100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: ‘Pretty Flamingo’- Manfred Mann. Manfred Mann- a British band formed in London in 1962- was named for their keyboardist Manfred Mann. They would become the first southern English band to hit #1 in the United States – in 1964 with ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’- their first American hit- [they had two previous hits in their native United Kingdom.] As Manfred Mann they had 4 Top 40 hits in the United States up to the time they disbanded in 1969. A new band would appear in 1972- as Manfred Mann’s Earth Band- and they struck #1 in 1976 with a remake of the Bruce Springsteen song ‘Blinded By The Light.’
The first time I heard ‘Pretty Flamingo’ was on the Rod Stewart album -A Night On The Town. I didn’t realize at the time that it has been a modest hit in the US [#29] and a #1 hit in the UK back in 1966. In the UK it was notable for staying at #1 for 4 weeks- keeping The Rolling Stones “Paint It Black’ in the #2 spot. ‘Pretty Flamingo’ features future Cream bassist Jack Bruce who briefly had joined the band in 1965. ‘Pretty Flamingo’ was written by an American songwriter named Mark Barkan- who would later become the musical director for the Banana Splits Adventure Hour from 1968-70. Barkan died last year at the age of 85.
Single: ‘Pretty Flamingo’- Manfred Mann/ Written by Mark Barkan/ Record Company- His Masters Voice/ Recorded on March 18. 1965/ Time: 2:31/ Produced by John Burgess/ Released on April 15, 1966/ Peaked at #29 in US Billboard Hot 100 #1 in UK Singles Chart.