- CHARITY BENEFIT
When I was six, I started the Davy Jones fan club. My heart broke the day I read he was married in Tiger Beat Magazine. At 17, I sighed in relief when I met him in person and he was shorter than me and today I grieve as a childhood crush dies. Davy Jones died of a heart attack at the age of 66. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Jessica, and four daughters.
Davy Jones became interested in show business and appeared, to great acclaim, in the musical “Oliver!” as the Artful Dodger. After playing the role in London, he accompanied the show on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award. On 9 February 1964, he appeared with the Broadway cast of Oliver! on The Ed Sullivan Show, the same episode on which The Beatles made their first appearance. Jones says of that night, “I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself, this is it, I want a piece of that.”
Following his Ed Sullivan appearance, Ward Sylvester of Screen Gems (then the television division of Columbia Pictures), signed Jones to a contract. A pair of American television appearances followed as Jones received screen time in episodes of Ben Casey and The Farmer’s Daughter. He also recorded a single and album for Colpix Records, which charted but were not huge hits.
From 1965 to 1971, Jones was a member of The Monkees, a pop-rock group formed expressly for a television show of the same name. With Screen Gems producing the series, Jones was shortlisted for auditions, as he was the only Monkee who was signed to a deal with the studio, but still had to meet producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider’s standards. As a Monkee, Jones sang lead vocals on many of the group’s songs, including “I Wanna Be Free” and “Daydream Believer”.
Davy met Laramy Smith in 1967, introduced by Eirik Wangberg (then a producer and co-owner of Sound Records). Laramy and Davy co-produced The Children, an Austin, Texas group Jones discovered while on tour with the Monkees. A single was released on Laramie Records entitled “Picture Me,” which reached Billboard at number 2 with a bullet. After the Monkees went off the air, 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 February 2011, Jones mentioned rumors 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.”
He also acted on stage and screen, with his most famous TV appearance as himself on “The Brady Bunch,” in an episode where Marcia Brady was the president of his fan club and tried to get the singer to appear at her school dance. He also played Fagin in “Oliver!” on Broadway and Los Angeles, which is where I met him.
Recently, he played himself on an episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”