Gordon Mills, a British songwriter, penned "I'm the Lonely One," which Cliff Richard, England's biggest pop singer, took into the U.K. Top Ten in early 1964. For most of that year, the British and American charts were dominated by records from long-haired English beat groups, and it seemed that the kind of mainstream pop represented by professionals like Mills was on the wane. By the fall, however, the pros were starting to adapt. Sandie Shaw topped the British charts in October with Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me," and "Petula Clark" did almost as well with Tony Hatch's "Downtown" at the end of the year; these were songs that adopted the peppy energy of Merseybeat while hewing to a more middle-of-the-road sound. Mills, meanwhile, had found an unknown 24-year-old Welsh singer with a big voice and persuaded him to move to London, where he began to manage Thomas Woodward, re-christened Tom Jones. Mills and Les Reed had written "It's Not Unusual" in the sparkly, up-tempo style of "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" and "Downtown," and they envisioned it as a single for Sandie Shaw. When Jones heard it, however, he insisted it was his ticket to stardom, and, of course, he was right. Signed to Decca Records, he recorded the song in an exuberant style that belied the somewhat downcast lyrics, abetted by a quick-paced, horn-filled arrangement. Supposedly, the BBC found the result too hot when the single came out in early 1965, but that didn't keep "It's Not Unusual" from topping the British charts in March, and a subsequent American release took it into the U.S. Top Ten in May. Along with the success of Petula Clark, Tom Jones' stateside breakthrough demonstrated that the British Invasion didn't have to mean moptopped types with guitars who sang their own compositions; it could also mean a bridge across the Atlantic for a new generation of mainstream pop artists. Jones went on to win the 1965 Grammy Award for best new artist, and "It's Not Unusual" became a much-recorded standard, cut by such traditional pop vocalists as Vic Damone as well as R&B performers like the Impressions and the Four Tops (whose lead singer Levi Stubbs must have wished he'd gotten to it first). But none of the covers have stolen it from Tom Jones, for whom it is his signature song, one he was still singing with his characteristic gusto 35 years after first recording it.