G3E1 – Origins of The Singers – The Beginning

Includes: Tommy Steele and Tom Jones

Welcome pop pickers to an ambitious series of articles covering 6 genres, each with 6 episodes. To give a bit of variation, the next episode of each genre will be published 6 weeks after the previous episode.

This is based on stuff like what I like, there will be various bands and artists to try and cheer you up and kick-start your weekend.  Hopefully for many of you, to bring back some fond memories and get your foot tapping.

This week is the origins of what I am calling “The Singers”.  Could be defined as those who sing in a soft, intimate style made possible by the introduction of microphones and amplification.  I was going to call this genre “The Crooners”, but they all sing and I would like to introduce you to, or remind you of, some of those songs, that whilst the singer my not be classed as a crooner, those songs were memorable.

The classic crooners of course are the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Bing Crosby and many others, but I also want to include some home-grown talent, such as Toomy Steele, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck of course and others as I remember them.

Thank you to Wiki and Top of the Pops.

The Tunes:

We start off of course with the legend that is Frank Sinatra:

The featured song: Frank Sinatra – My Way (Live at Madison Square Garden, New York City 1974).  Frank was for me the epitome of the crooners, so many songs we can still sing along to.  For our younger audience, give it a listen.

Dean Martin-Little Ole Wine Drinker Me – If you ever get the chance to listen to some of his albums, you are in for a treat.

Another classic:  Tony Bennett – I Left My Heart in San Francisco (from MTV Unplugged)

In the UK, we had some home-grown talent.  In the early 1960’s, we saw the likes of Tommy Steele doing rock songs, but he then went on to start and sing in some wonderful films, probably the most famous which is: Half a Sixpence The title song of the film with Julia Foster in 1967. I was 11 when this came out.  I saw the film at the cinema for my 12th birthday, loved Tommy Steele.

On this topic, a silly song, but good fun was Tommy Steele Live 1966 – Little White Bull.  As a 10-year-old, absolutely loved this.

In 1963, I do remember this performance, on what was the TV highlight of the year:  Tommy Steele: ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop‘ -1963 Royal Variety Performance.  (Skip forward a minute, poor quality copy, but best I could find.

I am pleased to say Tommy is alive, he was born in 1936 so is currently 86, he lives in Richmond upon Thames and still performs.

For those with an interest here he is in “Tommy Steele -Rock and Roll Medley” – 2004 Royal Variety Performance.  7 minutes of pure entertainment.

Also, in the 1960’s and up and coming star appeared.  Tom Jones.  He did rather well for himself, so I leave you for this time with two classics:

Tom Jones “It’s Not Unusual” (April 21, 1968) on The Ed Sullivan Show, and as it is in the news by the woke brigade:

Tom Jones Delilah Incredible Live Performance Diamond Jubilee Concert.  The woke brigade may not like it, but if it was good enough for Her Maj (god bless her and may she rest in peace), it is good enough for them and indeed us.  This is a brilliant performance, the standout for me from this concert.

Singalong, enjoy and be happy!

Links to Origins Series:

Genre 1 Episode 1 – Motown – The Beginning Genre 1 Episode 2 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 3 – Motown
Genre 1 Episode 4 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 5 – Motown Genre 1 Episode 6 – Motown
Genre 2 Episode 1 –

Glam Rock – The Beginning


Genre 2 Episode 2 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 3 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 4 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 5 –

Glam Rock

Genre 2 Episode 6 –

Glam Rock

Genre 3 Episode 1 – The Singers



Featured image: “File:Tommy Steele.jpg” by BKP is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 .

© Phil the ex test manager 2023