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Tom Jones's 1950s: The Decade That Made Me

In a personal journey through his formative years in south Wales in the 1950s, Tom Jones takes us on a trip through the decade of his childhood and adolescence.

In this personal journey through his formative years in south Wales in the 1950s, Tom Jones takes us on a trip through the decade of his childhood and adolescence, the years that shaped his ambition, his talent and his tastes and that witnessed an explosion of popular culture and the sweeping aside of the old order.

Television, the movies, the radio and - most importantly - the music of the first rock 'n' roll years give us a unique insight into both the country and the decade that would shape Tom's talent and, in the 60s, make him a star. Tom Jones's 1950s in Pontypridd are told first hand by the man himself as he travels back to his birthplace.

Tom's take on the decade is amplified and explored by a Greek chorus of contributors who share their account of their 50s. Joan Bakewell, Katherine Whitehorn and Michele Hanson share their experiences both as women and from differing class backgrounds, historians Alwyn Turner, Martin Johnes, Francis Beckett and Tony Russell draw the social and political landscape of a rapidly changing decade, while musicians Bruce Welch, Clem Cattini, Marty Wilde and Tom McGuinness talk of how that decade began their musical journeys and changed their lives forever, all illustrated by a rich seam of archive that captures a decade we mostly saw in black and white.

The result is a rich mix of humour, confession and reflection - all brought to life by Tom Jones himself, our guide through the lives and times of a young generation struggling to find its own voice.

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Dec 2018 23:00

Music Played

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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Jones
Producer Chris Rodley
Director Chris Rodley
Executive Producer Mark Cooper

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