One of his most memorable experiences while in high school was when one of his friends, Nancy Sinatra, invited her father to sing in the school auditorium. It left an indelible mark that helped shape Jones' career choice.
Jones' professional debut was a brief stint as part of his father's act at the Thunderbird Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas when he was just 19 years old. He went out on his own three weeks later, working odd jobs to support himself while pursuing his singing career. His first break came when a demo he recorded for songwriter Don Raye found its way to Capitol Records. While with the label he recorded a few singles and an album, which he admits was mediocre.
Although he eventually left Capitol. one gem from his album, "This Could Be The Start Of Something Big", caught the attention of a San Francisco club owner who booked him for a three week run at Facks. while performing there, he was discovered by Pete King, a producer and artist for Kapp Records who quickly signed him to the label.
Still working at his "day job" as a gas station attendant when his first album on Kapp was released. Jones, while washing a customer's windshield, was surprised to hear one of his cuts playing on the car radio. He could now legitimately hope that his odd job days would soon be over.
As his career gained momentum, Jones developed a deep appreciation for well constructed songs that also have emotional appeal His respect for songs that tell stories with meaning and beauty led him to record works by the greatest balladeers of all time: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Harold Arlen, Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman. He was inspired by great Jazz instrumentalists he discovered during his teen years such as Gerry Mulligan, Clark Terry, Buddy Rich, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Pell Octet, Marty Paiche Dectet, Shorty Rogers and the Giants, and Count Basie.
Jones' talent and commitment to his art earned him two Grammy's for "Best Pop Male Vocal Performance" with his singles "Lollipops and Roses" by Anthony Velona and Bacharach/David's "Wives and Lovers". His latest release,Jack Jones Paints A Tribute To Tony Bennett, was nominated for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance". He was also nominated for "The Impossible Dream" and his recording of "Wives and Lovers" was nominated for "Record of the Year". His hit records include "The Race Is On", "Lady", "Call Me Irresponsible", and "What I Did For Love". On April 13,1989, he was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, close to where his father's star is located.
He is also renowned as a leading interpreter of musical theater - with acclaimed performances in "Guys and Dolls" and "South Pacific", "She Loves Me", and Pajama Game" . Over the years he has guest-starred on countless episodic and/or comedy television series. Most recently he starred as Don Quixote in Man Of La Mancha in the national tour.
Admirers of Jones' talent include artists who influenced him as a young singer: Sinatra who said, "Jack is one of the major singers of our time," Mel Torme who called him "the greatest 'pure' singer in the world" and legendary composers Sammy Cahn and Michel Legrand.
In 1971, Jones honored Michel Legrand by recording the first complete vocal album in English of the French composer's songs. Released by RCA, Jack Jones Sings Michel Legrand is an album which exquisitely showcases the vocalists art and a recording that Jones counts as one of his favorites. In 1997 he recorded New Jack Swing for Honest Entertainment, which introduced Jones to a new generation of fans with hip, swing renditions of "Every Breath You Take", "Have You Ever Loved A Woman", Keb Mo's "Dangerous Mood", "All Or Nothing At All" and the classic "Mack The Knife"
With over 50 recorded albums (17 of them chanting Billboard's Top 20) and consistently sold-out world tours, Jack Jones continues to charm audiences with his wit, sensitivity and vocal power. In addition to a successful recording career, Jones' impressive credits include film and television roles; an internationally syndicated TV variety show; guest performances at Carnegie Halt, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. He has also performed and later recorded popular theme songs for film and TV ("Love with a Proper Stranger, "The Love Boat").
On his latest release for Honest Entertainment, Jack Jones Paints A Tribute To Tony Bennett, Jones pays homage to a friend and an American icon. He counts Bennett among those vocalists who most influenced his style (a small but elite group that includes Mel Torme, Sammy Davis Jr., Billy Eckstine, and Frank Sinatra). Professional relationship aside, Jones and Bennett have been friends since their meeting at Chicago's Palmer House Hotel in the late 60's when Jones attended the last show of Bennett's engagement at the Empire Room, before opening in the same room the following night.
Of his tribute album, which features some of Bennett's signature songs, Jones says, This album is my way or saying thanks to a dear friend, " In selecting songs for this album, he chose three of his personal Bennett favorites, "Skylark", "Shadow Of Your Smile" and "You Must Believe In Spring".
Jack, his wife Kim, and their daughter, Nicole Barclay (b. Feb. 7, 1991), live in Indian Wells, California (near Palm Springs). The family enclave also includes Maxwell, an Italian Greyhound/Terrier mix, and Barkley, a full Greyhound, both of which they adopted through Greyhound Pets of America. Most recently, they adoped Haley, a border collie from Haley Idaho. The Joneses also rescued two cats from a dumpster which they've named Jazzmin and Sassy adopted two more named Tux and Holly. Unfortunately, Jazzmin vanished. A cool cat named Tiger has taken her place.