Tom Jones, Sexiest Man Alive: "I Just Want to Sing Until I Drop"
And indeed, he still strives to stay current. "I listen, and I watch talent shows. Like, I'm doing The Voice now in England, because I love to listen to new talent. I've been around for so long, and I've worked with so many people, so I do have advice to give to people. That aside, I want to do new things myself, not only give advice to other people but to keep doing it for me. I don't think you can share experience with somebody if you can't do it yourself.
"I didn't think when I started that I'd still be alive now," Jones chuckles. "But when you're young, you're young, and you don't think about the future. But it's been an amazing journey. When I think about the people that I've met and hung out with on their level. When I was back in Wales and I was playing in pubs, I'd say, 'I'll meet Elvis Presley one day.' And the reaction was, 'Oh, yeah, right. Right, Tom. OK.' But then I met Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. and Elvis. I wouldn't change it for the world. People ask me if I've got any regrets. Not really."
Jones was also once a staple of South Florida's nightclub scene, specifically Miami Beach, during the halcyon days of the late '60s and early '70s. So naturally, we asked him to think back on his experiences in our area of the Earth.
"I played a club in London called The Talk of the Town," he explained. "An American agent saw me in that environment, and he couldn't believe that I hadn't played nightclubs in America, because this was 1967. So he said to me, 'You know, you should be in Vegas.' I hadn't really thought about it before. And he said, 'I'm telling you, if you allow me to, I'll book you in the Copacabana in New York and the nightclubs in Miami and Vegas.' So I said, 'OK, let's give it a shot.' So in '68, I started playing those nightclubs, like the Copa in New York and the hot spots in Miami Beach.
"There were a bunch of clubs in Miami Beach back then, especially in the hotels there, like the Fontainebleau and the Deauville. Easter time, it was a big thing there. I did a few years there at Easter time in Miami."
For a lad from a mining town in Wales, Miami Beach must have seemed like paradise. "Well, it was," he laughed. "To go to London was like wow, and to go to New York, it was whew. And going to Miami, Florida, it was only things you see in movies. Vegas and all the rest of it, it was tremendous. It was unbelievable."