Paul Jones (born Paul Pond, 24 February 1942) is an English singer, actor, harmonicist, radio personality and television presenter. He first came to prominence as the original lead singer and harmonicist of the rock band Manfred Mann (1962–66) with whom he had several hit records including "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (UK #1, US #1) and "Pretty Flamingo" (UK #1). After leaving the band, Jones established a solo career and notably starred as a deified pop star in the film Privilege (1967). He presented The Blues Show on BBC Radio 2 for thirty-two years, from 1986 to 2018, and continues to perform alongside former Manfred Mann bandmates in the Blues Band and The Manfreds.
|Birth name||Paul Pond|
|Born||24 February 1942|
|Genres||Pop music, blues|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, actor, radio and television presenter|
Paul Jones was born as Paul Pond in Portsmouth, Hampshire. As "P.P. Jones" he performed duets with Elmo Lewis (better known as future founder member of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones) at the Ealing Club, home of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, whose singers included Long John Baldry and Mick Jagger. He was asked by Keith Richards and Brian Jones to be the lead singer of a group they were forming, but he turned them down. He went on to be the vocalist and harmonica player of the successful 1960s group Manfred Mann. Paul Jones had several Top Ten hits with Manfred Mann, including the international number one single "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (1964), before going solo in July 1966. He remained with His Master's Voice.
He was less successful without the band than they were with his replacement, Mike d'Abo, but did have a few hits, notably with "High Time" (1966) (UK no. 4), "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" (1967) (UK no. 5) and "Thinkin' Ain't for Me" (1967) (UK no. 32), before branching into acting. While his solo career in the UK was mildly successful, he sold few records in the United States. He had enough hits in Sweden to have a greatest hits album released there on EMI. His subsequent single releases in Britain in the late 1960s were on Columbia.
In 1967, Jones starred opposite model Jean Shrimpton in the 1967 film Privilege directed by Peter Watkins. He was cast as a pop singer in the film, and sang the songs "I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy" and "Free me", which Patti Smith covered in the 1970s. The following year, he was the central figure in another cult classic, the 1968 experimental British satire, The Committee, directed by Peter Sykes, but this time the musical duties were handled by Pink Floyd and Arthur Brown.
In January 1968, Jones was part of the "Big Show" package tour of Australia and New Zealand with The Who and Small Faces. Jones was backed by a different local band in each country. The tour is notorious for the conflicts with conservative mainstream Australian media reporters. In addition, an in-flight incident on their last day in Australia resulted in the tour members being detained by airport security and police before being ushered onto a flight to New Zealand.
In 1971 Jones participated in Carla Bley's album Escalator Over the Hill. On the same year he recorded Crucifix in a Horseshoe with White Cloud, a New York-based session group featuring Teddy Wender on keyboards and Kenny Kosek on fiddle. He acted in the 1972 horror film Demons of the Mind.
In 1975 he guest-starred in a TV episode of The Sweeney ("Chalk and Cheese") as Tommy Garret, a boxer-turned-highwayman. In 1976 he performed the role of Juan Peron on the original concept album of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita alongside Julie Covington as Eva, Colm Wilkinson as Che and Barbara Dickson as the Mistress. Jones had previously worked with Covington in the 1975 Christmas production Great Big Groovy Horse, a rock opera based on the story of the Trojan Horse shown on BBC2. It was later repeated on BBC1 in 1977. He also presented the BBC1 children's quiz Beat the Teacher in the mid-1980s. His gold albums include one for Evita.
In October 1977, he starred as Sir Francis Drake in the musical premiere of Drake's Dream at the Connaught Theatre, Worthing featuring music and lyrics by Lynne and Richard Riley and book by Simon Brett. The production was directed by Nicolas Young and transferred to London's Shaftesbury Theatre for a limited season opening on 7 December 1977. The Drake's Dream Original London Cast Album was recorded by President Records in 1977 and released on CD in 2017 by Stage Door Records.
In 1978 he released a single on the RSO label, consisting of orchestrated versions of the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" and the Ramones' "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker", both produced by Rice. Four years later he appeared as one of the guest vocalists on the British Electric Foundation's Music of Quality and Distinction, on a new version of "There's a Ghost in My House".
In autumn 1982, Jones took over the lead part of Sky Masterson from Ian Charleson in Richard Eyre's company in his celebrated production for the National Theatre of Guys and Dolls that had begun in February that year at the Olivier Theatre. He then led the same cast as Macheath in Eyre's production of The Beggar's Opera by John Gay at the Cottesloe Theatre.
After an initial run of three programmes in 1985, he started presenting a series for BBC Radio 2 on rhythm and blues on 10 April 1986, later to be known as The Blues Show, which became a fixture in the schedules for 32 years. He played the harmonica on his programme's Radio 2 jingle.
In 1987 he starred as Fred/Petruchio with Nichola McAuliffe as Lilli/Kate in the Royal Shakespeare Company's successful production of Kiss Me Kate both at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Old Vic Theatre, London.
In 2009 he issued Starting All Over Again on Continental Record Services (aka CRS) in Europe and Collectors' Choice in the US. It was produced by Carla Olson in Los Angeles and features Eric Clapton, Jake Andrews, Ernie Watts, Percy Sledge, Alvino Bennett, Tony Marsico, Michael Thompson, Tom Morgan Jr., Oren Waters and Luther Waters.
On 4 May 2009 Jones and his harmonica featured in a song during a concert by Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall in London. That same month Jones featured, playing harmonica, on the release of "I'm Your Kingpin" by Nick Vernier Band. In 2010 he featured on two versions of "You’re Wrong" from Nick Vernier Band's Sessions album.
