"Well I’ve always been a big Jerry Lee Lewis fan. So I was in New York in 1965, and I had gone into this record shop called Colony Record Shop, to ask did they have Jerry Lee Lewis’ latest album, whatever it was. And it was the first country album that he had made. It was called Country Songs for City Folk.
"So I bought it. And I went back to the hotel and I played the album on a little record player that I used to carry around with me, and I heard this Green, Green Grass of Home. I thought, my God, that is a great song, that.
"I came back to England, and I was doing some TV shows, in black and white in those days, and I did The Green, Green Grass of Home on TV. And we did it like in a jail. But you don’t know it is a jail, until the camera pulls back, because it about a man in jail, the song is. So the camera pulled back you see the bars, and I’m in this jail, singing The Green, Green Grass of Home.
"The following day I go to get car filled up with petrol, and the fella on the pump said, oh what was that song you did on the telly last night, when you were in jail? That’s a fantastic song! So I thought, oh, you know, it has had an effect. Then different people were coming up to me the following day, saying how much they liked this song that I sang in jail. So they didn’t you know, know at the time it was anything, but everyone was getting affected by it.
"I said to Peter Sullivan, my recording manager, look, I’d like to record this. And he said, a country song? I said yeah. Because I hadn’t done a country song up to that point. And he said, all right, if you want to give it a whirl, we will. So Les Reid did the arrangement, and Les made it more of a pop song, than a country song, because when Jerry Lee Lewis did it, it was strict country.
"When I did it, it was more, it was a bigger band, you know, with strings on it, and more of a lush arrangement to it. To get it sort of mainstream, as we used to say. So we did, and it was a great arrangement, and it worked. It came out and it went to number one. So that was my second number one. It’s Not Unusual was the first in ’65, and The Green Grass of Home came out in ’66, which was my second number one.
"I just liked the song. I thought it was great song. And there was a twist to it, you know, when you are singing about the green, green grass of home, but then it's about, you know, the man who is in jail. And he says, I realise I was only dreaming. He was dreaming about home. So I had this picture and me coming from South Wales, of course, I thought of my home, which was Wales.
"But I thought it was only affecting me that way. I had the picture of Wales and being green, you know, the green, green grass of home to me was South Wales. But then everyone else thought the same thing. When the record came out, first of all they thought it was a Welsh song, that someone had written this song for me about Wales.
"But then I realise then it is about anybody’s home, because it never mentions the name of a city or a town or a country or anything. It just says, the green, green grass of home. Which could be anybody’s home, whoever is listening to it thinks about where they come from, and in my case, it was South Wales."
Last edited by Swedish on Mon Jul 07, 2003 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.