For most singers, their managers stay with them for a long time. However, a sad reason meant Sir Tom Jones needed to find a new manager as his career was continuing to rise, but his image needed an overhaul. Instead of looking for someone experienced in the business – he went for his own son Mark Jones.
According to Sir Tom Jones expert Colin Macfarlane, who spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk, the crooner’s choice of manager was not a case of nepotism.
In fact, Mark had become well acquainted with the world of music and stardom, making him the perfect candidate to assist his father on tour.
Sir Tom’s original manager Gordon Mils created the Sex Bomb we know and love, but he died in 1986.
Mr Macfarlane said: “Because Gordon Mills was the genius… so Mark watched Gordon Mills in action over the years and when Mills went, Mark obviously took over because he had learnt from the master. He was the apprentice.”
How Mark Jones became Sir Tom Jones’ manager
Gordon Mills was known for his transformative skills, turning Welsh labourer, husband and father Thomas Woodward into Tom Jones, the hip-swivelling “single” man who had spent his life down the mines.
As many now know, Sir Tom had never been down a mine in his life and was certainly not single but married to his wife Linda when they were 16.
Mr Macfarlane said he once spoke to a man who met Mark as a young child, and the expectation was not to see him skyrocket to become his father’s manager.
He said: “He was too young. Tom got his break in 1956, so Mark would have only been about nine-years-old when Tom made it.
“But one guy I spoke to in Pontypridd went to school with Mark and said he was a quite nice guy, but I don’t think they expected him to eventually become Tom Jones’ manager.”
Tom Jones performing in his early days
Tom Jones on stage as a young performer
Sir Tom has spoken before about the impact his son has had on him – mainly helping to change his image once again.
Speaking to the Daily Express in 2010, Sir Tom said: “When Mark became my manager he immediately got me out of the tight trousers and revamped my image.
“I look back at those trousers and think, ‘No wonder.’”
Mark has, in his time as Tom’s manager, had quite an effect on his father.
Tom Jones with wife Linda and a young Mark
After a phase of “drinking too much” when he first went on the road, Mark is now “squeaky clean” and credited for “looking after his dad” and reining in his tendency to go out boozing.
Mark said: “I’m always on about his drinking. He knows I mean well and I know what it means to him.
“So he can do it but I say, ‘Don’t kill yourself doing it.’ I’m very persistent.
“That’s the one way in which we are very similar. It’s very Welsh. We’re like nanny goats.”
Mark was fairly close to his father in age, given Sir Tom had his son when he was just a teenager, meaning the pair could clearly operate well in their professional and private lives.