Pretty Flamingo

"Pretty Flamingo" is a song written by Mark Barkan, which became a hit in 1966 when Manfred Mann's recording of it was released as a single. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 5 May 1966.[3][2] Manfred Mann's recording was a minor hit in the United States where it spent eight weeks on Billboard 's Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 29 during the week of August 6, 1966.[4] It was also successful in Ireland, and was number one there for four weeks, keeping the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" at number two.

"Pretty Flamingo"
Manfred man pretty flamingo.jpg
HMV POP 1523 picture sleeve
Single by Manfred Mann
B-side"You're Standing By"
Released15 April 1966 (1966-04-15)
Format7" 45 RPM
Recorded18 March 1966
EMI Studios, London[1]
GenreSunshine pop
LabelHis Master's Voice POP 1523[2]
Songwriter(s)Mark Barkan[2]
Producer(s)John Burgess[2]
Manfred Mann singles chronology
"If You Gotta Go, Go Now"
"Pretty Flamingo"
"You Gave Me Somebody to Love"

Song profileEdit

The speaker describes a woman—whom "all of the guys call [...] 'Flamingo', 'cause her hair glows like the sun and her eyes can light the sky"—for whom the singer has fallen, and his plans to win her affection. Mark Barkan's daughter said that it was based on a girl who lived above a parking lot in his neighborhood: Barkan and his friends used to call out to her.[5]

The recording features future Cream bassist Jack Bruce, who briefly joined the band in 1965.[2] The original demo of the song was recorded by noted New York City vocalist Jimmy Radcliffe stylized for The Drifters, but songwriter Mark Barkan was dissatisfied with the overly produced results and had Radcliffe recut the song with a pared-down arrangement.[citation needed]

After Barkan's death in 2020, Paul Jones of Manfred Mann said: "I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that not only did I never meet him, but I never even got in touch to say thank you for the song.  But I would like to thank him posthumously."  [6]


Chart (1966) Peak
Canada RPM 100[7] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[8] 1
West Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 15
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 3
Rhodesia (Lyons Maid Hits of the Week) 1
Sweden (Kvällstoppen)[12] 6
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 29

Cover VersionsEdit

  • Both the Everly Brothers and Gene Pitney released cover versions of "Pretty Flamingo" on albums they recorded in 1966 (the Everly Brothers' Two Yanks in England and Pitney's Backstage (I'm Lonely) [which was titled Nobody Needs Your Love in the U.K.]).


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 100–1. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  3. ^ "Official Singles Chart UK Top 100". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  4. ^ "The Hot 100 : August 06, 1966 | Billboard Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  5. ^ Barkan, Bridget. "The Last Word". BBC Radio Four.
  6. ^ Jones, Paul. "The Last Word". BBC Radio Four.
  7. ^ "100" (PHP). RPM. 5 (23). 1 August 1966. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Pretty Flamingo". Irish Singles Chart.
  9. ^ " – Mann, Manfred – Pretty Flamingo". GfK Entertainment Charts. To see peak chart position, click "TITEL VON Mann, Manfred"
  10. ^ " – Manfred Mann – Pretty Flamingo" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 22, 1966 – VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista.
  12. ^ Hallberg, Eric (1993). Kvällstoppen i P3 (1st ed.). Sweden: Drift Musik. ISBN 91-630-2140-4.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Manfred Mann Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  15. ^ "'1 LOVE' – ALL IS REVEALED!". NME. 2002-09-30. Retrieved 2018-08-07.

External linksEdit