Davy Jones, the British-born lead singer of 1960s pop group The Monkees, recently died at the age of 66 in America. Medical officials in Florida did not comment on the cause of death, but a spokesman for the star said he had suffered a heart attack.
From 1965 to 1971, Jones was the lead singer of The Monkees a pop-rock group formed expressly for a television show of the same name. As a Monkee, Jones sang lead vocals on many of the group’s songs, including “I Wanna Be Free”, “Daydream Believer”, Last Train to Clarksville and I’m A Believer. The band consisted of members Davy Jones Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, who after being put together to star in their self-titled TV show sold millions of records. After the Monkees went off the air in the 70’s, the group disbanded. However, Jones continued to perform solo, while later joining with fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as a short-lived group called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. He also toured throughout the years with other members as various incarnations of the Monkees.
In 1978, he appeared with Micky Dolenz in Harry Nilsson’s play The Point at the Mermaid Theatre in London. Jones continued acting as he appeared in one episode of The Brady Bunch, two episodes of My Two Dads, an episode of Here Come the Brides, and two episodes of Love, American Style. He also appeared and sang, in animated form, on an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies and in an episode of Hey Arnold. Also, Jones made a cameo appearance as himself in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “SpongeBob vs. The Big One” (his appearance was meant to be a pun on Davy Jones’ Locker), a third-season episode of the sitcom Boy Meets World and the Brady Bunch spoof movie of The Brady Bunch Movie. In 1997 he guest-starred as himself on the television show Sabrina the Teenage Witch and sang “Daydream Believer” to Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart). In later years, Jones performed with his former bandmates in reunion tours and appeared in several productions of Oliver! as Fagin. He continued to race horses with some success in his native England, while residing in Beavertown, Pennsylvania. He owned and raced horses in the United States and served as a commercial spokesman for Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia. In 2007, Jones recorded the theme for a campy movie comedy called Sexina: Popstar PI. In December 2008, Yahoo Music named Jones “Number 1 teen idol of all time”. In 2009 Jones was rated second in a list of 10 best teen idols compiled by Fox News. In 2009, Jones released an album entitled “She” which is a collection of handpicked classics and standards from the 1940s through the 1970s. Also in 2009, Jones performed in the Flower Power Concert Series during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.
In February 2011, Jones mentioned rumours of another Monkees reunion. “There’s even talk of putting the Monkees back together again in the next year or so for a U.S. and UK tour,” he told Disney’s Backstage Pass newsletter. “You’re always hearing all those great songs on the radio, in commercials, movies, almost everywhere.” The tour came to fruition entitled, “An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour
The frontman got back together with Dolenz and Tork last year to play a series of gigs. Although The Monkees had nine top-40 hits in their heyday, they were criticised for being a manufactured group. Californian band The Byrds mocked them in their single So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star. But they made efforts to prove themselves by writing more of their own songs and starring in a 1960s cult film, Head, with Jack Nicholson. In in the early 1960s, Jones had appeared as Ena Sharples’ grandson in Coronation Street and also starred in British series Z-Cars. He briefly left showbusiness to train as a jockey – and would continue to race horses later in life – but returned to acting with a role in a stage production of Oliver! From the West End he followed the show to Broadway.