The Monkees

Pop Musician

Born: 1965
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as:

Zany 1960s TV pop group

The Monkees were a made-for-TV musical group formed in 1965 when the producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider advertised for band members in Variety. The next year the zany comedy TV show The Monkees debuted with the band's four members: drummer Micky Dolenz (b. 8 March 1945 in Los Angeles, California), bassist Peter Tork (b. 13 February 1942 in Washington, D.C.), guitarist Michael Nesmith (b. 30 December 1942 in Houston, Texas) and heartthrob singer Davy Jones (b. 30 December 1945 in Manchester, England, d. 29 February 2012). The show was a surprise hit and the Monkees became a pop phenomenon, releasing albums and even a movie (1968's Head). At first the band members did little more than sing on their albums, though later they began to play instruments and write some of their own songs. Their albums included The Monkees (1966) and Headquarters (1967), with hit singles including "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "I'm a Believer" (written by Neil Diamond) and "Last Train to Clarksville." The TV show ended in 1968 and Tork left the group the same year. Nesmith left in 1969 and by the end of 1970 The Monkees had fizzled out. The band regrouped without Nesmith in the 1980s and continue to make occasional appearances together. The Monkees also blazed a trail for future pre-fab bands like The Partridge Family and The Spice Girls.

Extra credit:

Davy Jones died of a heart attack on 29 February 2012. He was 66 years old... It's true: Mike Nesmith's mother invented the office product Liquid Paper... Nesmith wrote the Linda Ronstadt hit "Different Drum"... Head was co-written by Jack Nicholson and included a brief appearance by Frank Zappa... In 1986 Tork, Jones and Dolenz released the reunion album Pool It!.

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