It's certainly not at all unusual for there to be massive celebrities joining the mix, but this week on the Broken Record podcast, superstar producer Rick Rubin talks with one of his all-time favorite vocalists, Mr. Tom Jones.
During their chat, musical icon Tom Jones shared stories with Rick from his remarkable career, including the night he turned down an invitation to join Little Richard on stage out of fear he’d be deported, why he thought Burt Bacharach’s lyrics to “What’s New Pussycat” were a joke, and more.
One sparkling gem that stood out during their talk was about the first time Jones met "The King," Elvis Presley on a movie set in Hollywood. It was early 1965 when Jones' hit single "It's Not Unusual" was released, which caught the attention of The Ed Sullivan Show, who asked him to be on the program to perform. "He liked me," says Tom. "I think I did like six Ed Sullivan shows in '65!" By that time, TV had gone to color, Jones explains. "They couldn't transmit in color from New York; 'The Ed Sulivan Show' had to go to Los Angeles to transmit in color. So, then I went to L.A. and met Elvis Presley!"
The experience was "tremendous," he admits. "When I used to sing in these clubs in Wales, right, and I would do Elvis Presley songs, of course, my friends would say, 'Wow! You know Tom, you sing that just as good as Elvis...' I'd say, 'Well, I'll tell him that!' I said, 'I got a feeling that I'm gonna meet Elvis Presley!' When I went to Paramount Studios in L.A., to talk about a song for a movie, they said 'Elvis is here today and he'd like to meet you.' This was in September of '65... I didn't even know that he knew anything about me."
As Jones went for his meeting with Elvis, "The King" was filming inside of a large hangar, situated inside of a mock helicopter with a little girl. "He stopped filming and he waves," Tom says. "I'm just standing there and they're like, 'Elvis is waving at you!'" Eventually, Presley walked over to say hello, and on his way he was singing Tom's previous single, "With These Hands" aloud for all to hear. ""And I thought, 'my God, here comes Elvis Presley singing my song!' It was surreal," Tom says. "If only the boys back home could see me now!"
Listen to the full Broken Record episode featuring Tom Jones, now playing on Audacy -- and follow along for more conversations with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam, and Justin Richmond as they speak with the musicians you love to discuss their lives, inspiration, and craft.
While you're in the mood, browse and favorite some of Audacy's all-new stations like The 50s, The 60s, Counter To The Culture, Beach Beats, Collabornation, Rockternative, Drivin' Alt, Wake Up and Rock, and The Roots of Rock for those who crave the early days.