03/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 04:29

Obituary: Davy Jones

Category: England

Published: 1st Mar 2012 01:36:54

Davy Jones was the ever-youthful and mop-topped "short one" from The Monkees, who scored chart hits and TV success during the 1960s and beyond.

Only last year, the British-born star was touring the heritage circuit once again as he teamed up with most of his bandmates from the slapstick show.

But away from a screen role which won successive generations of fans, he had a successful stage career and was a talented horseman - a skill which had also seen him briefly working as a jockey before he found fame.

He is best remembered for his vocals on Daydream Believer, a top 10 hit for the teen pop group in 1967.

It was one of many songs The Monkees recorded for their hit TV show, which spawned four US number one albums in a 13-month period from 1966 to 1967.

They were famous for their clean-cut image and were marketed as the American answer to The Beatles, having been created by two US TV producers who hoped to mimic the anarchic comedy of the Fab Four's film A Hard Day's Night.

The stigma of their origins never quite escaped the band, who later wrested control of the careers and recorded a number of critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful psychedelic rock albums.

Jones, who was born in Manchester in 1945, famously took a brief role in Coronation Street during the show's early days in the 1960s, while still a teenager.

After a stint training as a jockey in Newmarket, he landed his big acting break thanks to his boyish features and diminutive stature, playing the Artful Dodger in the West End stage musical Oliver!

He went on to land a Tony nomination when he transferred to Broadway in New York with the production.

Jones and the rest of the cast were guests on The Ed Sullivan Show when The Beatles made their first appearance, with Beatlemania in full swing.

His feted performance upped his profile and led to a US management deal resulting in TV roles and a short-lived solo music career.

The contract also helped to fast-track him through the auditions for The Monkees, as TV executives put together the group in 1966 partly as a response to the popularity of the Fab Four's movie A Hard Day's Night.

The group also featured Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith.

The show - and the accompanying albums - gave rise to a number of classics, including Daydream Believer, Last Train To Clarksville and Pleasant Valley Sunday, written by such luminaries as Neil Diamond, Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

Jones, who had been hired for his good looks and acting skills as much as his musical abilities, was often relegated to the role of tambourine player in the band's TV show.

But he also took lead vocals on some of their more popular songs, including Valleri and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.

He can be heard speaking at the beginning of Daydream Believer, asking a studio engineer: "What number is this, Chip?"

The band replies "7-A", a reference to the number of takes Jones had to record before the song was considered complete.

It was a high tally in the early days of the recording industry, and Jones later confessed he had been unhappy, because he was not convinced of the song's potential.

"You can tell from the vocal that I was pissed off," he wrote in the official Monkees' biography 20 years later.

After their TV series ended, their partnership continued with the drifting, psychedelic film Head, partly created by Jack Nicholson.

The Monkees survived as a trio when Tork left in early 1969 and then, following the departure of Nesmith, as a duo. It was Dolenz and Jones who had often taken the lead on their songs.

After The Monkees, Jones continued to record, making solo albums in the 1970s and touring Japan with his new band, Toast, in the 80s.

He also made cameos in TV shows such as The Brady Bunch and Love American Style, and appeared in the stage musical Godspell.

The Monkees reunited several times over the years, most notably in the 1980s when their TV show was repeated on MTV - the TV channel that owed its existence, in part, to Jones's former bandmate Michael Nesmith, thanks to his interest in music videos.

Their last tour, as a three-piece, took place last year.

He also continued to have a love of riding and training horses and achieved the long-held ambition of winning his first race, in 1996 at Lingfield.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Obituary: Davy Jones [Online] (Updated 1st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1414909/Obituary-Davy-Jones [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Nato summit: £3.5bn armoured vehicle deal to be signed

    A £3.5bn deal for nearly 600 new armoured vehicles will be signed in Caerphilly county ahead of the Nato summit.
  • Fukushima workers sue Tepco over unpaid hazard wages

    Workers decommissioning Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have sued its operator Tokyo Electric (Tepco) over unpaid hazard wages.
  • Toronto Film Festival 2014: Ones to watch

    The Toronto International Film Festival is set to kick off on Thursday - one of the largest and most prestigious events in the annual film festival calendar.
  • No prosecution over Druids' Ardoyne Fleadh comments

    There will be no prosecutions over complaints about the performance of a folk band at the Ardoyne Fleadh last month.
  • Horizon: The defenders of anonymity on the internet

    You may not realise it, but every time you open up your laptop or switch on your phone, you are at the heart of one of the greatest battles now taking place in our midst - what shape will the internet take in the future, and what role will anonymity play in deciding it?