|Born||February 9, 1948|
|Died||March 25, 1984 36) (aged|
Los Angeles, California
|Instrument(s)||Vocals, guitar, piano|
Tom Jans (February 9, 1948 – March 25, 1984) was an American folk singer-songwriter and guitarist from San Jose, California. He is perhaps best known for his song "Loving Arms" (also known as "Lovin' Arms"), which was recorded initially by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, and notably covered by Dobie Gray, Elvis Presley and Petula Clark.
The son of a farmer, Tom Jans was raised near San Jose.Jans's paternal grandmother had been involved in music, playing in the Rocky Mountain Five jazz group. His influences ranged from Hank Williams to flamenco (his mother was from Spain) to The Beatles. He studied English literature at the University of California at Davis, but rejected a graduate scholarship to Columbia University to seek a career in music.
Playing coffeehouses in San Francisco, Jans met Joan Baez, who introduced him to her sister Mimi Fariña in 1970.Fariña had achieved cult status as part of a duo with her late husband Richard Fariña. Fariña had begun writing new songs and was looking for a partner to perform them with; Jans seemed to be a similar collaborator and the two formed a new duo. The duo played San Francisco Bay Area clubs and received notice from their performance at the Big Sur Folk Festival. The group then toured extensively as a supporting act for Cat Stevens and then James Taylor. They received a recording contract from A&M Records, releasing the album Take Heart in 1971. However, the album received little notice and the duo split up in 1972.
Jans moved to Nashville to pursue work as a songwriter, working for the publishing house Irving/Almo.His first hit as a writer was the song "Loving Arms", initially recorded by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge and then by Dobie Gray and Elvis Presley in 1973. Jans put the song on his self-titled solo debut album on A&M Records in 1974. The album was produced by Mentor Williams and featured guitarists Lonnie Mack and Troy Seals. However, the record was a commercial failure and Jans opted to relocate to Los Angeles.
After a period of isolation, Jans released a second album, The Eyes of An Only Child, on Columbia Records in 1975, executive produced by Lowell George.The album featured his song "Out of Hand", which later became a country hit for Gary Stewart. The song "Struggle in Darkness" was also a minor hit on FM radio, but the album was not a commercial success. His next album on Columbia Records, Dark Blonde (1976), also did not generate high sales, and Jans moved to Europe.
When the Columbia releases failed to find an audience, his career lost momentum and although Jans continued to perform, he issued no recordings until 1982's Champion, a Don Grusin-produced album that was released in Japan only.
Jans suffered serious injuries, especially to his kidneys, in a motorcycle accident in 1983.He died at age 36 of a suspected drug overdose in 1984. Mentor Williams's brother Paul sang "Loving Arms" at Jans's funeral.
Tom Waits dedicated a song to Jans, whom he and his wife had befriended, "Whistle Down the Wind (For Tom Jans)" from Bone Machine . Waits said of the song, "It was written about another friend, but it was the kind of song that Tom Jans would have written. He was there in spirit."
Kristoffer Kristofferson is an American retired country singer, songwriter, and actor. Among his songwriting credits are "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night", all of which were hits for other artists.
Rita Coolidge is an American recording artist. During the 1970s and 1980s, her songs were on Billboard magazine's pop, country, adult contemporary, and jazz charts, and she won two Grammy Awards with fellow musician and then-husband Kris Kristofferson. Her recordings include "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," "We're All Alone", "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love", and the theme song for the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy: "All Time High".
Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman was an American record producer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is known for working in R&B, pop music and country music, operating American Sound Studios and producing hit albums like Elvis Presley's 1969 From Elvis in Memphis and the 1985 debut album for The Highwaymen. Moman won a Grammy Award for co-writing "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", a 1975 hit for B.J. Thomas.
Milton Sims "Mickey" Newbury Jr. was an American singer-songwriter and a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Dobie Gray was an American singer and songwriter. Gray's music spanned multiple genres, including soul, country, pop, and musical theater. His hit songs included "The 'In' Crowd" in 1965 and "Drift Away". "Drift Away" was one of the biggest hits of 1973, has sold over one million copies, and remains a staple of radio airplay.
A Black & White Night Live is a Roy Orbison music album made posthumously by Virgin Records from the HBO television special, Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night, which was filmed in 1987 and broadcast in 1988. According to the authorised Roy Orbison biography, the album was released in October 1989 and included the song "Blue Bayou" which because of time constraints had been deleted from the televised broadcast. However, it did not include the songs "Claudette" and "Blue Angel", which were also cut from the original broadcast for the same reason.
Jesus Was a Capricorn is the fourth album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1972 on Monument Records. The album cover pictures Kristofferson and his soon-to-be wife Rita Coolidge. "Why Me" reached #1 on the Country singles charts.
Live at the Philharmonic is a live album by Kris Kristofferson, released on Monument Records in 1992. Performed at Philharmonic Hall in New York City on December 2, 1972, the concert followed the release of Kristofferson's successful Jesus Was a Capricorn. Aside from several songs from the latter, the singer performed a number of new pieces, as well as a few of his well-known hits such as "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Me and Bobby McGee". Guest artists included Willie Nelson, who was a little-known personality in country music at the time, Rita Coolidge, Kristofferson's future wife, and Larry Gatlin, whose career was in its starting phases.
Surreal Thing is the seventh solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1976 on Monument Records. "Killing Time" and "The Golden Idol" are re-recordings of songs that were originally released as a single in 1967.
Repossessed is an album by Kris Kristofferson, released on Mercury Records in 1986. It was Kristofferson's first full-length solo album since 1981's To the Bone, although the singer did collaborate with other artists in the meantime, most notably on Highwayman with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
Full Moon is a duet album by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, released in September 1973 on A&M Records. It is the first of three duet albums by the couple, who married weeks before the album's release, and arguably the best. Unlike Kristofferson solo albums, it features several covers.
Natural Act is the third and final duet album by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, released in 1978 on A&M Records. The couple would divorce the following year. The album was released while Coolidge's career was at a peak; her recent albums Anytime...Anywhere and Love Me Again had seen much commercial success. Natural Act is Kristofferson's only album to chart in the United Kingdom.
Shake Hands with the Devil is the ninth solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1979 on Monument Records. Several of the songs on the album were written by Kristofferson years before its release.
"Why Me" is an American country and gospel song written and recorded by American country music singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson.
Robert Joseph Beckham was an American country music publisher based in Nashville, who mentored generations of songwriters as head of Combine Music Publishing from 1964 to 1989. He played a pivotal role in the career of Kris Kristofferson and guided other artists including Dolly Parton, Larry Gatlin, Tony Joe White and Billy Swan.
Thomas Clark Cogbill was an American bassist, guitarist and record producer known for his work in R&B, soul and country music.
Sammy Lee Creason was an American session drummer who played with Tony Joe White, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan amongst others.
The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection is a box set by country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson, released in 2016 on Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings.
"Loving Arms" is a song written by Tom Jans and first recorded as a duet by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge for their 1973 album Full Moon.
"Help Me" is a song written by Larry Gatlin. A country gospel song, the lyrics tell the story of a world-weary and tired man pleading for guidance and reassurance from God. Gatlin performed the song at the funerals of both June Carter and Johnny Cash and dedicates the song to them during every performance.