Swinging_Sixties_1963_1968's current selection is:
Help Yourself
by Tom Jones
By 1968, Tom Jones had progressed from a gawky stand-up 'blues' singer to an international pop star. (Some might say he should have stayed more true to his preferred 'R&B' genre, but when stardom beckons through other channels, what do you do?)

Well, today's choice could not be described in any way, shape or form as 'blues', that's for sure. When not giving us his versions of heart-wrenching and heart-felt ballads, his catalogue of pacy and upbeat numbers expanded prolifically (such as the one today). One thing constant across all his work was the power and intensity of his voice, which truly was a freakish thing, even for a singing Welshman.

The lyrics, while not suggestive in the least, do offer the female listener a generous helping of what Tom has "to offer":

"Just help yourself to my lips, to my arms,
Just say the word and they're yours,
Just help yourself to the love in my heart,
Your smile has opened up the door."

Tom Jones:
:: His first born child Mark (who kept his birth surname Woodward), was born one month after Tom married lifelong wife Melinda at the age of 16. (He later had a son named Jonathan with a 24-year-old model, Katherine Berkery, even though he remained married to Melinda for the rest of her life.) ...
:: His first manager, Gordon Mills, had originally wanted his career-launching song "It's Not Unusual" to be recorded by Sandie Shaw, but she turned it down flat. Jones pretty much had to beg his manager for the chance to record it himself. Thank goodness he did. ...
:: During his long career, he got to sing (or just jam) with the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin and John Denver, to name but a few - many of which stars he has also outlived. (He and Presley had singing residencies in Las Vegas at the same time, and would often stay up late singing 'gospel' songs together.)

In #1968 :
:: "The Battle of Khe Sanh", one of the most publicized and controversial battles of the Vietnam War, began at the country's Khe Sanh Air Base on January 21st this year. The action was launched in support of scaled-up troop numbers being lodged at the US Marine base nearby. A massive aerial bombardment campaign ("Operation Niagara") was launched by the USAF, and over 100,000 tons of bombs would be dropped by their aircraft before the "incident" finally ended nearly six months later. ...
:: The youngest known golf player ever to hit a hole-in-one was purportedly the six-year-old Tommy Moore of Hagerstown, Maryland. On March 8th 1968, he achieved this feat at the 145-yard fourth hole of the Woodbrier Golf Course in Martinsville, West Virginia. ...
:: Israeli passenger flight 'El Al Flight 426' was hijacked by three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on July 23rd. This was followed by a wave of attempted hijackings by the organisation. Diverted to Algeria and impounded there, the aircraft's occupants (22 civilians and 10 aircrew) were eventually released after negotiations between the Israeli and Algerian governments resulted in the freeing of 16 convicted Arab prisoners.

US: No. 35 - UK: No. 1
1968 - Decca - United Kingdom - Not blocked anywhere
Posted: 14th November 2019
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For a few years in the 1960s, London was the world capital of cool, reflecting all things hip and fashionable which had been growing in the popular British imagination throughout the decade. Music was also a huge part of London's swing - Liverpool had 'The Beatles' and the London sound was a mix of bands like 'The Who', 'The Kinks', the 'Small Faces' and 'The Rolling Stones'. Hopefully, you'll catch a flavour of all this from my posts here.
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