Welsh crooner Tom Jones with his group The Squires first toured Australia with Herman’s Hermits in the summer of 1966 on Harry J. Miller’s ‘Caravan of Stars 66’ tour with New Zealand artist Ray Columbus in support. However, when the then 25-year-old Tom Jones first arrived in Australia not everyone was happy to see him and his trademark moves would become a matter of controversy.
The tour kicked off at Sydney Showground on Friday 21 January before moving on to Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and finally Perth. Prior to the first show in Sydney, the police warned Jones’ about his hip-jerking, open-shirted performances and by the time the show reached Melbourne both the star and his promoter were being warned that much more ‘obscenity’ and they would both be thrown in gaol.
It was on that tour, and while in Melbourne, that Tom Jones recorded a live television special sponsored by Hilton Hosiery at the GTV-9 TV studio. It would later air on TCN9 on 28 March 1966.
Backed by his group The Squires, Jones showed his versatility singing a number of his own songs along with familiar songs of Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles, Little Richard and Chuck Berry while rhythmically dancing around the stage. His young fans went wild during the taping of the show.
Songs include: In The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett), Memphis Tennessee (Chuck Berry), Skye Boat Song (Tom Jones), With These Hands (Tom Jones), Thunderball (Tom Jones), I Can’t Stop Loving You (Don Gibson / Ray Charles), Chills And Fever (Tom Jones), Long Tall Sally (Little Richard), What’s New Pussycat? (Tom Jones), It’s Not Unusual (Tom Jones), What’d I Say (Ray Charles).
“Despite the rough-and-ready appearance of pop singer Tom Jones, few aspirations can be cast on his voice. It is a good, strong, melodic contrast to some singers around today.” [The Australian Women’s Weekly, 16 March 1966, pg. 15.]
Total Running Time: 31.08 minutes
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