Classic Television Memories: In Memoriam - Davy Jones

Davy Jones 1945-2012

Today, Davy Jones, former lead singer of the musical group The Monkees, succumbed to a heart attack. He was 66.

I honestly didn't think I'd be doing another one of these so soon. This afternoon, I was on the job at lunch, munching down on a Chef's Salad, when one of my co-workers blurted out that Davy Jones had just died. Without hesitation, I replied "Of the Monkees"? He replied yes. I was saddened because I loved the Pre-Fab Four's television show back in the 60's, and was a fan of their music.

The Monkees TV series ran on NBC from 1966-1968, and was America's prime-time musical answer to The Beatles. The show featured four musicians, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and of course, Davy Jones, in zany misadventures in Marx Brothers' style comedy. The shows ran for a half-hour, not only showcased the schtick, but songs that lent themselves to the storyline. The songs themselves such as Last Train To Clarksville became hits for the group, which incidentally were actual musicians brought together specifically for the series. Due to the group's popularity, hit singles, albums, and tours followed.

Davy Jones, I imagine in keeping in line with the musical British Invasion, that included The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc, was the English lead singer in an otherwise American group.

He was born on December 30, 1945 in Manchester, England. Originally aspiring to become a jockey, he fell into acting at an early age. He performed in plays, most notably in "Oliver" as the Artful Dodger, a role that garnered him a Tony Award. In 1965, he was discovered by Bert Schneider, and Bob Rafelson, and was signed on for The Monkees, along with Nesmith, Tork, and Dolenz.

After the series ended, he continued in TV roles, guesting in such shows as Love American Style, and The Brady Bunch, playing Marcia Brady's crush. He also continued in music both as a solo performer, and with his former Monkees band-mates off and on for decades.

He was in tour in Florida when he died. He is survived by his wife Jessica, and four daughters.

Included are two of my favorite songs, both featured Mr. Jones on lead, enjoy.

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