IT’S not every day you speak to a pop star from the 1960s who is the ‘King of the Jingles’.

Mike d’Abo was the man who joined Manfred Mann in 1966, when lead singer, Paul Jones left to pursue a solo career.

You might think you have never heard any songs written by Mike d’Abo, even if you have not listened to anything by Manfred Mann.

But you would be wrong, one of his most famous jingles is ‘A finger of fudge’ for Cadbury’s.

Between 1973-1977, he was ‘King of the Jingles’. He wrote ‘A Finger of Fudge’ in 1974 and was paid £500 as a creative fee. He also penned jingles for Dulux, Kellogg’s, Rowntree’s Dairy Box and Findus Food.

Two of his most famous songs are Handbags and Gladrags which was covered Rod Stewart and The Streophonics. It was also the theme tune to the cult comedy The Office staring Ricky Gervais.

And he also co-wrote (with Tony Macaulay), ‘Wake me up Buttercup’ which was a big hit for The Foundations and was used in the film There’s Something about Mary.

The quietly unassuming ex-Harrow School pupil and Cambridge University student, never believed for one minute he would be ‘a pop star’. He thought he would have to follow in the family tradition of either joining the Army or becoming a stockbroker.

He had been at Selwyn College, Cambridge. to read theology as he wanted to become a priest but could not connect with it all and changed to economics but left without finishing his degree.

Reading the lyrics to Handbags and Gladrags, it sounds like a piece of poetry or even a folk song as it is telling a story.

While Mike might not have been able to “bring comfort to people” as vicar, he has done so through his music and his songs.

Mike said: “I am glad to hear you say that as Handbags and Gladrags was like my first sermon.

"When I was at Harrow I used to pretend I was giving a sermon to an imaginary public and this song was my way of getting this sermon out.

"I was trying to communicate, to share whatever you might believe through the songs I wrote.

“The song was first recorded by Chris Farlow and then in 1969 by Rod Stewart for his solo album An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever Let You Down. “

Mike D’Abo played piano on Handbags and Gladrags.

Mike’s love affair with music began thanks to his mum, who had albums with songs written by Irving Berlin, Rogers and Hart, Rogers and Hammerstein and Fats Waller.

He felt this music by the time rock ‘n’ roll emerged through Bill Haley, Elvis Presley and his heroes The Everly Brothers, gave him a better musical palette and knowledge.

He was part of A Band of Angels, who recorded four/five records .It was from one television appearance he got asked to join Manfred Mann.

While the group they had hits with Mike such as Raga Muffin Man, Ha Ha said the clown, My name is Jack and the Might Quinn.

He said: “Between 1957-1966 my main aim was music.

“When I first joined Manfred Mann, in my first year I was extremely shy and self concious but over time grew into the role. I wanted to do more but I was part of the group and was being paid £50 a week to sing.

“All the songs were chosen from writers outside the group and while I still wrote songs and still do write songs, this was what I wanted to do.

"I was comfortable with Manfred Mann but when it ended in 1969 I went on with my solo career which didn’t go from strength to strength.

"That is why I ended up writing jingles until I left the UK for America in 1977. Mike returned to the UK in 1982.

Now years later, a number of the original members of Manfred Mann are lined up as The Manfreds.

You can see them at the Playhouse Theatre in Weston Super Mare on November 23.

As well as seeing The Manfreds, the special guest on the bill will be Georgie Fame. First shooting into the charts as the founding member of Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, he went on to achieve 3 UK Number One singles ‘Yeh, Yeh’, ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde’. With his much-loved blend of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, Georgie Fame has worked in the highest musical circles and is an icon of the British music scene

Tickets available at