Unearthed video shows Tom Jones singing with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, leaving them in awe
Nineteen-sixty-nine was a pivotal year in American culture. The hippies and the counterculture were ascendant, and everything that came before in entertainment was as square as can be.
In cinema, there was the world before and after 1969’s “Easy Rider.” In music, the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was a defining moment for the new era, and on television, the anti-establishment “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” divided households over its anti-war stance.
In September of that year, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSN&Y) were asked to play a duet with Welsh singer Tom Jones on his television show and the pairing was a perfect example of the culture clash. Jones was famous for his hit songs “It’s Not Unusual” and “What’s New Pussycat?” and was adept at dodging panties being thrown at him by the adoring ladies in the audience.
CSN&Y had just played Woodstock and were known for the anti-war anthem “Wooden Ships” and “Long Time Gone” about the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
For the performance, Jones and CSN&Y played a rendition of “Long Time Gone,” and what’s impressive is that Jones does not hold back and forced the rest of the band to keep up. Steven Stills, on electric piano, tries his best to match Jones’ bravado on his lines but falls short.
David Crosby has a look on his face of pure awe when he looks at Jones (although he was known for being in “awe” quite often in the days).
Throughout the performance, the hard-to-impress Neil Young seemingly goes from a look of pure disdain to “This rocks.” The performance is an excellent example of music’s ability to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.
Tom Jones & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Long Time Gone – This is Tom Jones TV Show
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