By Nicholas Stix
A full-blown Jack Jones renaissance is underway in the Stix household. Every day, of late, I’ll be listening to Jones recordings in one room, while my Chief of Research will be listening to them in another one. Often, we’ll both be listening to the same song, Jones’ signature and biggest hit, “Wives and Loves.”
About a week ago, after going over 20 years without hearing him, I searched up Jones’ performance of “Once Upon a Time” at Youtube, and found a treasure trove of uploads of his recordings and live performances. It turns out that at 77, the man still looks good, sounds great, has gone back to the elegant look of his youth, before elegance was crushed and he surrendered to the bummy “casual” look, and is still going on tour every year! He would have just finished a 24-day tour in the UK yesterday, but his wife Eleonora (#6) needed sudden surgery, and he stood by her, postponing the tour until next year.
I kept coming across remarks from 2011 at Youtube by people who said that they had been inspired to upload or listen to Jones’ most famous performance, of Bacharach & David’s “Wives and Lovers,” by the cable TV series about early 1960s advertising men, Mad Men, and mentioned the protagonist, “Don Draper,” played by Jon Hamm.
It seems that the show played Jones’ early ‘60s hits, apparently as signature to the Draper character. (I only saw the show once, a few years ago. I thought it was well done, but I have little time for episodic TV these days, aside from watching Mets and Jets losses.)
I looked up pictures of the Draper character, and this is what I found.
Meanwhile, this is what Jack Jones looked like at 25, on the cover of his Wives and Lovers album, and for most of the 1960s.
Although the Draper character was older, I am convinced that the young Jack Jones, in his elegance, good looks, and self-confidence, was the inspiration for the Draper look.