Born in the maritime city of Portsmouth, England, in 1942, Jones became an atheist as a teenager – because of ‘bad Christianity’, as he puts it. He decided music was his future and became proficient at singing and at playing harmonica. Jones’ resonant vocals were thought to be the best feature of R & B group Manfred Mann – who scooped hits like 5-4-3-2-1 and Do Wah Diddy Diddy. His stance against Christianity also became well-known. In 1968 a TV debate about Billy Graham saw Jones pitted against Christian rock singer Cliff Richard. ‘We ganged up on Cliff – and beat him,’ he recalls.