If you’ve been a regular visitor to AM, Then FM, you know we dig Tom Jones around here. We don’t dig everything he does, but what we like, we like a lot.
On my latest crate-digging expeditions, I came up with not one, but two out-of-print Tom Jones albums from 1969. Typical for his albums of that time, they’re a mix of glossy pop, occasionally well-chosen covers and occasionally blistering R&B.
Found first: “This is Tom Jones.” It’s almost all covers, with none of his popular singles. Still, there are a couple of gems.
Found next: “Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas.” It was recorded at the Flamingo. This is a terrific album, capturing a 29-year-old Jones at his peak, just as his popular ABC-TV show was taking off. The backing orchestra and band is led by Johnnie Spence, who also was his conductor for the TV show.
We’re going to pay a couple of visits to these albums.
Today, we’re going to hear how TJ blows up a couple of country tunes. Ain’t nothing country about the way he does …
“Dance of Love,” Tom Jones, from “This is Tom Jones,” 1969. This is a tune written and done first by Charlie Rich in 1965 on the Smash label. If you think of Rich only as a white-haired country crooner, think again.
“I Can’t Stop Loving You,” Tom Jones, from “Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas,” 1969. This is a tune written and done first by Don Gibson in 1958, then a lushly orchestrated No. 1 hit for Ray Charles in 1962.