Online since August 2002

A very '60s Christmas

Reviewed December 2007

This is Tom Jones: Christmas
This is Tom Jones: Christmas (DVD)
By Tom Jones and guests

Time Life: 2007

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

The second DVD release from Time Life taken from singer Tom Jones' ABC TV series that ran from 1969-'70, this single disc collection takes in the two shows that ran the evening of Christmas both years.
Jones ran a variety show, and so there is precious little talking – mostly singing and occasional comedy bits.

Because Jones appealed to the youth market, even these Christmas Day broadcasts contain a lot of non-holiday music. Still, Judy Collins doing "Chelsea Morning" or Ella Fitzgerald belting out "Good Morning Blues" is worth hearing any day of the year. And it remains impressive how utterly at ease Jones is across just about every popular style of music. On these two episodes, he delivers a stunning cover of the soul and country classic "Patches," caresses the American standard "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and rocks out to Little Richard's rock 'n' roll gem "Tutti Frutti."

And when he does bring the music to the seasonal material, it's pure magic. The 1969 show featured Jones joined by the fellow Welshmen of the Treorchy Male Choir for a medley of traditional material. In the 1970 show, he invited the stellar choir back to back him and Fitzgerald.

If at times dated (there's an Austin Powers vibe throughout most of the choreography), Jones was (and remains) such a powerhouse singer that the listening is pure joy.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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