Welsh singer Tom Jones has carved out a long and illustrious career as one of the greatest British voices of the 1960s. He hurled his baritone vocals into the limelight in the mid-1960s to attain a string of top-ten hits, including ‘It’s Not Unusual’, ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ and ‘What’s New Pussycat?’.
After this early success, he managed to sustain his position as one of the leading voices in pop music beyond the ’60s with hits like ‘Delilah’, ‘She’s A Lady’, ‘You’re My World’ and ‘Sex Bomb’. Since 2012, Jones has intermittently served as a judge and vocal coach on the BBC talent show, The Voice UK while remaining active in the music business.
His most recent album, released in April 2021, was a covers album including covers of Cat Stevens, Todd Sneider and most memorably, a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘One More Cup of Coffee’.
Jones’ cover of the Dylan classic paid tribute to one of his favourite songwriters; however, as an interview with The Guardian uncovered, Jones wasn’t always the biggest Dylan fan. “I was on tour in the States in the summer of ’65 with a British act, Peter and Gordon,” Jones remembered. It turned out Gordon Waller was one of Dylan’s biggest fans and would play his records in the hotel stop-overs during the tour.
The Welsh singer, who was 25 at the time, continued: “I wasn’t struck by Dylan’s voice at first.” However, after hearing one of the folk singer’s early politically charged classics, his perspective changed almost instantaneously. “But then I heard ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The lyrics are fantastic. He’s basically asking, ‘How many times do we have to go through all this shit before we realise that we’re fucking up the world?’”
Answering questions from some of his biggest fans on Facebook for a BBC article promoting the most recent series of The Voice, Jones also revealed that Jerry Lee Lewis, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder were among his favourite artists.
One fan also asked whether Jones enjoyed any modern music and, if so, what he enjoys most. Jones responded by saying that he listens “to all kinds of music, and generally, I lean towards the blues. Currently, I’m listening to Ed Sheeran, Laura Marling, James Bay, Kings of Leon, and Stereophonics”.
One of the closing questions of the interview changed the subject from music to film as Jones was asked to name his all-time favourite film. Ostensibly finding it challenging to name just one, Jones answered, “One of them is Braveheart (1995). I also like Red River (1948), Shane (1953) and The Wild Bunch (1969).”
While Jones could only file it down to four films, we can confidently derive that the singer has a soft spot for classic westerns and that Braveheart is his unrivalled modern favourite.
Tom Jones’ favourite films:
- Braveheart – Mel Gibson
- Red River – Howard Hawks
- Shane – George Stevens
- The Wild Bunch – Sam Peckinpah
Listen to Tom Jones’ recent cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ below.