Found Performance: Tom Jones 1967

I remember when I was in Junior High School and first getting started listening to the radio (KPUG-Bellingham), there were only a few songs and artists that I liked AND that my folks could tolerate. I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. A generation later, I never cared much for the rap music my daughter got into either.

One of the songs everybody in our household liked, back when I was an impetuous youth of the sixties, was by Welsh singer Tom Jones. Granted, it is one of his less familiar songs if it’s compared to “It’s Not Unusual,” What’s Up Pussycat,” “Delilah,” or “She’s a Lady” but that says something about Tom Jones’ abilities as a hitmaker. In the US, “Green Green Grass of Home” peaked on Billboard charts at #11 on Feb. 17, 1967. And it did phenomenally well in the UK, reaching #1 and staying there for seven weeks. Since I spent years in country music radio, I can also tell you that Porter Wagoner recorded a hit version of this same song.

I created this video from a couple partial clips that were online. After editing them together, and syncing in a new soundtrack, I think it turned out pretty well. Since the clips were short, it begins with a spinning 45 record, but soon Tom steps in with one of his distinctive performances. (The video is at ad free Vimeo, so click on the play button 2x – first to go to Vimeo and again the start the video.)

Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions. View other articles by Steven Smith

12 thoughts on “Found Performance: Tom Jones 1967

  1. Tom Jones’ pants were very, very tight in the crotch area. Jones was endowed with a great voice. Elvis be damned, I say the voice alone had the girls melting. One would think that he could afford a better tailor.

  2. I guess a person could do worse than Elvis as your vocal coach. Wanted by TJ or not…great story.

  3. Elvis met Tom Jones in the late 60s. and proceeded to give him some not requested advice on how to turn on the ladies while performing!…I think Elvis was threatened by Tom, and his aggressive way of occasionally thrusting his crotch area towards the audience….Jones may have been a better singer than Elvis, although he had that almost out of control situation with his voice, where on the higher sustained notes, his voice would sort of crack, and jump up an octave for a second…maybe it was his trademark?!

  4. Jason….back around 2000 when he was not a spring chicken Jones did a song called Sex Bomb. I first saw it on a plane to Italy. And in Italy they were playing it everywhere. It did have s great beat. As for syncing…I am enough of a tech geek from my radio engineer days that I see it as a challenge. It is not always perfect. To get it close involves splitting the video into segments and syncing those piece by piece to the audio. Some sections might be running at 105 percent speed to keep up with the sound other sections might be at 95 percent. So I split it when it gets out of whack and reel it back in again. One thing that helps is on so many early TV vids the artists were lip syncing their record. So inserting a good quality version of the same track is pretty easy.

  5. Excellent job of syncing the recording with the video. Tom Jones was 25 years old when It’s Not Unusual hit the US Top 10 in 1965. Who can forget the sight of the ladies running toward the stage to throw their panties at Tom? Not sure where that tradition came from, but it continued throughout his career. I witnessed that silliness during two of Jones’ concerts in Vegas over the years. His voice was as rich in concert as heard on the original recordings. One of my faves, Tom Jones! Thanks for the video, Mike.

    1. Steven – I figured it out as a kid after about 1/2 dozen listens after determining what the above-mentioned lyrics referred to.

      1. Mike, you were one of the smart ones. It went over my head. If I had really thought about it maybe I would have got it…but then my mom told me what it was all about.

  6. I figured out what the lyrics were about after only several listens. The first line that caought my ear: “…as they lay me down ‘neath the Green Green Grass of Home” & then I figured out shortly thereafter what the”…4 gray walls that surround me…” lyric was referring to. It is a truly sad song. I’ve also heard the Tom Jones version played on country stations too Steven, in addition to the Porter Wagoner version, which is also tasty. The Grateful Dead & Flying Burrito Bros. both also covered this song in their own unique take on country music. Both bands regularly performed this live in concert.

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