Why would anyone trying to break into showbiz take the unfortunate stage name Engelbert Humperdinct? My mother told me it was because Humperdinct thought he could infringe on Ton Jones’ success and wanted a name that would help him stand out from the sexy performer. If you ask me, he chose a rather unsexy moniker.
Jones needn’t had worried. While Humperdinct enjoyed moderate success, there is only one Tom Jones - the Welsh crooner with a voice that could still reduce the Coloseum to dust, and who has collected more women's underwear than Victoria's Secret's warehouse. The proof is in a new three disk DVD set that was released a few weeks ago called This is Tom Jones. Showcasing episodes of his weekly variety series from 1969 to 1971, the set features guest appearances by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Janis Joplin, not to mention enough renditions of It’s Not Unusual to make even the most diehard of Jonesmaniacs a bit nauseous.
That’s the good news. So what’s the bad news? According to many reviews on Amazon, the show episodes are incomplete – some averaging close to only 20 minutes! Keep in mind, Jones’ weekly variety show was an HOUR long. Here’s how one disgruntled fan graciously broke it down:
2/4/69 Premiere Show 38 minutes
4/18/69 (Show only survives Black & White - 24 minutes)
9/25/70 33 minutes
ABC Network promo for the series Premiere 1 minute
Mid-day KATU Portland, Oregon Interview 1969 6 minutes
Tom Tells his Burt Bacharach Story 5 minutes
11/27/69 21 minutes
12/4/69 26 minutes
2/19/70 25 minutes
4/25/69 22 minutes
10/9/70 30 minutes
Tom Jones interview, videotaped in Los Angeles February 11, 2007 35 minutes
I guess it's not unusual for entertainment companies to continue to rip fans off. I'll try waiting to see if my local library eventually carries this set, rather then wasting $35.