Web Page No 2436
HAPPY NEW YEAR
1st January 2018
First Picture: Mike Hugg Today
Third Picture: Blue Suede Shoes Record Cover
Forth Picture: Mike Hugg in the Early Days
Let’s take a look at two local lads.
Mike Hugg and Paul Jones
Back in the early 1960s, one of the places I used to visit on a Thursday evening was the Railway Hotel in Walmer Road, behind Fratton Station. Here local blues bands, (it was Folk on Friday and Trad Jazz on Saturday), could perform and it was here that I first saw Mike Hugg in an early version of the Manfred Mann Band. As I am sure you are aware, the singer Paul Jones was from Drayton and went to Solent Road School before moving to the Portsmouth Grammar School and of course Mike Hugg was a Gosport lad.
Mike’s family still have a well establish business in the Gosport area the main store being in Gosport High Street— Hugg The Jeweller. Mike was not destined for the jewellery trade as from a young age he had shown an interest in jazz and wanted to be a drummer. His parents agreed and the young Mike learnt jazz drumming and had piano lessons. After leaving school he moved to London where he played drums with various bands and was offered a season as a musician at Butlin’s in Clacton he accepted and it was there that he met Manfred Mann and they formed a seven-piece band — The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. He recruited Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness and after finishing the season the band moved to London and played in many top clubs and venues, including the Marquee.
The Mann-Hugg band reduced to a five piece band and gained a new manager, who arranged auditions with the record companies. As a result, in 1963, the band was noticed by HMV Records and were signed up. Producer John Burgess changed the name to Manfred Mann as he felt it was catchier for their first record release.
The band's debut single was ‘Why Should We Not?’ It showed off their talent but failed to make an impact. The follow-up was a rock-blues number ‘Cock-a-Hoop’, which featured the harmonica of Paul Jones. Despite a lot of radio air-play, it also failed to get into the charts. Their luck changed late in 1963 when they were asked to write a theme tune for a new rock ‘n roll television show, Ready Steady Go. The result was ‘5-4-3-2-1’ and as well as being the theme tune for the television show, it also became the band’s next single and went to No 5 in the UK charts.
Their next two singles were ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’, reaching No 1 in America and ‘Sha La La’. There followed a string of hits and their debut LP ‘The Five Faces of Manfred Mann’ made it to No 3 in the British album charts. All of their LPs and EPs sold well but Manfred Mann were not really a pop band. Mike would also play the vibraphone, an instrument not at all associated with rock ‘n roll.
Each member wanted to be recognised for themselves and not just part of a pop band. Late in 1965 Mike Vickers left to work as a composer and arranger. Paul Jones left to become a solo performer and actor. In May 1966 EMI had doubts about their future so their contract wasn’t renewed, but it didn’t stop EMI continuing to release tracks that had already been recorded, though!
Meanwhile, Mike Hugg was emerging as a successful songwriter in his own right and together with Manfred, decided to keep the band going. With a new line-up, they released Bob Dylan's ‘Just Like A Woman’, another Top 10 hit — as was the next single, ‘Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James’. ‘Ha Ha Said the Clown’ hit the 1967 charts and it was during this time that Mike and Manfred made their name writing tunes for TV commercials and film soundtracks. In 1969 they released ‘The Mighty Quinn’. Again, it was a Top 10 hit. Another line-up change followed and drummer and founder-member Mike took over on piano and vocals, becoming the principal songwriter, while Manfred played the organ and arranged the music.
Their name was changed to Manfred Mann's Earth Band and a series of songs followed including the No 1 hit ‘Blinded By The Light’. Manfred Mann had other projects that he wanted to explore and his group finally disbanded.
Mike Batt had a talent for song writing and he composed most of the music for the hit film’ Up The Junction ‘and co-wrote the tunes for the TV series ‘Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads’. He also wrote music for the film ‘Venus In Furs’ and still provides BBC scores. Mike has released two albums of his own and a single ‘Blue Suede Shoes Again’. This song is about Mike growing up in Alverstoke and mentions many Gosport places and people. For those who know Gosport the places mentioned are fishing in Stokes Bay, riding his bike along Privett Road (that’s near me!) and Clayhall and having his first pint in the Village Home pub in Alverstoke.
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You Write:Maureen Writes:-
News and Views:
At the junction of Grove and Station Road was Gregorys shop and diagonally opposite was the Bakers shop (Was it Pinks or Vospers or maybe Campions?) Anyway, Gregorys was the epitome of 'Open all Hours' mini supermarket selling absolutely everything you could imagine from hair nets to kindling wood, fresh sliced ham to a stone of King Edwards and my most fondest memory was at the end of April, early May I would be sent to the shop to buy 2 of the first tomatoes of the season. Only two as they cost 7s 6d a pound which was a fortune in the mid fifties, they would be put into a small brown paper bag and carefully returned home and we would have half each with salad, hard boiled eggs and a grating of cheese for tea. They were the best tasting tomatoes ever - because we had waited all winter to see our first tomato in the shops. What a joy to eat seasonal foods; since being on my own I have indulged in this memory as much as possible eating only British produce in season or vegetables that I have been able to preserve myself by salting or freezing.
During the late 1930's and early 40's my grandfather owned the Wiltshire Lamb, No 1 Hampshire Terrace so their ration coupons were registered with a small shop, Butlers stores in Southsea, so when rationing continued after the war, our groceries came from Butlers. The Owner/Manager was a Mr Pook who lived Waterlooville way so would collect Mum's order book in the morning and deliver the groceries on his way home. I loved visiting the shop to watch Mrs Butterfield and Miss Butler the two assistants slicing bacon on the hand turned slicer, the smell was wonderful and to watch them making the bags out of a sheet of paper in which they weighed various sugars, dried fruits, dried beans and peas. Cutting packs of butter and lard and making fancy design butter pats with wooden paddles. It was magic in my mind and all topped off when Mr Pook said we could lift the lid of the biscuit tin and chose one biscuit each. A biscuit tin was about the size of a photo copy paper box turned up on end and some had a glass lid.
I read the information you posted about a Fred Helyer and the name rang a bell. I made some enquiries from two friends who worked for Fred around 1993 to 1999. It is the same Fred, they confirmed he was/had been a scout leader and lived in Hilary Avenue in Cosham.
Fred ran his business, Solent Builders Training Limited, from a first-floor office in Cosham High Street. His offices were above a shop somewhere in the middle, between Peacocks and Boots the chemist. The company provided training in many of the building/construction trades for young people on the Youth Training Scheme (YTS). School leavers were enrolled on various courses at Highbury College and Fred and his team liaised with companies to organise work experience/day release, support and sometimes further employment. They both enjoyed working for Fred and knew his wife June from their social events. The business had been running for some time before they started working with Fred.
It was around 20 years ago that the YTS finished and Fred closed the business. Fred retired and he and his wife moved to a bungalow in Portchester. After that they moved to Brockenhurst in the New Forest. One of my friends googled Fred Helyer and various information came up. I attach a picture from the New Forest Rotary Club website.
I hope this fills in a few gaps.
News and Views:
ON THIS DAY 1st JANUARY 1960-1965
On 01/01/1960 the number one single was Starry Eyed - Michael Holliday and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Boeing 707s to be tested by UK pilots.
On 0/01/1961 the number one single was I Love You - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Russ Conway Show (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of week was Millionth Morris Minor produced.
On 01/01/1962 the number one single was Moon River - Danny Williams and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was Pope ex-communicates Fidel Castro.
On 01/01/1963 the number one single was The Next Time/Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 01/01/1964 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 03/01/1965 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.