My Celebrity Life

True story of how The Voice UK coach Sir Tom Jones met idol and friend Elvis Presley

During the new season of The Voice UK, coach Sir Tom Jones performed a moving rendition of one of his hits, With These Hands, a cover of Eddie Fisher’s original 1953 song.

The Voice viewers and Sir Tom’s fellow coaches were blown away by his powerful performance, which he delivered while sitting down on his red spinning chair.

Not only is With These Hands one of the Welshman’s earliest releases, but the song also comes with a lot of history, particularly with regards to Sir Tom’s famous friendship with the King, Elvis Presley.

Over the years, Sir Tom and Elvis became extremely close, with the pair hanging out together while carrying out separate residencies in Las Vegas.

But when they first met, Sir Tom was in the early stages of his career and Elvis was someone he looked up to as an idol and inspiration.

How did Sir Tom and Elvis first meet?

During a 2015 appearance on American talk show Conan with Conan O’Brien, Sir Tom recalled how he first made Elvis’ acquaintance.

My Celebrity Life –
Sir Tom poses with Elvis and his wife Priscilla backstage at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1968 (Picture: Bettmann Archive)

The It’s Not Unusual singer explained that they met in 1965, ‘the first year that I was in the business’.

‘The TV had gone to colour and I was doing the Ed Sullivan show, a lot of Ed Sullivan shows, so we had to come out to Los Angeles because they couldn’t transmit in colour from New York,’ he said.

‘So I came to LA. I went to Paramount Studios to talk about a song for a film.’

When he visited Paramount Studios, at that time in his mid-twenties, he was informed that Elvis was at the studios that day as well and that he wanted to say hello.

‘I went onto this set and he was in a mock helicopter,’ Sir Tom said, recalling how the Blue Suede Shoes singer got out of the helicopter and started walking towards him.

Sir Tom explained to Conan that at the time, his third single With These Hands had only recently been released.

Elvis was clearly a fan of the song, as he was singing the tune as he approached Sir Tom.

We can only imagine how Sir Tom must have felt in that moment!

In 2019, Jerry Schilling, a music industry professional and friend of Elvis, said that the Jailhouse Rock star ‘didn’t really hang out with other entertainers that much’.

‘But if there was one artist that Elvis truly called a friend and hung out with the most, it was Sir Tom Jones,’ he added.

Jerry added that Elvis ‘was inspired’ by Sir Tom, with the pair forming a close friendship.

The Voice UK airs on Saturdays at 8.30pm on ITV.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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