In 2015, he released an album Suddenly I Like It, also produced by Carla Olson. Special guests on this album include Joe Bonamassa and Jools Holland.
Jones is currently the president of the National Harmonica League and was awarded "harmonica player of the year" in the British Blues Awards of 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as Blues Broadcaster of the year and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2011.
In January 2018 it was announced that he would be replaced as presenter of BBC Radio 2's Blues Show by Cerys Matthews in mid-May. His last broadcast as presenter was on 23 April 2018; his live guest was Eric Bibb and his last song played was Sonny Boy Williamson's "Mighty Long Time" (1951) which he described as "one of my handful of most favourite blues records."
Jones attended The Portsmouth Grammar School and the Royal Naval School Malta, moving to the Edinburgh Academy for his last two years of school before winning an Open Exhibition in English to Jesus College, Oxford, although he did not graduate.
Jones was first married (1963–1976) to novelist and reviewer Sheila MacLeod. There were two sons from the marriage, Matthew and Jacob. He is now married to the former actress and latterly Christian speaker, Fiona Hendley-Jones. They met whilst both acting at the National Theatre. He converted to Christianity in the mid-1980s as a result of being invited by Cliff Richard to a Luis Palau evangelistic event. Jones had appeared opposite Richard in a 1960s television debate show where he had, at the time, opposed Richard's viewpoint. In December 2013 Jones was featured in BBC One's Songs of Praise, performing and talking with Aled Jones about his faith.
- My Way (1966)
- Sings Privilege & Others (1967)
- Love Me, Love My Friends (1968)
- Come into My Music Box (1969)
- Crucifix in a Horseshoe (1972)
- Starting All Over Again (2009)
- Suddenly I Like It (2015)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Paul Jones Sings Songs from the Film "Privilege"||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions|
|"High Time" /||1966||4||34||—||36||—||10||—||16|
|"I Can't Hold On Much Longer" (US and Canada-only A-side)||—||—||71||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I've Been a Bad, Bad Boy"||1967||5||12||—||—||10||9||—||9|
|"Thinkin' Ain't for Me"||32||—||—||—||—||—||—||11|
|"Sons and Lovers"||—||22||—||—||—||8||—||10|
|"And the Sun Will Shine"||1968||53[A]||96||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"When I Was Six Years Old"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||6|
|"Poor Jenny" (New Zealand-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||5||—||—|
|"My Advice to You" (Sweden-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||14|
|"It's Getting Better"||1969||—||52||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I'm Here to Nudge Your Mind" (New Zealand-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I'm a Young Boy" (Sweden-only release)||1970||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Shake a Hand" (New Zealand and Sweden-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Life After Death"||1971||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Mighty Ship" (US and Canada-only release)||1972||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Wrestler" (Scandinavia-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"The Pod That Came Back" (US-only release)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"After All I Sacrificed"||1975||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Stop, Stop, Stop"||1977||—||—||—||—||—||—||15||—|
|"Give That Thang to Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Pretty Vacant" /||1978||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Sheena Is a Punk Rocker"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"There's a Ghost in My House"||1982||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"I Could Be So Good for You" (with Marti Webb)||1986||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
- Chart position is from the UK "Breakers List".
- "Biography by Richie Unterberger". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
- Tony Cummings (28 May 2010). "Paul Jones: The broadcaster's journey from militant atheist to Christian convert". Cross Rhythms.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- Paul Jones on Blues Britannia, BBC4, 11 March 2011
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London, UK: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 160. CN 5585.
- Neill, Andrew (1998). A Fortnight of Furore. Mutley Press.
- "Privilege (1967) - Derek Ware, Peter Watkins". AllMovie. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- "The Protectors Season 2 Episode 7: Goodbye George". Itctv.wordpress.com. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 685/6. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- "Great Big Groovy Horse - BBC Two England - 25 December 1975 - BBC Genome". Radio Times (England ed.). 209 (2719): 51. 18 December 1975. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "Great Big Groovy Horse - BBC One London - 21 December 1977 - BBC Genome". Radio Times (London ed.). 217 (2823): 47. 15 December 1977. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- Neil Miles (14 September 2016). "BBC1 Beat The Teacher - 1986". Retrieved 7 October 2018 – via YouTube.
- ""Drake's Dream" (Original London Cast Recording)". Stage Door Records. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Andrew Male (13 October 2016). "Nagasaki the musical? The label bringing West End disasters back to life". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- "The Blues Show". BBC Radio 2. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- "BBC Radio 2 Jingle Package 2012 - Highlights" – via YouTube.
- Official Paul Jones web site, Bio, Pauljones.eu, retrieved 1 January 2019
- RSC Performances Kiss Me Kate, Stratford-upon-Avon, Collections.shakespeare.org.uk, retrieved 1 January 2019
- RSC Performances Kiss Me Kate, Old Vic, Collections.shakespeare.org.uk, retrieved 1 January 2019
- "Nick Vernier Band with Paul Jones". Retrieved 22 May 2014 – via YouTube.
- Roger Trobridge. "National Harmonica League (UK)". Harmonica.co.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Winners of the British Blues Awards 2011". British Blues Awards.com. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "Cerys Matthews replaces Radio 2 DJ Paul Jones after 30 years of The Blues Show". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
- "Final Blues Show episode". BBC Radio 2. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "Paul Jones". BBC Radio 2. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- "Radio Times Cover". Radio Times. 15 December 1973. Archived from the original on 1 October 2019.
- "everyHit.com - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". www.everyhit.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "PAUL JONES | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
- "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- "Suche - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". www.offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "flavour of new zealand - search listener". www.flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (J)". rock.co.za. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "Paul Jones - Se alla låtar och listplaceringar". NostalgiListan (in Swedish). Retrieved 13 February 2022.