This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

The Tom Jones Story

Sir Tom Jones has been entertaining audiences since the 1960s and sold over 100 million records. As the man they call The Voice gears up for another UK tour this October, Rob Brydon tells the story of the Welsh sex-bomb who became one of the most famous singing voices on the planet. It's an incredible story of how a factory worker from a Welsh mining town shot to international superstardom thanks to hits like It's Not Unusual, What's New Pussycat and Delilah. Idolised by women all over the planet, he became a huge star of Las Vegas making friends with Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra along the way. He's now part of our national heritage but unlike his singing, success didn't come easy. Featuring a new interview with the big baritone himself, this documentary follows Tom's journey to the top and reveals how he overcame obstacles such as tuberculosis to realise his dream of becoming a professional singer. Friends and collaborators help tell his story too, such as arranger Les Reed who helped send Tom on his way to the top by writing hits like It's Not Unusual. We also hear from legendary session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan who played on every Tom Jones record in the 1960s and early 70s. He was with Tom during the height of his career, playing to Las Vegas audiences and accompanying the world's biggest stars on Tom's hit TV show. Plus there's fascinating insight from Tom's early days in Wales and London, courtesy of former band mates Mike Roberts and Vernon Hopkins. Find out from them about Tom's near misses with maverick record producer Joe Meek and discover how Tom sank into depression before he hit the big time. Since Tom Jones found international success his fan base has never really diminished. This documentary reveals how he has exploited musical trends, earning new fans while retaining his core following - something proven with another number one record earlier this year with Islands In The Stream. His co-singer on that single - Rob Brydon - finds out how he does it.Featuring brand new interviews with Sir Tom Jones, Wyclef Jean, Kelly Jones from Stereophonics, biographer Gwen Russell, Jimmy Tarbuck, Les Reed, Vernon Hopkins and Mike Roberts.

Release date:

57 minutes

Last on

Sat 19 Sep 2009 22:00