Given his booming voice it is a little surprising that Welsh singer Tom Jones has yet to dedicate himself completely to the season in the shape of a Christmas LP. He has been dabbling for years but to date his festive output has been consigned to a single duet with a flavoursome lady. His 1999 Christmas song with Catatonia lead singer Cerys Matthews was an all Welsh affair and dramatic in the scope of its production. ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ has been done many times before but probably never with such a forceful instrumental backing. In some ways this was a little distracting for a tune that is all about the exchanges between the two principles. But Jones sounds suitably hero-like while Matthews coos a sweet maiden call. It is easy to forget the wide age gap as this collaboration was always going to be a winner.
Taking it back almost 3 decades and a much younger Tom Jones played a bit part in what is undeniably an Ella Fitzgerald vehicle. ‘Silent Night’ was recorded for a Tom Jones Christmas special but Ella stole the limelight, along with the male choir, to devastating effect and in the process put down one of the great versions of this Christmas standard. Another inspirational Christmas moment played out on TV screens the year before in 1969 when on another TV Christmas special Jones himself narrated ‘A Child's Christmas In Wales’ by Dylan Thomas while the Treorchy Male Choir sang a medley of Christmas favourites. Prepare yourself for 10 minutes of goosebumps, they surely do not make them like this anymore. You can find most of these immensely enjoyable TV Christmas shows on youtube and they are a boon for those who prefer their Christmas TV specials to play it straight and irony free. And don’t you just love the tinsel sellotaped carefully to the main table on the simple but charming set.Author: Kevin