Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rest In Peace - Davy Jones : Lead Singer of the Monkees

David Thomas "Davy" Jones

(30 December 1945 – 29 February 2012)

Was an English rock singer-songwriter and actor best known as a member of The Monkees.

Davy Jones, the button-cute, tamborine-tapping member of the made-for-tv 1960s pop band The Monkees, has died. The entertainer, who began his career as a child actor before joining the Prefab Four as America's answer to The Beatles, reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack today in Florida. He was 66. Jones, the only British Monkee, is best known for his lead vocals on the hits "Daydream Believer" and "Valerie."

Davy Jones, the pint-size singer for the Monkees perhaps best known for singing “Daydream Believer,” died on Wednesday at his home in Indiantown, Fla. He was 66.

The cause was a heart attack, according to the medical examiner’s officer there and a spokeswoman for the singer.

Rh/Associated Press
Davy Jones in 1967.
Mr. Jones, a former jockey and stage actor, was a key member of the first and arguably the best of the pop groups created for television to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. Though they were not taken seriously at first, the Monkees made some exceptionally good pop records, thanks in large part to the songwriting of professional songwriters like Neil Diamond and Tommy Boyce.

Mr. Jones was born on Dec. 20, 1945, in Manchester, England, the son of a railway fitter and a homemaker. He dropped out of school after his mother’s death from emphysema in 1960 and began a career as a jockey, but later quit to pursue acting, appearing in television shows like “Coronation Street” and “June Evening.” He landed a contract with Colpix Records after he appeared in the musical “Oliver!” and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He was 20 when his first album, “David Jones,” came out.

In 1965, he auditioned for the TV comedy series dreamed up by Columbia Pictures executives who were inspired by the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” and landed the part, along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Though they didn’t play instruments at first, the group’s debut album the following year yielded three hit singles, among them “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Steppin’ Stone.” The show was broadcast until 1968.

After the Monkees disbanded in the late 1960s, Mr. Jones pursued a solo career as a singer, recording the hit “Rainy Jane.” He also made a series of appearances on American television shows, among them “Love American Style.” He played himself in a widely popular “Brady Bunch” episode, which was shown in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school’s Davy Jones fan club, promises she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Mr. Jones teamed up with Mr. Tork, Mr. Dolenz and the promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to rebroadcast “The Monkees” series, introducing the group to a new audience. In 1987, three of the Monkees (excluding Mr. Nesmith) recorded a new album, “Pool It.” Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called “Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees.”

Mr. Jones is survived by his wife, Jessica.

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