Davy Jones of the Monkees, Dead at 66, RIP

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I got hate letters from girls all over America because I wouldn’t go to the prom with them ~ Davy Jones

Davy Jones was a very talented child star, actor and singer. The Monkees was one of the most popular bands of its time.

Newsday: …Davy Jones, The Monkees’ lead singer and chief heartthrob of the ’60s TV phenomenon, died Wednesday of a massive heart attack at his home in Indiantown, Fla. He was 66.

With his British accent and trademark long hair, Jones was the Justin Bieber of his day, selected as America’s “dream prom date” for his TV appearances and singing lead on The Monkees’ classics “Daydream Believer” and “I Wanna Be Free.” Along with being The Cute One on “The Monkees” TV show, Jones was also The Content One.

“I just wanted to be in the show, fall in love twice in each episode and kiss the girls,” Jones told The Republican of Springfield, Mass., last month. “I had no ambition to be Steven Spielberg or Cecil B. DeMille.”

Of course, Jones, born in 1945 in Manchester, England, had plenty of other ambitions. He was a child actor who landed his first major role at age 11 on the British soap opera “Coronation Street.” At 16, he was playing the Artful Dodger in “Oliver!” in London and then on Broadway, a role that earned him a Tony nomination for best featured actor in a musical in 1963. “Oliver!” also landed Jones on “The Ed Sullivan Show” episode when The Beatles made their debut in February 1964.

However, it was his role in “The Monkees” — a series meant to channel the energy of The Beatles‘ big screen hits like “Help!” and especially “A Hard Day’s Night” — that introduced Jones to the world.

“The Monkees” bowed Sept. 12, 1966 — four days after “Star Trek” launched — and was promptly trashed by some critics as a “Pre-Fab Four” gimmick engineered by rock producer and impresario Don Kirshner.

However, Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith tapped into ’60s youth culture. Within two years, The Monkees racked up four No. 1 albums and five Top 3 singles — including the No. 1 songs “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Daydream Believer.” The group became so influential they attracted the attention of the FBI, and their songs were covered by artists ranging from Run-DMC to the Sex Pistols. Noted songwriters such as Neil Diamond (“I’m a Believer”) andCarole King and Gerry Goffin (“Pleasant Valley Sunday”) crafted songs for them.

Tim Brooks, a TV historian and author of “The Complete Directory to Primetime,” said “The Monkees” “captured the imagination of a generation, and lived on and on and on.”

Jones never repeated the success of “The Monkees,” but did pop up in numerous shows, including “Love, American Style,” “My Two Dads” and even voiced a part in Disney Channel‘s “Phineas and Ferb.” But it was his appearance in a 1971 episode of “The Brady Bunch” to meet a love-struck Marcia (the president of his fan club) that resonated most. (He made an appearance in 1995’s “The Brady Bunch Movie.”)

Jones helped The Monkees launch a comeback in 1986, when the TV show began airing again on MTV, and again in 1996. Last year, Jones, Dolenz and Tork toured to celebrate The Monkees’ 45th anniversary, which included shows at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Jones had lined up solo tour dates for most of 2012.

Yesterday, his former bandmates were coming to terms with his death. “I am in a state of shock and disbelief right now,” Dolenz wrote on Twitter….

Daydream Believer 1967 (My cousin Jeanne died a tragic death in October and I sang this to her the night before she died – sad) –

Recent performance –

Who was Davy Jones

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