In one episode of Dolly, an American variety show which aired from 1987-88 and starred the one and only Dolly Parton, she joined Tom Jones in a duet of his hit song ‘Green Green Grass of Home.’
‘Green, Green Grass of Home’ was originally written by Claude ‘Curly’ Putman Jr. in 1964 who is also the man behind Dolly Parton’s Dumb Blonde song featured in her debut album. It was first recorded in 1965 by singer Johnny Darrell but it was Porter Wagoner who popularized it in the same year. The song, which was inspired by a crime scene in the film The Asphalt Jungle, even reached No. 4 on the country chart.
After that, Bobby Bare and Jerry Lee Lewis also recorded their own versions. It was Lewis’ version of ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’ that Tom Jones heard and in 1966, he released his own version of it which quickly became a worldwide hit. This sold over 1.2 million copies in the UK making it the first Decca single by a UK artist to sell more than a million copies in the UK and Jones’ biggest hit.
Jones recounted how he first heard Jerry Lewis’ version of the song in 1000 UK #1 Hits on The Mail On Sunday. He had also purchased then Lewis’ album ‘Country Songs For City Folks’ which featured the song and it really just stuck out to him. At that point, Jones had not done any country songs, so when he opened the idea of recording it to his manager Peter Sullivan, he was quite surprised. Les Reed did the arrangement for the song and also played the piano on the track.
Jones’ version approached a more pop than country song vibe contrary to Jerry Lewis’ strict country style of the song. Other artists who also did a cover of the song include Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, and Kenny Rogers.
You can watch their performance in the video below.
Dolly Parton, tom jones