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Gillian Welch

It's not unusual: Tom Jones in top form on new album and autobiography

It's not unusual: Tom Jones in top form on new album and autobiography

In his just-published autobiography “Over the Top and Back” (Blue Rider Press, $26.95), singer Tom Jones recounts with unbridled honesty and a wicked sense of humor many of the remarkable highlights of his 50-plus-year career.

But sitting in a side room of a recording studio recently before the taping of a special that will air Dec. 22 on KCRW-FM (89.9), the Welsh singer’s blue eyes never lit up more brightly than when the subject returned to the source of it all: music.

“I knew Sam -- I met him,” he said, referring to Sam Phillips, the Sun Records founder and producer who discovered and first recorded Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins...