Pop upstarts Englebert Humperdink and Tom Jones were branded “fairly manufactured creatures” who “did not deserve the furore that attends them”, according to Rudy Valee, the American singer from the 1920s and 1930s, who later went on to become an actor and millionaire.
In an interview with a magazine, he said: “The Humperdink voice is pretty good but there is a case of a crazy name, good looks and sex appeal. The same with Tom Jones. I think most of Jones’s popularity is exaggerated and manufactured.”
Valee (1901-1986) was himself a ‘pop idol’. He was the first of a new wave of ‘crooners’, bolstered by his suave manner and good looks. He is regarded as the 20th Century’s first mass media pop star.