Sir Tom Jones: I nearly recorded My Way before it went to Sinatra
Sir Tom Jones has said he was going to record My Way before it was offered to Frank Sinatra.
The Welsh pop superstar, who recently released his 41st studio album titled Surrounded By Time, said songwriter Paul Anka had originally suggested he sing on the hit.
But Anka’s music publisher overruled him and the song went to Sinatra and was released in 1969, with the US crooner’s version spending a total of 75 weeks in the UK top 40 – the second most of all time.
Sir Tom, 80, said there had been no hard feelings between the pair and that the song’s reflective lyrics suited Sinatra better given he was an older man.
He told the PA news agency: “I was going to do My Way. Paul Anka wrote it. He said, ‘Look, I have written this great song and you would sing the shit out of it’. And I said, ‘Well thanks’.
“He played a demo that he had made and I said, ‘That is fantastic’. He said, ‘There is only one problem, my music publisher sent it to Frank Sinatra and if Frank likes it he will do it’.
“I said, ‘Oh, okay’. And Frank did do it. I missed it because they sent it to Frank Sinatra, which is fine. He was an older man anyway. I was too young at the time to sing, ‘I did it my way’.
“You have got to be around for a while before you can do that. It was perfect for Frank Sinatra so I wasn’t all that fussed with it.
“And then Paul Anka wrote me She’s A Lady. He said, ‘I’ll write another one for me’, when he was doing my TV show. We got a hit with that. It was number one in the States, even higher than here.”
Sir Tom, who is on course to secure his first number one album in more than 20 years, also recalled performing at Donald Trump’s resorts in Atlantic City.
He said the former US president would attend his concerts and enjoy the “adulation”.
“He had three hotels – the Taj Mahal, the Trump Plaza and Trump Marina – and I sang at all three at different times,” he said.
“He would come to the shows because he wanted the spotlight on him. I used to say, ‘Ladies and gentleman, the owner of the hotel is in tonight – Mr Donald Trump’ and he stood up. He loved the adulation.
“Then of course he did The Apprentice. This was before he did that and before he got into politics of course. Who the hell knew he was going to be the president? I mean Christ.”
Surrounded By Time currently leads the race for this week’s number one album.
If it holds the top spot until Friday it will become his fourth number album one and first since Reload in October 1999.
Surrounded By Time is Sir Tom’s fourth covers album produced by Ethan Johns, who he has worked with since 2010, and features a tribute to his late wife Linda.