Saturday, 17 April 2010

Tom Jones' dole records fail to sell at auction

From BBC Wales:

"He does not want shift work but I believe the reason for his not liking shifts is because he is a member of a vocal group which is supposedly an amateur affair." So said a dole officer of Sir Tom Jones as he started his life as a singer. But this unemployment record card and five more failed to meet their reserve price at a recent auction.

The six cards detailed Tom Jones' trips to the dole office between 1961 and 1964, when he was still known as Thomas Woodward. The officials charged with recording his attempts to enter the employment market appear unimpressed with his efforts.

"From the number of adverts one sees in the local press... it seems that this group has a good thing going... from the way he is able to dress, it would seem that Mr Woodward's little hobby is highly lucrative and this would also account for his non enthusiasm in securing employment."

The cards provide an illuminating insight to the world of a musician battling with authorities that at the time would probably not have appreciated the potential in the then-fledgling sphere popular music industry.

Unfortunately for the owner of the cards, which were rescued from a Pontypridd skip when employment records were computerised, they didn't prove popular in the auction room.

Auctioneer Richard Westwood Brookes of Mullock's auction house in Shropshire, reported some bidding but the cards did not meet the reserve price.

He said at the time of the find: "They are a wonderful look at the beginning of a glittering career when Tom Jones was trying to make a living from his singing.
"The notes mention his TB and it's amazing to think that such a voice came from a man who had suffered from the disease."

No comments: