Childhood & Early Life
Jack Jones was born as John Allan Jones on January 14, 1938, in Los Angeles, USA. His father, Allan Jones, was an actor and a tenor, while his mother, Irene Hervey, was a well-known actress. He is his parents’ only child and has a half-sister named Gail from her mother’s previous marriage.
He was educated first at Nellie Coffman Junior High and then at University High School. Concurrently, he also studied drama and music at home, receiving training in classical music from French tutors hired by his father. However, Frank Sinatra was his favorite artist.
While studying at University High school, he went out of the way to hide his privileged family background. To complete the picture, he often worked in gas stations and plant nurseries. Good in athletics and soccer, he later gave them up to concentrate on arts.
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Sometime in 1950s, Jack Jones made his first professional appearance, accompanying his father at the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Soon, he started recording demos for song writer Don Raye, which in 1959 helped him to land a contract with Capital Records.
In 1959, he recorded his first album, ‘This Love of Mine’. Although it was a flop, one of its songs, ‘This Could Be The Start Of Something Big’ caught the attention of a San Francisco club owner, who offered him a job.
Also in 1959, he debuted in films, starring as Riff Manton in ‘Juke Box Rhythm’. But his film career never took off and he later appeared in a few minor films like 'The Comeback’ (1978), ‘Condominium’ (1980), ‘Airplane II: The Sequel’ (1982) and ‘Cruise of the Gods’ (2002).
It was while singing at the San Francisco night club that he was discovered by Pete King, a producer for Kapp Records, who immediately signed him to the label. But shortly, he was drafted for his military service.
In August 1961, while on a two-week leave from his active service at the Air Force Reserve, he recorded his first single, ‘Lollipops and Roses’, with Kapp Records. Released in 1962, the number was a big hit, eventually winning him the Grammy for Best Pop Male Performance.
Also in 1961, he recorded his first album with Kapps, ‘Wildcat With Beth Adlam’, which was followed in the same year by ‘Shall We Dance?’ and ‘This Was My Love ‘. Thereafter, he continued to work with Kapps, eventually recording almost twenty albums with them.
His next hit, ‘Wives and Lovers’, was recorded in 1963. In 1964, it reached number 14 on Billboard's Top 40, winning another Grammy for him while ‘Dear Heart’, published in the same year reached 30.
His next hit, ’Race is On’, was published in 1965. It reached No 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a week in April atop the Billboard easy listening chart.
In 1966, he released ‘The Impossible Dream’, which hit No. 35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the adult contemporary chart. It was followed by ‘Lady’ (1967), which spent four weeks at number one on the US Easy Listening chart.
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In 1967, he moved from Kapp to RCA Victor, publishing his first album (‘Without Her’) with them in 1968. Thereafter, he continued to record albums, eventually changing his musical direction with ‘A Time for Us’ (1969).
In 1979, he moved to MGM Records, recording two albums, ‘Nobody Does It Better’ (1979) and ‘Don’t Stop Now’ (1980) with them. Thereafter, he continued to work with various labels, releasing only two additional albums, ‘Jack Jones’ (1982, Applause) and ‘I am a Singer’ (1987 USA Music Group) in 1980s.
From 1980s, he began to concentrate more on live concerts, releasing only a few albums during this period. Some among them are 'Live at the London Palladium' (1995), 'Paints a Tribute to Tony Bennett' (1998), ‘Love Makes the Changes’ (2010) and ‘Live in Liverpool’ (2013) etc.
Concurrently with giving national as well international concerts, he also became active in the musical theaters, acting in plays like ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘South Pacific’ in 2000s and 2010s. His last album, ‘Seriously Frank’, was published in 2015, celebrating the birth centenary of his childhood idol, Frank Sinatra.
Family & Personal Life
On May 29 1960, Jack Jones married Katie Lee Nuckols (Lee Fuller). He had a daughter named Crystal Thomas with her. The couple divorced on May 30, 1966.
On October 14, 1967, he married Jill St. John. The marriage ended in a divorce on February 28, 1969.
Jones married his third wife, Gretchen Elizabeth Roberts, on September 5, 1970. They divorced on December 16, 1971.
On November 20, 1977, he tied the knot for the fourth time, marrying Kathryn Ann Simmons. The couple divorced on September 22, 1982.
On October 31, 1982, he married his fifth wife, Kim Patricia Ely, and had a daughter named Nicole Jones with her. The union ended in a divorce sometime in 2005.
He is currently married to Eleonora Donata Peter, with whom he had tied the knot in June 2009. The couple now lives in Indian Wells, in Riverside County, California.