Press Release via AS Written, March 2021
TONY JONES HONOURS LATE SISTER SANDIE
If you’re a fan of the old-school yet ever classy crooners such as Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and more, and of Eurovision as well, then the latest release from TONY JONES is definitely a must-have for your collection. But truth be told, THE ROOM NEXT DOOR is a song that holds a universal appeal, beyond any description of genre or otherwise.
In the most beautiful yet bittersweet of ways, Jones has honoured his late sister, one of Ireland’s Eurovision stars of the early Seventies, SANDIE JONES, by taking the song – released in her memory – to the top of the charts. Sadly, Sandie passed away from cancer in September of 2019, at the all too young age of just sixty-eight. Released earlier this month, The Room Next Door, from the pen of another of Ireland’s Eurovision heroes BRENDAN GRAHAM (co-written with Denis Carey), claimed the #1 spot on the iTunes Vocal chart shortly thereafter, retaining that position for the best part of a week. This achievement prompted an emotional Jones to declare, “I’m super-excited, thank you all for your support, and your comments, and for taking the time to download it. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
Although she didn’t take home the Eurovision title when she competed at the 1972 edition of the contest in Edinburgh, Sandie Jones nevertheless wrote her own chapter of Irish Eurovision history by becoming our first – and so far our only – representative to perform in our native tongue. Singing Ceol An Ghrá, which in English means the Music of Love, Sandie scored 72 points to finish in 15th place with the composition from Joe Burkett and Liam MacUistín. That performance helped push Ceol An Ghrá to the top of the charts in Ireland, a feat the Dubliner also achieved with her follow-up later that same year, What Do I Do?
Tony himself is no stranger to the stage or the spotlight either. Performing since he was just sixteen, his velvet voice and sharp good looks made him the perfect man to bring to life the music of two of the world’s greatest crooners. With a show named after Perry Como’s Don McLean penned hit And I Love You So, Jones sold-out a phenomenal five nights at the National Concert Hall in his home-town, the last of which was in 2016. And poignantly, Sandie returned from the United States to join Tony as his special guest that night, taking to the stage as the voice of Doris Day. In another show, Portrait Of My Love, he thrilled fans with his interpretations from the Matt Monroe songbook.
In a cruel twist of fate, however, Tony sees The Room Next Door lovingly recall his sister as he too finds himself in a battle with the same vicious disease which eventually took Sandie from this world. But it’s a mark of the man that he treats this fact as a by-the-by, preferring instead to focus on how The Room Next Door might be able to help others, and expressing his gratitude to one of the song’s writers, Brendan Graham, for giving him the opportunity to share it with the world in Sandie’s memory.
“Sandie sang a number of Brendan’s songs back in the eighties, and the two became friends because of that. When he heard the news that she had passed away, he was kind enough to get in touch to offer his sympathy, a gesture that was greatly appreciated. As we talked, Brendan had the idea of this song being a way to honour Sandie’s memory. And naturally enough, as soon as I heard it, I could see why. For myself, and for the rest of my family – having lost not just Sandie but several dear family members all within a very short time of each other – ‘The Room Next Door’ is a song that possesses a special kind of healing power to it. And I hope that’s something others will experience when they listen to the song, too.”
~ THE ROOM NEXT DOOR, the brand NEW single from TONY JONES (co-written by BRENDAN GRAHAM and Denis Carey), is OUT NOW, available on all platforms and to request from radio. Tony is donating 25% of the proceeds from this single to Lung Cancer Research at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin. Fans can enjoy more from Tony on his recent album, What A Difference, which includes his take on the Irish classics, The Isle of Innisfree and The Old Bog Road.