(This page not only covers Manfred Mann, the 1960s British pop group, but also the other Peel session bands featuring the South African musician of the same name: Manfred Mann Chapter Three and Manfred Mann's Earth Band)
Manfred Mann

Manfred Mann were an English rock band of the 1960s, named after South African-born keyboardist, Manfred Mann. The group had two different lead vocalists during their success, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966, and Mike d'Abo from 1966 to 1969.. Manfred Mann were regularly in the charts in the 1960s. Three of the band's most successful singles, "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", "Pretty Flamingo" and "Mighty Quinn", topped the UK Singles Chart. With the success of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" the sound of the group's singles moved away from the jazzy, blues-based music of their early years to a pop hybrid that continued to make hit singles from cover material.

Mann and Hugg were already writing advertising jingles at the time of the group's demise but continued to work together in a group format with Manfred Mann Chapter Three, an experimental jazz rock band described by Mann as an over-reaction to the hit factory of the Manfred Mann group. Mann then formed a new group. In its very earliest stages, the band was simply billed as "Manfred Mann" and thus a continuation of the 1960s group. Their second single, Randy Newman's "Living Without You," was also released by "Manfred Mann" in Europe, but by "Manfred Mann's Earth Band" in the USA, where the track became a minor chart hit. From 1972 forward Manfred Mann's Earth Band was the band name used on all releases by this group, and they are considered a separate band from Manfred Mann. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

Manfred Mann had their most successful period in the mid-1960s, when Peel was living in the USA and working as a DJ under the name John Raven(s)croft. Some of their UK hit singles also made the US charts, and three of them, “Just Like A Woman”, “Pretty Flamingo” and “Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James”, appeared in the British Top Ten listings compiled by Peel during his stint at KMEN in 1966. All three tracks remained in Peel’s chart for several weeks, with the latter two titles both reaching Number One, in May and December respectively.

Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Yet when Peel returned to Britain, he didn’t play much material by Manfred Mann. By 1967 their run of hit singles was slowing down. They were thought of as a commercial pop group, despite the more adventurous side they showed on their LPs and their successful covers of Bob Dylan songs, which were praised by Dylan himself. Because of this, they were not among the first groups invited to do a session for Top Gear, although Peel played their version of Bob Dylan’s “Mighty Quinn” on the show when it was a new release and they did two Top Gear sessions in 1968 before breaking up in 1969.

Reviewing their single "Ragamuffin Man" in Melody Maker's Blind Date feature in April 1969, he was critical of the record and of the group: "... We had them on Top Gear recently and we were hoping they would take the opportunity to do some things they couldn't do elsewhere, but they didn't. They just played some LP tracks which was a bit of a disappointment...This is a "must-get-into-the-top-twenty" record with no identity..."[1]

Manfred Mann's Chapter Three, whose LPs were issued on Philips' "progressive" label Vertigo, seemed much more suited to the style of Peel's programmes of the early 1970s, and they were booked to do sessions for Top Gear, as was the more commercially successful Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Peel may have had some respect for Manfred Mann himself, because when in 1974 the Melody Maker ran a feature asking musicians how they intended to vote in the forthcoming general election, Mann was one of the few rock stars to express support for the Labour Party. He also opposed apartheid in his native South Africa and even had a short career as a radio presenter, hosting a series of half-hour programmes of rock records in stereo on Radio 3 in late 1971.[2]

Peel seldom revisited Manfred Mann's material and paid no attention to the band's later incarnations (the Blues Band and the Manfreds), but Tom McGuinness's McGuinness Flint, a popular live band of the early 1970s, did sessions for Top Gear. Bassist Jack Bruce spent some months with the band before finding greater fame with Cream and as a solo artist. Former Manfred Mann lead singer Paul Jones later became a respected Radio Two broadcaster and host of the station's long-running blues show, yet despite Peel's love of the blues he is not known to have recommended Jones's show on air, or to have appeared on it as a studio guest. However he did contribute to Pepper Forever!, a 1997 Radio Two documentary narrated by Jones on the thirtieth anniversary of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


Seven sessions in total under three names, as indicated below.

Official releases:

Manfred Mann #1 & #2 (except Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey from #1) on Manfred Mann Radio Days Vol.2 the Mike D'Abo Era, Live at the BBC 66-69, 2019 (Umbrella Music, 2xCD RADCD2 / 3xLP RADLP2).

Other BBC session material by Manfred Mann was released as BBC Sessions, (CD, 1998, BBC Music) and in the Radio Days series (CD/LP, 2019).

Manfred Mann

1. Recorded: 1968-01-03. First broadcast: 07 January 1968.

  • Every Day Another Hair Turns Grey / Mighty Quinn / Handbags And Gladrags / Sleepy Hollow / Cubist Town

2. Recorded: 1968-11-25. First broadcast: 22 December 1968. Repeated 19 January 1969.

  • Abraham Martin And John / Fox On The Run / Clair / So Long / Orange Peel (first broadcast on 19 January 1969 repeat)
Manfred Mann Chapter Three

3. Recorded: 1970-01-19. First broadcast: 24 January 1970. Repeated: 04 April 1970.

  • Kone Kuf / Time / Sometimes
Manfred Mann's Earth Band

4. Recorded: 1971-11-29. First broadcast: 01 December 1971.

  • Happy Being Me / Captain Bobby Stout / One Way Glass

5. Recorded: 1972-01-10. First broadcast: 28 January 1972.

  • Meet / Captain Bobby Stout / Ashes In The Wind / Mighty Quinn (first broadcast on 10 March 1972 repeat)

6. Recorded: 1972-09-05. First broadcast: 29 September 1972.

  • Messin' / Dealer / Glorified Magnified

7. Recorded: 1973-04-03. First broadcast: 17 April 1973. Repeated: 26 June 1973

  • Father Of Day / Bubblegum And Kipling / Get Your Socks Off


Official release: Manfred Mann's Earth Band Radio Days Vol.4 Live at the BBC 70-73 (Creature Music, 2xCD RADCD4, 3 x LP RADLP4).

Manfred Mann's Earth Band
  1. Ashes To The Wind
  2. Black Betty
  3. Happy Being Me

Other Shows Played

Manfred Mann
Manfred Mann Chapter Three
Manfred Mann's Earth Band

See Also

External Links

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