Four decades before it came up with National Bingo Night, ABC was willing to risk its airwaves on more ambitious television experiments. In 1969, the network gave a variety show to a 28-year-old Welsh singer named Tom Jones, providing him with a full orchestra, some of the grooviest set design this side of Austin Powers, and an impressive roster of guests to create an enduringly offbeat time capsule of Woodstock-era pop culture.
In the very first episode of This Is Tom Jones (out on DVD 6/26), you’ll find the “What’s New Pussycat?” crooner introducing a performance by the Moody Blues, a stand-up routine from Richard Pryor, and a comedy sketch starring Peter Sellers. In subsequent broadcasts, you can watch a tuxedo-clad Jones play host to Janis Joplin, Burt Bacharach, and an impossibly young incarnation of the Who. And if you just want to hear him sing “It’s Not Unusual,” don’t worry — he does it about once every three shows.
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