RIP Davy Jones
THIS is THE saddest thing I EVER had to write, but NBC News is reporting that earlier today, February 29, 2012, 66-year-old Davy Jones DIED of a Massive Heart Attack near his home in Indiantown, Florida.
David Thomas Jones was born on December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England, UK.
The youngest of 4 kids (and the only BOY) of the late Doris & Harry Jones, Davy began his career as a Jockey in England in 1960, after leaving school soon after Doris died.
In 1965, after 5 years as a Jockey, 19-year-old Davy was cast in a sitcom conceived for him by producers Bob Rafelson & Bert Schneider called The Monkees, a sitcom/vocal group about an out-of-work rock group who supported themselves by taking various odd jobs. The show was conceived by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider in early 1965 & pitched to Schneiders father, Abe, then President of Columbia Pictures. On April 16, 1965, Screen Gems, the television subsidiary of Columbia, gave the go-ahead to shoot a Monkees pilot.
The following Fall over 500 applicants auditioned to become Monkees. Among those who auditioned included Danny Hutton, Steve Stills, Harry Nilsson, & Paul Williams.
Of those 500 auditionees, 4 were hired--22-year-old Mike Nesmith (born December 30, 1942 in Houston, Texas, USA); 21-year-old Peter Torkelson (born February 13, 1944 in Washington, D.C., USA), soon rechristened Peter Tork; 20-year-old Micky Dolenz (born March 8, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA); and 19-year-old Davy Jones (born December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England, UK).
The pilot episode, Here Come The Monkees, was filmed in November 1965; less than a year later, on September 12, 1966, The Monkees made its TV series debut on NBC and was a hit smash.
All 4 boys had careers in showbiz before becoming famous. Mike was a songwriter under the pen name Mike Blessing; Peter was a folk singer in Greenwich Village; Micky was a child actor who already had a series, Circus Boy, under his belt; and Davy was a Jockey in his native England.
An interesting tidbit is that with the exception of the Monkees Headquarters album, the boys NEVER played their own instruments on records, singing only the vocals; despite this fact, the boys released several Top 10 hits, including Last Train to Clarksville (released August 1966) & Daydream Believer.
The music was primarily written by singer-songwriters who had already established themselves in Show Business, among them Neil Diamond & Carole King just to name a few.
The Monkees was VERY popular, both on TV AND on the Music Charts; however, the popularity was short-lived, as NBC canceled The Monkees in the Spring of 1968; the final original episode, Mijacogeo (written & directed by Micky Dolenz), aired on March 25, 1968.
After the series was canceled, the boys made a movie, Head; however, upon its November 1968 theatrical release, it flopped at the Box Office.
After 2 years, 58 TV episodes, 6 albums, and 1 movie, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, & Davy Jones faded into oblivion--until the 1980s, that is, when reruns of The Monkees began airing on MTV.
This led to several reunion concerts (most notably a 2011 reunion tour cut short due to business reasons) plus 2 reunion albums--Pool It in 1987 and JustUs in 1996.
The JustUs album was a first for The Monkees, as they not only played their own instruments but also wrote all of their own songs.
RIP Davy Jones, & heres to hoping I will see you in Heaven when I leave Earth.