Today’s music video is My Name Is Jack and the song is performed here by the English band Manfred Mann.
This video was posted to You Tube by Jette0815007
Sometimes, when someone leaves a popular band to embark on a solo career, the soloist has a pretty big career and the former band now fades away somewhat without that person who left the band.
And then sometimes, the opposite occurs, and that is what happened with this band.
The band had a really good thing going from 1963 till early 1966. They had a series of hits, and three of them were pretty huge Number Ones in the UK, and beside that, another half a dozen songs inside the Top Five and Top Ten. While Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg were the founding members, the front man, lead singer Paul Jones was the voice of all those songs.
Then, in early 1966, Paul Jones made the decision to leave the band and embark on a solo career. He told the band, and then waited a Month or so while the band cast around for a new lead singer. When they settled on a virtually unheard new singer, Mike d’Abo, he left and started his solo career.
The general thinking at the time was that Paul Jones would have a long and distinguished career as a solo artist, and the band with the new singer in their line up would just fade away.
What happened was exactly the opposite. Paul Jones had a minor hit song, and then a second minor hit and then faded away, and the band Manfred Mann, with their new singer Mike d’Abo went on to an even larger career. Their first hit was a Dylan cover which went into the Top Ten, and then a series of eight Top Ten Hits, four of which made it to Number One in either their home Country, the UK, or in other Countries. Far and away the band’s biggest Hit ever was again a Dylan cover, Mighty Quinn which was a monster smash hit Number One in five Countries, and is most probably the definitive version of this wonderful Dylan song. The band lasted until 1969, a further three years after Jones left, and then they split up, with their last song Ragamuffin Man still in the Top Five.
Manfred Mann went on to form his famed Earth Band who had a series of top selling albums across many years, and still occasionally play together as a band
Towards the end of that second career with Mike d’Abo as their lead singer, one of their songs they recorded is the one I have featured today, My Name Is Jack. It was released in 1968, their third last song together.
The band was popular here in Australia where I live, and like most of their earlier songs, this one also made it into the Top Ten on the National Charts.
It was written by an American, John Simon, as part of the soundtrack for his movie You Are What You Eat. It features the line:
And I live in the back of the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls
This actually was the nickname of a real place, the Kirkland Hotel, in San Francisco, which served as a hostel in the mid to late 60s, and it was where part of that movie was actually filmed.
This song itself, the one recorded by Manfred Mann, was released only as a Single originally, and was was included on an album released in the U.S. and Australia, but not in the UK by Manfred Mann, in the form of a greatest hits album, and titled The Mighty Quinn, an album I have in my collection, and the one shown in the image above.
I went along to a concert of Manfred Mann and his band in 1972, sort of expecting it to be this band, not knowing that they had split up and later formed as Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Even though the band did not play one of their earlier songs, (except Mighty Quinn, a band staple throughout the years Manfred Mann has performed) I was not disappointed, as this was without doubt the best concert I ever went to.
As you can see from this grainy and old video clip, they are miming the song, a common practice at the time. You can also see that Manfred, the band’s keyboards player is playing one of those huge Hammond organs, either an A3 or B3 organ, a fairly large and heavy (in weight) instrument now becoming popular with many rock bands of this time, the late 60’s, an instrument once thought the province only of church organists, but once keyboard players in bands heard what they could do, they very quickly became highly popular with bands.