Remembering the Monkees' Davy Jones

A look back at the career of the Broadway alum, TV star, and pop star.

David “Davy” Jones passed away this week, shocking fans of the multi-talented singer. As a member of the Monkees, he was one of pop culture’s biggest teen idols, but his career consisted of so much more. So let’s take a look at his body of work through video highlights.

David got his big break in the role of the Artful Dodger in the successful Broadway play, Oliver!. As a part of the cast, he appeared on the same episode of The Ed Sullivan Show as the Beatles in their American television debut.

He soon signed a contract with Screen Gems, a division of Columbia Pictures, which led to the release of a solo album. However, a successful audition for a new TV series about a rock band would soon change his life.


The Emmy-winning TV series The Monkees ran for only two seasons, but has never really been off the air due to reruns. When MTV ran a Monkees marathon in 1986, it introduced the group to a new audience, whose children probably watch the show via the Me-TV and Antenna TV networks nowadays.


“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” was basically a Davy Jones solo hit. The “45 single had the words, “My favorite Monkee, Davy Jones sings”, printed on its label.


He sang lead on one of the group’s biggest hits, “Daydream Believer”.


“Valleri” was the Monkees’ last Top 10 single, and it also featured Davy on lead vocals.


After their TV series was canceled, the Monkees turned their attention to planned TV specials and films. Their psychedelic 1968 movie Head was a box office disappointment, but is now a highly praised cult favorite. One of its most memorable moments was this song and dance routine featuring Jones and Toni Basil.


33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee scored low ratings opposite the 1969 Academy Awards telecast, and marked the end of the group.


After Peter Tork (in 1969) and Mike Nesmith (in 1970) left the group, Davy and Micky continued to tour and record together under the name of the Monkees. Unsatisfied with the production on the Changes album, they went on to record with songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart under the name of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart.


He made a number of TV appearances on a variety of TV shows throughout the years, including Love, American Style, Laugh In, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and did voice work in animated series like Scooby-Doo, Spongebob Squarepants, and Phineas & Ferb. However, his visit to The Brady Bunch is said to be the most re-runned episode of any show in TV history.


Though Jones had discussed plans to reunite the Monkees as early as 1975, it wasn’t until the group’s popularity soared in 1986 that a 20th anniversary tour occurred.


Throughout the years, he never lost his vocal ability. In 2006, he recorded “Your Personal Penguin” for a tribute album of songs based on Sandra Boynton’s popular children books.


In 2011, he reunited with Dolenz and Tork for a Monkees 45th anniversary tour that was well received by fans. Despite its success, the tour was later shortened due to rumored scheduling conflicts by management.


Jones toured as a solo act for many years, often as a part of local radio station-sponsored shows along with other 1960’s-era artists. He co-hosted and performed in a recent PBS special, 60’s Pop, Rock, & Soul: My Music.


Share your favorite memories of Davy Jones in the comments section below.





Ivy Mix's 'Spirits of Latin America' Evokes the Ancestors

A common thread unites Ivy Mix's engaging Spirits of Latin America; "the chaotic intermixture between indigenous and European traditions" is still an inextricable facet of life for everyone who inhabits the "New World".


Contemporary Urbanity and Blackness in 'New Jack City'

Hood films are a jarring eviction notice for traditional Civil Rights rhetoric and, possibly, leadership -- in other words, "What has the Civil Rights movement done for me lately?"


'How to Handle a Crowd' Goes to the Moderators

Anika Gupta's How to Handle a Crowd casts a long-overdue spotlight on the work that goes into making online communities enjoyable and rewarding.


Regis' New LP Reaffirms His Gift for Grinding Industrial Terror

Regis' music often feels so distorted, so twisted out of shape, even the most human moments feel modular. Voices become indistinguishable from machines on Hidden in This Is the Light That You Miss.


DMA's Go for BritElectroPop on 'The Glow'

Aussie Britpoppers the DMA's enlist Stuart Price to try their hand at electropop on The Glow. It's not their best look.


On Infinity in Miranda July's 'Me and You and Everyone We Know'

In a strange kind of way, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know is about two competing notions of "forever" in relation to love.


Considering the Legacy of Deerhoof with Greg Saunier

Working in different cities, recording parts as MP3s, and stitching them together, Deerhoof once again show total disregard for the very concept of genre with their latest, Future Teenage Cave Artists.


Joshua Ray Walker Is 'Glad You Made It'

Texas' Joshua Ray Walker creates songs on Glad You Made It that could have been on a rural roadhouse jukebox back in the 1950s. Their quotidian concerns sound as true now as they would have back then.


100 gecs Remix Debut with Help From Fall Out Boy, Charli XCX and More

100 gecs' follow up their debut with a "remix album" stuffed with features, remixes, covers, and a couple of new recordings. But don't worry, it's just as blissfully difficult as their debut.


What 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Taught Me About Unlearning Toxic Masculinity

When I first came out as trans, I desperately wanted acceptance and validation into the "male gender", and espoused negative beliefs toward my femininity. Avatar: The Last Airbender helped me transcend that.


Nu Deco Ensemble and Kishi Bashi Remake "I Am the Antichrist to You" (premiere + interview)

Nu Deco Ensemble and Kishi Bashi team up for a gorgeous live performance of "I Am the Antichrist to You", which has been given an orchestral renovation.


Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.