Davy Jones Monkees
February 29, 2012 by staff
Davy Jones Monkees, Mr. Jones, a former jockey and stage actor, was a key member of the first and arguably the best of the pop groups created for television to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. Though they were not taken seriously at first, the Monkees made some exceptionally good pop records, thanks in large part to the songwriting of professional songwriters like Neil Diamond and Tommy Boyce.
Mr. Jones was born on Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England, the son of a railway fitter and a homemaker. He dropped out of school after his mother’s death from emphysema in 1960 and began a career as a jockey, but later quit to pursue acting, appearing in television shows like “Coronation Street” and “June Evening.” He landed a contract with Colpix Records after he appeared in the musical “Oliver!” and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He was 20 when his first album, “David Jones,” came out.
In 1965, he auditioned for the TV comedy series dreamed up by Columbia Pictures executives who were inspired by the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” and landed the part, along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Though they didn’t play instruments at first, the group’s debut album the following year yielded three hit singles, among them “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Steppin’ Stone.” The show was broadcast until 1968.
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