A Drunken Poet's Dream

Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography

It's not unusual that Tom Jones doesn't kiss and tell

A Drunken Poet's Dream

For a singer keenly associated with panties thrown onstage, Tom Jones' autobiography is surprisingly chaste. The 75-year-old Welshman married at age 16 when his wife became pregnant with their only child, and they've been together ever since. Not to say Sir Tom avoided his station's carnal pleasures. Accounts indicate he frequently indulged, but he doesn't kiss and tell here. Call it a mark of gentlemanly discretion. Then again, his wife chinned him last time his infidelities made press. Fortunately, Jones' tale transcends salacity, his pub-friendly writer's voice capturing the conflict of having a slim shot at success while supporting a family in a small town. Manager Gordon Mills ultimately mortgages his future on Jones' voice and the two hit it big with 1965's "It's Not Unusual." Jones remains loyal – to a fault, careerwise – until Mills' death in 1986, after which the singer (under his son's management) enjoys a renaissance that continues today.

Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography

by Tom Jones
Blue Rider Press, 432 pp., $26.95
More Tom Jones
Try To Remember
Try To Remember
How two kids from UT changed the course of the American musical

Robert Faires, Oct. 15, 2010

More Music Reviews
Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way
Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way
The Parrothead behind the empire

Doug Freeman, July 21, 2017

All Over the Map, True Heroes of Texas Music
All Over the Map, True Heroes of Texas Music

Kevin Curtin, June 16, 2017

More by Greg Beets
Texas Platters
Jean Caffeine
Sadie Saturday Nite (Record Review)

Sept. 1, 2017

Summer Jams Clearance Sale, Part 2
Matt the Electrician
The Doubles (Record Review)

Aug. 18, 2017


Tom Jones, Gift Guide 2015

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)