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(Credit: Alamy)


Watch Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young perform with Tom Jones


Television variety shows were a bizarre time in the history of pop culture. To be fair, they never really went away: everyone from Drew Barrymore to Kelly Clarkson have these shows now, and they generally range from surprisingly entertaining to downright confounding. But anyone can get their own show if they’re famous enough. Case in point – This is Tom Jones.

That’s right, Sir Tom Jones had his own variety programme back in the day, and it wasn’t just some rinky-dink one-off special either. It was a show that lasted for three seasons and managed to pull in some of the most legendary figures of all time. The very first episode of the programme found Peter Sellers, Richard Pryor, Mary Hopkins, and the Moody Blues all rubbing elbows, and the show itself is a wonderfully wacky time capsule from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Perhaps most impressive was the calibre of musical talent that Jones managed to book for the show. Now Jones was a successful contemporary artist at the time as well, but he wasn’t exactly in the burgeoning rock and roll crowd. Nevertheless, trailblazing artists from every genre joined Jones onstage in song, including Janis Joplin, The Who, Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, Tony Bennett, Joni Mitchell, Joe Cocker, and Johnny Cash, just to name a few.

During the fourth episode of the show’s second season, Jones welcomed the newly formed Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young into the studio. Recorded toward the tail end of 1969, the footage drops us into a premium time for the supergroup. Post-Woodstock but still recording Deja Vu, CSNY were one of the most popular groups on both sides of the Atlantic, with audiences already having high expectations from each of the member’s respective solo works.

But all the group wanted to do was have a little fun, so that’s exactly what they did. Jones himself must have been a fan since he commits himself to the band’s ‘Long Time Gone’ with gusto. Young gets some fiery licks in the performance, while Crosby and Nash back Jones’ strident vocals up with some perfect harmonies. Stills adds some rumbling organ, but he clearly doesn’t really know what to do now that he’s not singing lead, so he just scats some random high vocal parts throughout the tune. You can almost smell the patchouli oil.

Check out the performance down below.