The Edge of Music
|Katherine Cole||March 11th 2012|
|The Monkees, March 1967|
Davy Jones, lead singer of the made-for-TV band The Monkees and first crush of millions of girls worldwide, died of a heart attack in Florida on February 29, 2012. He was 66 years old.
Most of his fans first heard of Davy Jones in 1966, when the Monkees invaded living rooms worldwide. In reality, the then 21-year-old actor and singer from Manchester in the United Kingdom was a show business veteran. He got his start as a teen actor on British television, and later performed in the West End and Broadway casts of the musical “Oliver.”
While appearing in that show, Davy Jones found himself on The “Ed Sullivan Show” in the U.S. the same night that millions of people tuned in to see the Beatles’ American TV debut. In later years, Jones often told the story of hearing hundreds of teenagers screaming as the Beatles played, and deciding then and there that he wanted to be a pop star. Within two years, he was. And, almost 50 years later, the theme song to the show that made Davy Jones a household name is still burned into the brains of baby boomers around the world.
“The Monkees” television show was developed to cash in on the success of the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night.” Running for only two years, it nonetheless made stars of Jones and his bandmates Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Mickey Dolenz. Jones played the “the cute one.” A quick look at Twitter and Facebook messages that popped up after his passing confirm that Davy is remembered decades later as a first crush and teen heartthrob.
Katherine Cole writes for the VOA News, from which this article is adapted.