Manfred was frequently fired for his playing style, but The Bull's Head in Barnes, London proved to be a very important training ground. As the first jazz
musician to play the club, Manfred lasted nine months before club management decided to showcase other acts. Manfred then joined a jazz quartet to play at
a Butlin's holiday resort in Clacton, England. This Clacton location is where he met drummer/ vibes player Mike Hugg.
Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg formed their own four-piece band - The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. In late 1962, this band hit the Marquee, the John Dankworth
Club and other clubs on the jazz circuit. In order to fully crossover, this band needed a vocalist.
A December 1962 audition at the Carnaby Street club The Roaring 20's led the band to select Paul Jones as their vocalist. Jones' enthusiasm and style in
playing and singing R&B took over the other members, and the band moved in a more R&B-slanted direction. This version of The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers
had regular gigs at the Marquee, the Crawdaddy and Studio 51 in London. At The Hambrough Tavern in Southall (West London), the band was spotted by publicist Kenneth Pitt, who became their manager.
That same month, Pitt got the band record company auditions for Pye, Decca and EMI. The latter's HMV label proved to be the winner, assigning the band a
producer, John Burgess. Burgess suggested that the band call itself Manfred Mann - not a popular choice, but Burgess won out in the end. From their EMI
audition, their first single was released - "Why Should We Not" b/w "Brother Jack." This instrumental record did not sell, although its different nature obtained
some press interest. The vocal follow-up "Cock-A-Hoop" was more upbeat, and their following began to grow. An invitation to write a "Ready Steady Go" TV
theme led to the creation of the band's first hit "5-4-3-2-1." This commercial pop success did not make jazz bass player Dave Richmond happy, and he was
replaced by former Roosters guitarist and bass trainee Tom McGuinness.
"Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)" rode on the coattails of "5-4-3-2-1," setting their fans up for Manfred Mann's complete pop crossover - "Do Wah Diddy
Diddy." A number 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" proved that the band had something to say musically and stylistically. This attitude
was put into practice with their landmark LP "The Five Faces Of Manfred Mann." This collection became one of the classic R&B albums of '60s with its
hard-hitting takes on "Smokestack Lightning", "Got My Mojo Working" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" to name just three.
After a short trip to the US, Manfred Mann decided to concentrate on European territories for the future. "Sha La La," "Come Tomorrow" and "Oh No Not My
Baby" were three more strong follow-ups to "Do Wah Diddy Diddy." This exposure led to inclusion of the song "My Little Red Book" on the soundtrack of the film "What's New Pussycat?"
Further notoriety came from their best-selling EP "The One In The Middle," one of the handful of EPs to actually make the NME singles chart at #6. With the title
track and a powerful cover of Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side," Manfred Mann reached another level of creativity and artistic success.
Another Dylan number, "If You Gotta Go, Go Now," was a massive hit in 1965, but Mike Vickers wanted to arrange, conduct and compose music. Vickers
gave his notice, and Paul Jones put in his as well. Jones' notice was open-ended, and he allowed the band time to replace him. They took 11 months to do so!
Meanwhile, the "Mann Made" LP and "No Living Without Loving" EP scored well in their respective charts in 1965. Jack Bruce took over on bass with Tom McGuinness switching back to guitar.
Manfred directed the band towards some stunning jazz material. The only problem was that jazz wasn't commercial in 1966.
Mann and Hugg had located former Band Of Angels vocalist Mike d'Abo and invited him to join the band. Unfortunately, near-sighted EMI thought the band
without Jones had no future and dropped the band while signing Paul Jones as a solo act. Neither move proved to be successful.
Now signed with Fontana, Manfred Mann now had Klaus Voorman on bass, as Jack Bruce left to form Cream with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. The first
tentative single issued by the revised d'Abo lineup was a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman." Just making the top 10, the single proved that the band could indeed carry on without Paul Jones.
"Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" and the "As Is" LP carried on Manfred Mann's hitmaking ways in 1966. This led to the group's only hit in 1967, "Ha! Ha!
Said The Clown." The single "So Long, Dad" broke the band's hit streak by flopping terribly. Their 1966 EP "Instrumental Assassination" and later "Sweet Pea"
single also encountered sales difficulties. However, Manfred Mann rebounded strongly by hitting #1 with another Dylan song - "Mighty Quinn." A classic in
every sense of the word, "Mighty Quinn" gave the band a reason to keep on going.
Mann and Hugg got into soundtrack work with the film "Up The Junction" and the title track of "The Charge Of The Light Brigade," two other projects with
limited visibility. The song "My Name Is Jack" from another film that they weren't involved with ("You Are What You Eat") gave Manfred Mann another large hit
in 1968. Despite the inclusion of two hit singles, the "Mighty Garvey!" LP was a poor seller. With their LP sales in steep decline, this was to be the band's last album.
Concentrating on pop singles, the band, especially Manfred and Mike Hugg, were feeling very constrained. "Fox On The Run" took a long time to hit the charts,
and the band called it a day as a song they hated, "Ragamuffin Man," was riding high in the singles listings. Manfred Mann was one of the few '60s bands that actually quit at the right time.
Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg started doing commercials in 1967, and soon formed