If you remember your mother saying ‘los monkis’

The Monkees, or Los Monkis as my mother used to say, were a 60s pop-rock band with Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Michael Nesmith (from my state of Texas). Tork and Jones passed away a few years ago. Nesmith died a couple of days ago at 78

Who remembers The Monkees? Well, millions of girls like my sister do. From September 1966 to the summer of 1968, their songs were #1 on the radio and their LPs dominated the charts. It was an amazing accomplishment for a band that was literally created in the spring and summer of 1966 by a group of studio executives. NBC needed 4 guys for a show, ran an ad, and these four made the cut. 

Quite amazing.

The group was chosen for their good looks and appeal to the pre-teen and teenage girls who’d be watching the show on Monday nights, i.e., my sister. But something happened beyond that. Their fan base grew, going beyond just little girls because their songs were good. They sold millions and millions of records of their songs, which became hits.

I don’t think that Hollywood expected them to be so successful. Nevertheless, The Monkees turned into the hottest musical act in the country almost overnight. They had four best-selling LPs and several hit songs like “I’m a Believer,” written by Neil Diamond, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” written by Carole King, and “Daydream Believer“. They were a smashing success touring all over the U.S. and the U.K. Who else but The Beatles could do stuff like that?

Mickey Dolenz played the drums, sang many of their hits, and was the comedian. Mickey had already done some acting as a young boy. He is still performing today. In fact, he sang at the 2009 Dallas Tea Party event. Peter Tork was the silly and gentle one. He played bass, banjo, and background vocals. I remember reading that he was a schoolteacher before applying for the TV job. Michael Nesmith was a great guitar player and wrote some nice songs, such as “Different Drum,” famously sung by Linda Ronstadt. He recorded on his own after The Monkees and put out several hits on the radio, such as “Silver Moon” and “Joanne“. Davy Jones was the handsome romantic from the U.K. who turned into the biggest teen idol. He was the girls’ favorite, including my aforementioned young sister Lidia who hung his posters on her bedroom walls. He was “cute” as my sister used to say!

They were not The Beatles or The Rolling Stones or Elvis. Nevertheless, they put a lot of songs on the radio and we remember them 50-plus years later. How many musical acts can say that?

RIP, Michael Nesmith. Tell your fellow Monkees in heaven that we still listen to their songs down here.

 P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  (My new American Thinker post)