Paul Jones (Vocals and Harmonica)
In 1963 Paul, Mike Hugg and Manfred came up with a piece in response to a commission for a signature tune for the TV programme “Ready, Steady, Go!”. The marriage of show and song may have been mutually beneficial; it certainly did the group no harm, providing their first hit, “5-4-3-2-1”
After several others, including two number ones, Paul went solo in 1966 and had a few more, notably “I’ve Been A Bad, Bad Boy”, from the film “Privilege”, co-starring JEAN SHRIMPTON. This was followed by TV drama, a second film “The Committee” (recently released on DVD) a couple of fringe plays – and then a full-time theatre career, beginning with “Conduct Unbecoming”, in which he acted at Bristol Old Vic, London’s West End and on Broadway. Subsequent roles included Romeo, Hamlet, leads in plays by SHAW, ANOUILH, and the odd musical such as “Pippin” and “Joseph”.
By 1979, Paul’s deep-rooted love of R&B was becoming frustrated by his relentless acting schedule. He decided the time was right for a band playing blues – and his first call was to TOM McGUINNESS. The result was THE BLUES BAND. After 18 albums and more than a quarter-century of touring the world, the band continues to attract new generations of blues fans.
During these years Paul’s made several excursions back into acting. After a stint as one of ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S “Cats”, he joined The Royal National Theatre to play MacHeath in “The Beggar’s Opera” and Sky in “Guys And Dolls”, going on to star in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Kiss Me, Kate”. These last three also starred FIONA HENDLEY, whom Paul married in 1984 (an indirect result of the final scene of “Guys And Dolls”!). They now present a weekly programme on God TV
Doctor of Music (from the University Of Portsmouth) and President of The National Harmonica League, Paul’s played on soundtracks (several of which he composed) and many recordings by artists including PERCY SLEDGE, TINA TURNER, KATIE MELUA and MEMPHIS SLIM. His songs have been recorded by an equally varied bunch, from early STEPPENWOLF to HELEN SHAPIRO to TEN YEARS AFTER. His weekly blues show on BBC Radio 2 is a must-listen on Monday evenings, and his broadcasting commitments have included writing specialist questions for “Mastermind”. In 2001, Paul was honoured by the TV show “This Is Your Life”.