PAUL Jones is definitely a voice many associate with the sound track to the 1960s from his singing with Manfred Mann.

And while he himself has described his career as ‘haphazard’ he has always lived it to what said is a PPI - Personal Preference Indicator and as a result has had a very fulfilled time in music, acting and even pantomime.

Paul Jones or P Pond (his real name) or PP Jones or Paul Peterson as he was known while a singer in dance band, has always been in charge of his own destiny and when he left Manfred Mann in 1966 he did it on his terms.

Paul has been bringing his joy of music to people for many years and will continue to do so when he appears with The Manfreds on their Makin’ Tracks Tour which comes to the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil on June 7.

He has been in the public spotlight since he started singing the blues, then appearing in Manfred Mann and then he became an actor, musical performer and as a BBC Radio Two DJ.

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Paul said: “Music was compulsory in my house. My mother played the piano very well and my father played the violin but not quite as well. I did discover I had a good voice when I was 11 years old and ended up joining the Cathedral Choir.

“The first time I ever listened to music when gave me goosebumps or a prickle down the back of the neck was when I was listening to jazz.

“I must have been about 14 years old when this happened and I was listening to King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band with songs such as Dipper Mouth Blues and Mabel’s Dream.

“Even to this day when I hum Mabel’s Dream to myself I still get that same feeling (goosebumps) I did when I was a teenager.”

In an interview Donegan was asked how did he write Rock Island Line and he said he didn’t it was written by Leadbelly.

This lead Paul to became more interested into folk and acoustic guitar.

He said: “Many of my friends came to the blues via rock or pop music but I came to it the other way around. I was not really aware of popular music. In 1962 when Alexis Korner opened up the Ealing Club, I really discovered the British Blues scene. By 1961 I met Brian Jones.

I do not remember where or how but it was at the birth of the British Blues scene. We met up and we sang and played together at the Ealing Club.

“He told me he was putting together a band and would I like to be the singer? I said no and the reason was I had just got a job with the Adelphi Dance band and I did not think you could make a living out of playing the blues.

"It turned out I was wrong so the next time I was asked to join a group I said yes. I do not regret saying no to the Rolling Stones. I have had the career I have wanted and I cannot envy anything anyone else has done.

You cannot predict the future.”

Paul’s pop future lay with Manfred Mann where he sang on hits such as “5-4-3-2-1”, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Sha La La”, “Come Tomorrow” “Oh No, Not My Baby” “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” and “Pretty Flamingo”.

Paul said: “I do recall Manfred sitting behind the upright piano saying we were going to be bigger than the Shadows -I thought we were already bigger than them.

“Between 1962-1966 it was not a peak of anything as I had only just started. What I did think was this was on the way to something. When I left in 1966 , it was the step in a new career.

My career has been haphazard or PPI-Personal Preference Indicator. I left because I wanted to and did not want to do it any more.”

And now he is about to hit the road with the group as they go on The Manfreds: Makin’ Tracks Tour.

Paul said: “I love it and I am really looking forward to it. The band have some of the original members. Music means to same to me as it always has. If you do it then you are fulfilled.

Somerset County Gazette:

"I know people who are not fulfilled by it but 99 out of 100 musicians are fulfilled. It is your life and it doesn’t matter if you are 19th fiddle in a symphony orchestra or a five piece rock n roll band then that it what you do and it does become monolithic.”

Tickets for The Manfreds: Makin’ Tracks Tour at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil cost £22.

These can be bought online at or calling the box office on 01935 422884.