Davy Jones, of the 1960s pop group The Monkees, died of a heart attack earlier today at his home in Florida. He was 66.
Jones began his career as a child actor in the 1950s on the long running BBC TV Series Coronation Street. After briefly apprenticeship as a racing jockey, he returned to acting and was cast as the lead in Oliver first in London and then New York.
In 1966, Jones along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork were cast by Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider and their music produced by Don Kirshner in The Monkees. Both the show and the band became a cultural phenomenon during the late 1960s. Intended as a send up of The Beatles, Jones was the only Brit in the band. Jones shared lead vocal duties with Dolenz. Between 1966 and 1968, the Monkees had eight top twenty hits on Billboard including three number one hits. Jones sang lead on The Monkees final number one hit, “Daydream Believer” (written by John Stewart of The Kingston Trio) and also sang lead on “Valleri” (written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart) and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (written by Neil Diamond.)
After The Monkees went their separate ways in 1970, he and Dolenz had a brief collaboration with Boyce & Hart called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. From time to time, he show up on TV as he did in animated form on The New Scooby-Doo Movies. The Monkees reunited in 1986 and Jones would tour with the group most summers after that while occasionally releasing solo material.
I never had the opportunity to see The Monkees in concert. For every once in a lifetime an opportunity I get(as was the case with Glen Campbell last week), there is one I miss. Those who were in attendance at The Beacon Street Theater in New York last June should count their blessings.