Sir Tom Jones and Elvis Presley were close friends for a long while. They remained friends until The King’s sad death, but they still had a lot in common musically. Sir Tom, in an unearthed interview, revealed how the pair met and how it went.
Sir Tom, in an interview with US host Conan O’Brien in 2015, spoke out about how he met The King, and how he reacted to meeting him.
O’Brien mentioned the fact Sir Tom’s friendship with Elvis was like being close friends with his idol, a comment Sir Tom closely agreed with.
Sir Tom said: “When I met him in ’65 he said, ‘How do you sing like that? Where do you get it from?’
“I said, ‘You know, listening to people like you.’”
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He went on to describe how the pair met, and it sounded like quite the meeting.
Sir Tom continued: “It was in ’65, the first year I was in the business, and the TV had gone to colour.
“I was doing a lot of Ed Sullivan shows and we had to come to Los Angeles because they couldn’t transmit in colour from New York.
“So I came to Los Angeles and I went to Paramount Studios to talk about a song for a film, and they said, ‘Elvis Presley is here and he would like to say hello.’
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“And I said, ‘Oh my God!’ It had only been a few months since I had been in the business.
“So I went onto this set and he was in a mock helicopter. So he got out of there and he was walking towards me.
“I had a single out at the time called With These Hands, it was my third single, and he was singing With These Hands.
“He was walking towards me doing it, like this.”
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At this, Sir Tom started to shake his hand in the classic Elvis style, singing his song with a low baritone.
O’Brien laughed as he heard this, before Sir Tom regaled him about further instances between the pair.
Extra to this, Sir Tom has described one of his major regrets related to an image he took with Elvis and Elvis’ then-girlfriend, Priscilla.
In a rare moment, Elvis allowed his picture to be taken with Sir Tom, something for which Tom was not ready.
Speaking to The Independent in 2012, Sir Tom said: “Sure enough, somebody soon came up and asked to take a picture, and so there we were, arm-in-arm, Elvis looking all perfect, like, and me…
“He waves his hand up around his face as if to suggest the presence of a double chin… I hadn’t straightened myself up properly, see? I looked awful.
“And in that picture, I always will. I bloody regret that and all. But other than that, no, no regrets.”
Sir Tom serves as a judge on The Voice on ITV, which airs at 8.30pm on Saturdays
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