Nearly four months had passed since the release of ‘Liza Jane’. Davie Jones had by then already joined his next band, the Manish Boys, a new R&B band in London that was aspiring to make it to stardom. Bowie had left the King Bees behind on 27th July 1964 following an unsuccessful live broadcast of their performance of ‘Liza Jane’ on the show Beat Room that failed to raise any interest in that song.
After a couple of live performances during the summer Davie Jones and the Manish Boys have used their chance to meet with Decca A&R man Mike Smith on 25th September before their concert at the Willow Rooms in Romford, Essex, on that same day. The meeting with Mike Smith was the basis for their chance to record three songs at Regent Sounds Studios during an evening session on 6th October. These songs were part of the Manish Boys’ live repertoire.
1) ‘Hello Stranger’ (Barbara Lewis): This song was initially planned as the Manish Boys’ debut single. Even the November edition of Beat 64 magazine – one month after the recording – stated that ‘Hello Stranger’ would be the bands’ first single.
2) ‘Duke of Earl’ (Gene Chandler)
3) ‘Love Is Strange’ (Mickey & Silvia)
However, the recordings – actually recorded with the purpose to become singles – proved unsuccessful due to the two conflicting vocal styles of Davie Jones and bassist John Fletcher. Even Mike Smith made attempts to harmonise these two vocals with a single microphone – but without success. Another recording session was scheduled on 12th October to give the Manish Boys another chance to record the three songs again. During that session the band was so insecure that ‘Love Is Strange’ was apparently not even attempted to be recorded. Hence, the deal was off.
It is not certain whether some acetates of these recordings still exist today. What is known is that Decca has not retained a copy of the master tape.