Grab An Enormous Hat And Watch Aretha Franklin Sing With Tom Jones Circa 1971
There’s something sort of quintessentially variety-show-esque about Tom Jones. He’s got swagger without being bullyish. He’s sexy, but in an exaggerated cartoonish way that doesn’t really threaten. Perhaps most important in variety show land, he knows how to let his guest stars take the lead and shine brighter than him, just like he does here with Aretha Franklin.
Seriously, Aretha TEARS IT UP here. There’s piano playing. There’s dancing. There’s that fucking magnificent headwear.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s no Obama Inauguration hat
…but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.
Tom’s great too, but he mostly does a lot of “whoooaaah yeah” sorts of things over on the side most of the time. Also, too, he has one of those weird super skinny 1970s microphones that were all the rage for awhile.
Oh, and there’s go-go dancers, of course, because this is the blessed period of time in American history when go-go dancers were mandatory at all performances. We’ve really fallen from grace since then, entertainment-wise.
This is Tom Jones ran for three years from 1969-1971, and you can see why, with a guest list that included Bob Hope, Liza Minnelli, Ella Fitzgerald (!!) and pretty much everyone else. What I wouldn’t give to have a copy of the full run of the show. Sure, you can buy a compilation of some of the big moments from the shows, but that’s simply not enough. What you really need is the ability to settle in and binge-watch whole seasons at a time, Netflix-style, while downing manhattans or lime rickeys or something like that. Now that would be some happy nice time.