Manfred Mann (Manfred Sepse Lubowitz) recorded the smash hit, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” with his eponymous band on this date in 1964. The South African-born keyboardist formed the first rock band in his country, the Vikings, with Saul Ozynski, a childhood friend, before emigrating to the United Kingdom in 1961 in protest of the apartheid system. “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” which topped the charts in the U.K, Canada and the U.S., was actually a cover of a song recorded earlier that year by the Exciters (a Black group) and written by the hit songwriting team of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry.

“Before I knew it, she was walking after me,

Holding my hand, just as natural as can be . . .” —Manfred Mann