Thursday, January 26, 2017


"I'm a Believer" by the Monkees was the number one song during this week in 1967. This popular song, written by a then relatively unknown singer-songwriter, Neil Diamond, remained in this position for seven weeks, became the best-selling record of that year and was one of the few singles to ever sell over ten million copies. This was the band's second number one, following "Last Train To Clarksville", and they would make it to the top of the U.S. pop chart one more time with "Daydream Believer" later that year.

The story behind the Monkees' creation is certainly unusual. Due to the intense popularity of the Beatles, producers, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider thought the idea of a television program about a rock group might work. After a talent search, British singer, Davy Jones who had performed on Broadway in "Olivier" was the first cast with American actors, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, who all also had experience as musicians, soon followed.

This fab foursome became "The Monkees" and the comedy series about a struggling L.A. rock & roll band and their wild adventures while seeking fame hit the air in 1966 and ran until 1968. The ironic part was that this fictional band became a very successful real-life musical act. During the height of their fame, the Monkees' records outsold the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined. After the show's end run, the group continued to record and tour together before disbanding in 1971.

However, the show enjoyed an incredible afterlife through syndication and overseas broadcasts. This created a demand for the Monkees particularly after MTV ran a marathon of the show in 1986. Dolenz, Jones and Tork went out on the 20th Anniversary Tour, the first of many reunion concerts, that year with Nesmith sitting out due to prior commitments with his own band. The trio recorded a new album "Pool It!" the following year and hit the road on a global tour.

Nesmith would reunite with the group rarely throughout the tours but for the Monkees' 30th anniversary, the original four came together in 1996 and recorded "Justus" their first album of original material since 1968. After Davy Jones' death in 2012, the surviving members would embark on a U.S. tour later that year and honored the late singer during the concerts. A 50th Anniversary World Tour just began in December with Dolenz and Tork but Nesmith will join the group on dates when time allows.


During a loving musical tribute while receiving this year's lifetime achievement award from BET, we were reminded of what an amazing ...