Sir Tom Jones always had conflicting advice from Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
The ‘It’s Not Unusual’ singer used to pick up tips from both of the legendary performers, and he was glad for their support even if they contradicted each other.
He told Music Week: “Elvis was always buying my records and he would pass comment on them. I did an album called ‘From The Heart’ that was all old standards and he said, ‘Tom, we don’t do that. You leave that to Frank Sinatra…’
“But then at the same time, I’d go to a bar and Frank Sinatra would be there and I’d have a drink with him and he’d go, ‘Tom, you need to do more standards, f*** that rock and roll stuff…’
“So I had Elvis Presley pulling on me to do more rock and roll tunes and Sinatra telling me to do ‘Fly Me To The Moon’! As a singer it’s not a bad position to be in, is it?”
And while the crooner was delighted to meet his heroes, he doesn’t have as much time for people trying to simply imitate the greats.
He explained: “All the people I’ve met, the bigger they are the nicer they are. Elvis Presley was one of the nicest fellas you could ever wish to meet.
“Sammy Davis Jr. was fantastic, Frank Sinatra… They were real people. It was the ones you’d meet who were like Frank Sinatra copies and the Elvis Presley merchants.
“They’d try to give you advice and you’d think, ‘What the f*** do you know? You’re just copying somebody else!’ But when you meet the real people they’re unbelievable.
“You’d meet these people like Jerry Lee Lewis, he was crazy but he was great. We had a night out together and became really great friends.”