Tony Bennett who has not changed with the times, is not versatle like Tom, and who’s voice at 85 years old is not as good as Tom’s at this point.

    I think Tom’s been terribly mismanaged. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, he was a huge star…on his way to being as big as Elvis or Sinatra. Now, when I mention Tom to most people I meet, they roll their eyes, laugh, or if it’s a young person, often don’t even know who I’m talking about. For the not as young who do know him, they’ll make unflattering comments that usually indicate they don’t think he’s a serious singer, but just sort of a poor man’s Elvis or Sinatra type lounge act. Wehn I mention his versatilty, great voice, soulfullnes, etc., I get looks as though I’m from another planet.

    Someone who was in 1970 perhaps the world’s biggest superstar, and who has done many impressive things since, should not be viewed in this way. He is never mentioned with other serious singers like Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Streisand, Whitney Houston, etc. He is never mentioned with the Rock and Roll greats like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. He is never mentioned with the great soul or R & B singers. Yet, Tom is the ONLY one who can excel at every genre of music, as if each one were his specialty.

    Yes, it’s very sad. It strikes me as unfair and wrong. But, the public doesn’t know what they don’t know. His albums are promoted by a few appearances by Tom on a late night or early morning show, where he usually appears at the end for a few minutes. Even his old classic hits are barely played on the radio, and when they are, it’s only on an “oldies” station. No commercials for his new albums, no interviews on shows that will be viewed by large numbers. And even when there is a real opportunity to capitalize on, there is zero follow-up, then all is forgotten.

    The touring is all well and good, but it can’t reach enough people to change what I’m talking about. And when he toured the U.S. after the release of P & B, the CD wasn’t even available for purchase at the venue! I could go on and on, but you get the point.

    It saddens me very much, because I hate to see any injustice, and Tom’s music has meant so much to me. But, all I can do is buy his Cd’s, go to his concerts when possible, mention to a few people who are open to hearing, and the rest is out of my control. Nothing would make me happier in regards to Tom than to see him get the respect and recognition is the U.S. that he deserves. But, unless something drastically changes, I don’t believe that will happen. Yes, very sad indeed!

  22. Lloyd Says:

    Stewart, I think you are 100% correct.

  23. Pat Lowndes Says:

    I dont know much about what happens in the U.S but I agree with you. Tom doesn’t get mentioned with the other singers you mentioned . I get really bugged when he is called a “CROONER” there is nothing wrong with crooners but Tom is not . Maybe they dont know what pigeonhole to put Tom in as he can sing any type of song and make it his own .

  24. gaillovestj Says:

    I agree that Tom is not getting the publicity he deserves in the U.S. – as his Management is based in the UK I imagine that is why he is being promoted so well over there. If they lived in the U.S. I think it would be different. This man has one of the world’s best voices. If The Voice was shown in North America I would be all for it – at least we could get to see him. I sure wish he would come back to Vegas at least once a year

  25. Stewart Says:

    Gaillovestj: Around 1970 when Tom was perhaps the biggest star in the world and a huge hit in the U.S., neither Tom or his management at the time (Gordon Mills) lived in the U.S. We all know that Tom himself has lived in the U.S. since the mid 70’s. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think the Beatles or their management were living in the US when they became so huge here. All I’m saying, is that I personally don’t think that’s the issue. I do recognize that Tom’s son, Mark, did some positive things when he took over, such as trying to change Tom’s image (although, because of the very poor promotion of Tom in the U.S., I don’t think he succeeded at that very well over here)and having him sing some more contemporary music. I also know Tom and Mark are very close and I don’t doubt Mark wants the very best for his father’s career. But, having said all that, it doesn’t change my previous points. Mark has his strengths, but I think he needed help in other areas, such as promotion, etc.

    Gordon Mills who managed Tom brilliantly for a number of years, didn’t seem to know what to do after Tom’s TV show, TITJ was cancelled, and for the next 15 years under Gordon’s management, Tom was steadily losing popularity (except for a brief comeback at the end of 1976 with, “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow”). It’s not my intention to insult anyone. I have nothing personally against any of these people. I think I’m just stating the obvious, and it’s very unfortunate for a talent like Tom to be viewed almost like a cartoon figure (I realize that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but unfortunately, only a little bit)because he has been so mismanaged. Other than in 1965 when Tom burst onto the scene, he has never been nominated for a Grammy. Tom has not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, his music is almost never played on the radio…and even the few times it is on an oldies station, there are only 2 or 3 of his old hits that ever get played. I’ve called various radio stations many times requesting Tom’s music, and it’s always met with negativity. I’ve observed that the people in the U.S. that do like him, they usually are totally unaware of any of his work since the early 70’s (unless it’s a true fan). And as I had mentioned in a previous post, he’s never mentioned with any of the the greats from any genre of music. Is this because other singers outshine Tom…I don’t think so! No one could top Tom in terms of the quality of voice, range, power, versatility, timing, rhythm, pitch, soulfulness, showmanship, or just plain raw talent. And given that Tom in 1970 was one of the biggest stars in the world and has since grown as an artist and produced some very impressive recordings over the decades, I think it’s indisputable that this AMAZING talent has been grossly mismanaged for a very long time when you consider what his status in the U.S. has been for almost 40 years.

  26. Moderator Says:

    Please be aware that Tom has a US-based team, too. Yes, they work under the direction of his UK team but he does have an agent here. And, I really believe, that as one is – for better or worse – judged by the company one keeps, that Tom should stay away from the likes of Jesse J. She may be young, have fans and talent – but class? No.

    Every time I read about Tom working with her – this person who brags about peeing in cups [suitable only for drug tests or in cases of illness] and breaking the confidence of the BBC to the detriment of the network and Sir Tom – I think of the song The Pig and the Inebriate. It tells the story of a drunk who lays down in the street and a pig comes and lies beside him. A woman walks by and comments. The song reports her remark and the action that followed: “You can tell a man who boozes By the company he chooses. And the pig got up and slowly walked away.”

    Tom should quickly walk away.

  27. Stewart Says:

    Ellen: I wholeheartedly agree!

  28. Dre Says:

    By joining THE VOICE as a judge, tom has his change in taking his career to the level he wants is up to himself now.
    He never got a bigger change than now, we will see next year.
    THE VOICE on the voice, couldn’t be better.

  29. Dre Says:

    What i ment was he has his musical future in his own hands now.

  30. Moderator Says:

    I am responding to my question as someone who does not watch shows like The Voice and American Idol. Trying to be objective, however, I believe that The Voice is a flattering offer to him and that he should say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” This is mostly because I believe that Jessie J lacks the experience and insight to be a valuable coach and she can take ’em all down. Also, the relatively limited viewership is a problem. Sir Tom Jones is at the point in his life and his career where, not choosing to rest on his laurels, he should be out doing what he does best and loves most – singing. His new CD will probably be released in the UK to capitalize on the publicity The Voice will generate for him, but that may not be enough to sell enough of his product. And, don’t get angry, but the fact that he is dissing the fans in the USA and Canada who supported him for years – decades! – even through the lean years is insulting and baffling. And, finally, Dre, I don’t believe for one minute that “his musical future in his own hands now.”