TV & Film
18 January 2021, 13:40 | Updated: 18 January 2021, 15:03
By Giorgina Hamilton
Tom Jones once again blew the audience and his fellow judges away when he gave a stunning performance of close friend Elvis Presley's 'With These Hands' on series 10 of The Voice UK.
Sir Tom Jones has met and even sung with many of the great singers of the past five decades.
On Saturday night's episode of The Voice (January 16) Tom Jones gave an incredibly tender performance of his song 'With These Hands', but not before explaining to the fellow judges the special relationship the song had with none other than Elvis Presley himself.
In between blind auditions, Tom Jones was speaking to his fellow judges will.i.am, Olly Murs and Anne-Marie when the incredible story of how he met The King was revealed.
Olly Murs asked: “Tom, was there anyone you were nervous singing with?”
“Well, Elvis Presley I sang with,” Sir Tom replied. “I was excited.”
“Tom sang with Elvis Presley, isn’t that mad?” Olly said to his fellow judges.
“Well, I mean Elvis was the one of course, I met him in LA in 1965 with a ballad out called 'With These Hands',” Sir Tom said.
“And he was coming towards me and he was singing ‘With these hands, I will cling to you.’
“You know, it was Elvis Presley with his hand out, do you know what I mean?
“I went, ‘If the boys back home could see me know?’ Elvis is singing my song back to me.”
Later in the episode Olly Murs reminded Tom of his Elvis Presley story and asked the Welsh crooner to sing the song for them.
As the house band started to play the opening bars, fellow judge Anne-Marie – who was overwhelmed by Tom Jones' performance of Dirty Dancing's 'Cry To Me' the week before – gave a sharp intake of breath in excitement.
A clearly moved Sir Tom then started to sing his beautiful 1965 hit for the awestruck audience as his fellow coaches looked on, giving him a roaring standing ovation as the last notes of the song faded away.
Viewers of the show took to social media to give praise for the performance and many said his moving rendition of the song had reduced them to tears.
“Tom Jones making me cry. What a singer! #TheVoiceUK,” one viewer said.
“Tom Jones's voice is in the finest condition, there is no denial #thevoiceuk #thevoice,” another said.
Elvis' lifelong friend and manager of The Beach Boys, Jerry Schilling, recalled how Tom Jones became one of Presley's most trusted and beloved friends until the star's death in 1977.
"Elvis didn't really hang out with other entertainers that much, but if there was one artist that Elvis truly called a friend and hung out with the most, it was Sir Tom Jones," he told the BBC in 2019.
"We would all get together at a friend's house and they would sing songs at the end of the night. Tom liked to sing Elvis' 'One Night With You'.
"They even went on vacation together to Hawaii and spent lots of time together in Las Vegas.
"Elvis was always cautious about letting people get close and what their intentions were," he says, "but he was inspired by Tom and they became very good friends."
'With These Hands' was written by Benny Davis and Abner Silver and was first released by Eddie Fisher in 1953, reaching number 7 in the US pop chart.
The song was then released by Shirley Bassey in 1960 and reached only number 38 on the UK chart, before a version was recorded and released by Tom Jones in 1960.
'With These Hands' reached hit number 13 on the UK chart and number 3 on the US adult contemporary chart and paved the way for the Welsh crooner's huge success in the United States.
Tom Jones went on to host his own US TV show This Is Tom Jones, a musical variety show that ran from 1969-1972 for a total of 67 episodes on ABC-TV.
A post shared by Sir Tom Jones (@realsirtomjones)
The Welsh singer had become a huge star in the US and as a result was able to attract the very best musical talent from across the world to his TV show, which he filmed in both the US and the UK.
Acts that performed on his show over the years included the Bee Gees, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Who, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Cher and comedians including Richard Prior and Peter Sellers, to name just a few.
Sir Tom Jones was knighted by the Queen in 1999, has sold over 100 million records worldwide to date and 2021 has seen him take a red chair for his fourth series as a coach on The Voice UK.
The Welsh star has just announced his 41st studio album, Surrounded By Time, his fourth album in ten years and released the vintage-themed video for the album's incredible first single 'Talking Reality Television Blues'.