The Monkees TV show debuted in September of 1966 and ran until March of 1968. During that time, the band saturated the music charts and radio stations with songs such as “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Valleri,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” and many others.
The group consisted for Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and the four had been assembled by producers at Screen Gems for the television show. In the beginning, the members of the group didn’t have much say in the music they recorded, and their vocals were their main contributions. However, the Monkees were eventually able to wrestle away more control of the recordings, and their musical careers continued after the television show ended.
This episode of Documenting Popular Music takes a look at the individual members of the Monkees and what they did after the break up – in the 1970s and 1980s. Insight into their careers is provided by Monkees expert Fred Velez, who writes a blog for the website Monkees.net, and he authored the book A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You: The Monkees From A Fan's Perspective.
Velez, who has a wealth of knowledge about the group, also offers some behind the scenes history, including how the Monkees and the Beatles hung out together, and how Dolenz ended up using a Beatles song in an episode of the Monkees TV show.
Part I of this feature takes a look at Nesmith and Dolenz.