Tom Jones is a legend across the globe. The Welsh singer made girls swoon throughout his career and is still capable of raising heartbeats even as he approaches his 80th birthday. But when he met Janis Joplin he came up against an electrifying adversary.
Joplin and Jones sing out a marvellous version of ‘Raise Your Hand’ on Tom Jones’ variety series which ran in the U.S. from 1969-1971. While many great guests went on the show, none were quite like Joplin.
In fairness to Jones, there aren’t many people who can show up the Texan. Joplin has been adored since her first moments on stage for not only her powerhouse vocal performance but her ability to connect with the songs she’s singing no matter their context.
It would see Joplin take her band Big Brother & The Holding Company’s to the tip of the counter-culture movement, as the incisive mouthpiece. After several performances that maker out Joplin as a star in her own right, the singer soon moved on to a short but glittering solo career.
The star always shined the brightest when given the microphone and no matter the stage, Joplin always gave it her all. So when she was invited on to Jones’ growing variety show she jumped at the chance with the same enthusiasm.
The show was aimed at a youthful audience with network bosses eager to bring in teenage cash. It saw rock stars such as The Who, Joe Cocker, Donovan and the Hollies, all grace the stage, all while their parents enjoyed guests like Paul Anka, Robert Goulet and Bob Hope.
The Welshman was a gigantic star at the time of recording in 1969 and would’ve likely been surprised for anyone to upstage him on his own show, especially when singing. But the 29-year-old had a shock coming when he welcomed Joplin to perform ‘Raise Your Hand’.
In fairness to Jones, Joplin had the jump on the singer. The track, ‘Raise Your Hand’, had been a part of Joplin’s iconic Woodstock set earlier in that year and she clearly resonated with the music. Her trademark passion is clear for all to see and once again marked her out to a commercial audience as the unifying talent of her generation.
Relive the moment Tom Jones met his match in Janis Joplin as they duel on ‘Raise Your Hand’.