Davy Jones’ Passing Brings Back Memories Of The Monkees

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I was sad to read last week that singer-actor-comedian Davy Jones had taken his “Last Train To Clarksville.”

The lead vocalist of the sixties group, The Monkees, died from a heart attack. He will surely be missed by those of us who grew up purchasing The Monkees’ 45’s and watching their wild and crazy TV series.

Trained as a racehorse jockey in his native England, Davy Jones turned to acting and then became a singer when he joined The Monkees in 1965. Known as “the cute one” of the group, he teamed with Micky Dolenz (the zany one), Peter Tork (the goofy one) and Mike Nesmith (the serious one).

How popular was the 1966-68 TV series? The Monkees sold more than 50 million records, and in 1967 outsold both the Beatles, after whom they were modeled, and the Rolling Stones. Jones himself was so omnipresent that another emerging pop star, born David Jones, had to change his name to David Bowie just to avoid confusion.

As the sitcom premiered in September 1966, The Monkees’ first single, “Last Train to Clarksville” became a No. 1 hit (and later earned status as a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame single). The show caught on with audiences, featuring fast-paced, helter-skelter comedy inspired as much by the Marx Brothers as the Beatles.

It’s interesting to note that when the band was first formed, only Michael Nesmith could actually play an instrument. The Monkees were, however, supported by enviable talent: Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and Neil Diamond penned “I’m a Believer.” The music was played by session musicians, often members of L.A.’s behind-the-scenes band Wrecking Crew, a loose group that included Glen Campbell and Leon Russell.

The formula obviously worked very well, as The Monkees scored more hits with songs such as “I Wanna Be Free”, “Daydream Believer” and “Valleri” – all with Jones on lead vocals.

This week’s music trivia question is — What phrase correctly completes the first line in The Monkees’ hit “Last Train To Clarksville?”

“Take the last train to Clarksville... A) I miss you more than you know,” B) I can’t wait to see you again,” C) and I’ll meet you at the station” or D) but don’t bring your mother with you.”

This week, if you are the eighth caller and have the right answer, you’ll win two great prizes: 1) Two complimentary tickets to next Fridays’ (March 16) “The Water Coolers” concert in the high school auditorium, sponsored by the Tonto Community Concert Association and 2) The Monkees’ Greatest Hits CD. Good luck!

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Can you name the rhinestone cowboy who scored a Top 10 country hit with his 1989 song “She’s Gone, Gone, Gone?” Was it A) Waylon Jennings, B) Johnny Cash, C) Buck Owens or D) Glen Campbell?

The correct answer was Glen Campbell.

Of interest to note is that Campbell was not the original artist of that song. It was first recorded by country singer Lefty Frizzell in 1965 (reaching #12), covered by Carl Jackson in 1984 (peaking at #44), then covered again by Campbell in 1989.

Congratulations to this past week’s first time music trivia winner, Janet Snyder, who won a $25 gift certificate from Paper & Metal Scrappers, located in the Sawmill Crossing complex, courtesy of owners Melissa Petcoff and Barbara Wilembrecht.

A little about Janet. She was born in Jersey City, N.J. and grew up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York.

She met her husband, Bill, at a New Year’s Eve party. “We actually played Spin the Bottle, and that’s how it all started,” said Janet.

Well, that must have been one heck of game, as Janet and Bill were soon off on their first date, going to the movies and have been inseparable ever since. They have been married for 55 years and have five children.

After leaving New York, the Snyders lived for many years in Yuma, where Janet was a longtime high school secretary, before moving to the Payson area permanently in 2001. Janet said, “We traveled through Payson for many years and just knew this was the place we finally wanted to end up.”

Janet enjoys reading, fishing and writing her weekly “The Village” column with news from Tonto Village that appears in Friday’s edition of the Roundup. She is a Kaitie’s Closet volunteer and is the president of Hellsgate Fire Department Auxiliary. She and Bill attend St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church.

Janet likes classical music, the music from the ’40s and ’70s and country western. Her three favorite artists are Frank Sinatra, E.L.O. and Michael Buble.

Lastly, new pictures I have added to my Web site are from last weekend’s Big Brothers Big Sisters “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” benefit at Rim Country Lanes.

Ten teams ‘rock & bowled’ two games in celebration of their fund-raising efforts to help out our Rim Country children.

Make it a great week!

DJ Craig Phone: (928) 468-1482 www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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