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Mike d'Abo (born Michael David d'Abo, 1 March 1944, Betchworthmarker, Surreymarker) is an English singer and songwriter, best known as the former lead vocalist of Manfred Mann.

Biography

D'Abo, the son of a London stockbroker, was educated at Harrow Schoolmarker and Selwyn College, Cambridge. His original intention at Cambridge was to read theology but, faced with 'everything to learn' (including Hebrew), he switched to economics. He left Cambridge with 'a first class jazz collection' but without completing his studies. His musical career began while he was still at Harrow Schoolmarker, and in 1966 he joined Manfred Mann ['MM'], already a chart-topping group, as replacement for Paul Jones, who was leaving to go solo.

D'Abo's first big hit with MM, "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James", was nearly launched with "Mr Jones" in the title. It had not occurred to the group that a reference to Paul Jones might have been surmised. D'Abo first recorded the As Is album (with the attaching single "Just Like a Woman"). All of the UKmarker Fontana and U.S.marker Mercury releases featured d'Abo.

D'Abo had already had minor success with a group, A Band of Angels, formed while at Harrow. The group also had their own comic strip in a UK pop music weekly, Fab 208. He composed a hit single, "Handbags and Gladrags", for Chris Farlowe (which was also notably recorded by Rod Stewart and Stereophonics and subsequently became the theme music to the BBC television show, The Office). He also wrote two songs recorded by Rod Stewart on Immediate Records; "Little Miss Understood" and "So Much to Say (So Little Time)". With d'Abo fronting, Manfred Mann enjoyed numerous hits, including "Ragamuffin Man", "Ha Ha Said the Clown", "My Name Is Jack" and the Dylan-penned number one hit, "Mighty Quinn".

In December 1968 d'Abo played the lead role in Gulliver Travels - subtly not Gulliver's Travels - at the Mermaid Theatremarker, Blackfriarsmarker, London. After the MM group disbanded in 1969, he also played the part of Herod on the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. He had a cameo role on the original recording of Evita and co-wrote the song "Build Me Up Buttercup", made famous by The Foundations. He also wrote "Loving Cup" for The Fortunes and "Mary, Won't You Warm My Bed" for Colin Blunstone. In 1970 he composed and performed the music for the Peter Sellers film, There's a Girl in My Soup.

Recently, d'Abo has participated in The Manfreds, a group of original Manfred Mann members other than Mann himself, and played occasional live dates with his part-time group, The Mighty Quintet. In addition he had a spell during 2000 advising and working with Stars in Their Eyes champion, Ian Moor. D'Abo was musical director during the filming of Moor's live concert video, entitled Naturally, at the Hull New Theatremarker, and also played keyboards for the concert.

Radio

D'Abo presented a programme from 1997 on BBC Radio Bristol called 'The Golden Years', playing music from the 1950s onwards and broadcast on Saturdays on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. BBC Wiltshire Sound subsequently added the programme to their schedules.

D'Abo is the father of actress Olivia d'Abo, son Ben d'Abo and of twins Ella and Louis (born in November 2007), as well as the first cousin of the Bond Girl actress Maryam d'Abo.

Discography

Year Album Label
1970 d'Abo UNI
1972 Down At Rachel's Place A&M
2001 The Mike D'Abo Collection, Vol. 1: 1964-1970 - Handbags & Gladrags RPM
2004 Hidden Gems & Treasured Friends Angel Air


References



External links




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