Special thanks to ThisDayinMusic.com.

On August 18, 1966, Paul Jones left Manfred Mann just as their massive U.K. hit “Pretty Flamingo” was climbing the U.S. charts. Manfred Mann would continue and Jones would embark on a general entertainment career before coming back to the blues in the ’80s.

But back in the early ’60s, Jones was a serious part of London’s blues-obsessed music movement. Like Brian Jones, Mick and Keef and a plethora of young Brit boys in the early ’60s, Paul Jones was an Alexis Korner follower who often “sat in” on vocals with London’s blues godfather.

At one point, Brain Jones offered Paul the lead singer job in a band he was forming called The Rolling Stones. He may have missed the boat on that one but the next time the gritty-voiced vocalist was asked to join an up-and-coming blues band, he accepted immediately. Originally the new band was called the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers, an unwieldy title that eventually morphed into Manfred Mann. South African-born Manfred Lubowitz arrived in Britain in 1961 and integrated himself quickly into the booming London blues scene. Once they became Manfred Mann with the charismatic Paul Jones on vocals and harmonica, and added Mike Vickers on guitar, flute and saxophone and Tom McGuinness on bass, they were ready to aim at the U.K. charts.

In 1963 Paul, Mike Hugg and Manfred came up for a signature tune for the TV program Ready, Steady, Go! The song, “5-4-3-2-1.”

Manfred Mann had their first U.K. #1 in the summer of that year with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” and suddenly found themselves part of the so-called British Invasion of America as the song went to #1 in the U.S.

More hits followed like “Sha La La” (a hit for the Shirelles), “Come Tomorrow” and “Oh No Not My Baby” and Bob Dylan’s “If You Got to Go, Go Now.”

In April 1966, Manfred Mann notched up their second British #1 with the poppy “Pretty Flamingo.” But by then, Jones had departed for pastures new.

After Paul Jones left the band, he moved toward an acting career. He appeared in the films Privilege and The Committee and then began a full-time theatre career, beginning with “Conduct Unbecoming,” in which he acted at Bristol Old Vic, London’s West End and on Broadway. In the ’80s Jones would go back to the blues, teaming up with old Manfred buddies while maintaining an acting career and presenting a popular and well-received blues show on BBC Radio.