From Butlins to the Elm Lodge housing Estate via Ready Steady Go and Top of The Pops, the musical journey of Mike Hugg has been a varied one, taking from the drum stool to lead vocals on a top 40 hit. He was born today in 1942.
Mike (far right) with Manfred Mann
Drummer Mike Hugg was born in Andover, Hampshire. Learning the piano as a youngster, the teenage Hugg graduated towards jazz and began playing along to records by the likes of Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk on a home-constructed drum kit.
First encountering Manfred Mann (the person aka Manfred Lubowitz) during a summer season at Butlin’s Clacton in 1962 when Hugg was playing vibes and Graham Bond shared keyboard duties with Manfred, his musical tastes began to extend towards the UK R’nB scene,
Forming the Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers by the end of that year, they evolved into Manfred Mann (the band) and scored their first chart hit in 1964 with “5-4-3-2-1″. That began a six year run of chart success with both R&B and novelty tunes, before the band splitting in 1969 after numerous personnel changes.
Teaming up again with Manfred Mann in guitarless jazz/rock combo Chapter Three (originally named Emanon), Hugg later switched from drums to keyboards and tasted success once again, having first given notice of this direction back in 1968, when co-composing music for the British film “Up The Junction.”
Mike has since toured with former members of Manfred Mann as the Manfreds, as well as recording with jazz trio PBD (Piano Bass Drums), allowing young pretender Kit Jolliffe play the drums while he supplies keyboards.
With numerous film, television and advertising credits to his name, for many Hugg’s crowning glory remains penning and recording the theme tune to the 1970′s BBC sitcom “Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?”, scoring a top 40 hit under the guise of The Highly Likely. It’s never not full in here.
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And here’s some footage of Mike in action: