Green, Green Grass Of Home (1966)

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Tom Jones (born Thomas Jones Woodward June 7, 1940 in Treforest, Pontypridd in South Wales, Great Britain.)

Jones was discovered in Wales by former singer Gordon Mills while singing as Tommy Scott with the Senators, a local beat group. Mills became his manager, and took the young singer to London. He renamed him Tom Jones. Mills also renamed other singers, among them Engelbert Humperdinck.

"Green, Green Grass Of Home" ranks at #10 on the list of the UK Top Hits of the 1960s.

Chart position: #1 (UK).

It stayed at the #1 position for seven weeks, and stayed on the charts for a total of 22 weeks. It sold between 10 to 12 million copies.

It was preceded and succeeded at #1 by the Beatles: "Day Tripper"/"We Can Work It Out" (as both were released as A-sides on the same single) and "Hello, Goodbye", respectively.

The Top Ten Songs: December 24, 1966 (UK).
  1. "Green, Green Grass Of Home" (Tom Jones)
  2. "Good Vibrations" (Beach Boys)
  3. "What Would I Be?" (Val Doonican)
  4. "My Mind's Eye" (Small Faces)
  5. "Gimme Some Lovin'" (Spencer Davis Group)
  6. "Morningtown Ride" (Seekers)
  7. "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" (Manfred Mann)
  8. "Just One Smile" (Gene Pitney)
  9. "Friday On My Mind" (Easybeats)
  10. "Holy Cow" (Lee Dorsey)

Written by:
Curly Putman (born Claude "Curly" Putman Jr. November 20, 1930 on Putnam Mountain, named for his family, in Princeton, Alabama.)

Putman struggled for years while trying to break into the music industry, supporting his family while working as a shoe salesman.  He finally signed to write songs for Tree Publishing Company. His first major hit, "Green, Green Grass of Home", has been recorded by over 400 artists in every major language in the world. 

Putnam also wrote/co-wrote such songs as "He Stopped Loving Her Today", "My Elusive Dreams", and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E".

Originally by: Jerry Lee Lewis, released in the same year, 1966, without success.  Tom Jones has said that it was Lewis' version that made him want to record the song.

Also by:
Elvis Presley; Johnny Cash; Joan Baez; Merle Haggard; Charley Pride; Hank Snow.

My two cents:
What a powerful song! Yet, some people may not like it because of the surprise ending on a sad note. But that's part of what makes it work. It get me to thinking, which is one quality of a well-written song. It makes me think, "Wow, that really speaks to me."

Though it was written as a country song, it works well for Tom Jones' quasi-operatic R&B soul style of singing. It's an interesting combination that works.

I have to admit that while I was growing up, I wasn't a big fan of country music. I felt it was corny back then. But, more and more, the older I get, I appreciate country music for the true-to-life stories that are a mainstay of the genre.

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