With his new album, Spirit In The Room, on the way, Sir Tom Jones reflects on his favourite LPs and tells Laurie Tuffrey about his friends Elvis, Aretha and Stevie
Big Bill Broonzy - Trouble In Mind
It was on the radio, I was just getting it, I was thinking, 'Fuck, what is that? Who is that?', it was so different. I would say 'Black, Brown and White' is my favourite song. It was played on BBC radio, and at the time - he said it himself - that he couldn't record it in America, so I think he recorded it in France, because they said it's too controversial. Even black friends of his said, 'Don't you stir up the shit here! We could get repercussions.' But I thought he put it... He was just stating a fact. He wasn't saying 'you white bastards' or 'the whites won't let us', he wasn't saying anything like that. It's just 'me and a man was working side by side, this is what it meant, they were paying him a dollar an hour and they were paying him 50 cents'. You know, he said, 'If you're white, you're alright, if you're brown stick around, but if you're black, get back.' Which I thought was tremendous.