Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30: singer, actor, and jockey, Davy Jones Of The Monkees was born on this date in 1945...

... he died on February 29, 2012 after suffering a heart attack.

David Thomas Jones was born in Manchester, England in 1945. After his mother died, his father sent him to live with jockey Basil Foster  as an apprentice. Foster recognized Jones' acting and singing ability, and encouraged him to pursue his acting career. When Foster  was approached by a friend who was a casting director, for a theatre on the West End of London, Basil told him, "I've got the kid."

As a teenager he appeared on British TV soap operas, including Coronation Street as Ena Sharples's grandson, Colin Lomax. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of the Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver! He played the role in London and on Broadway.

Somewhat ironically - maybe prophetically is a better word - he appeared with the Broadway cast of Oliver! on the Ed Sullivan Show, on the same night 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."

(Continued below video and Amazon portal ...)

(Press album covers for direct links to Amazon):

The Monkees - Greatest HitsThe Monkees - Our Favorite Episodes

Following his Ed Sullivan appearance, Ward Sylvester of Screen Gems, at the time, the television division of Columbia Pictures, signed Jones to a contract. A pair of American television appearances followed in episodes of Ben Casey and The Farmer's Daughter. He also recorded a single and album for Colpix Records, which charted but weren't huge hits.

From 1965 to 1971, Jones was a member of The Monkees, a pop-rock group formed expressly for a TV show of the same name. He was the only Monkee who had signed a deal with Screen Gems, the studio that produced the series. As a Monkee, Jones sang lead vocals on many of the group's songs, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer."

After the show went off the air and the group disbanded, he 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 has 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 and appeared in one episode of The Brady Bunch, two episodes of My Two Dads, and two episodes of Love, American Style.

He also appeared, in animated form, on an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. Also, Jones made a cameo appearance as himself in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "SpongeBob vs. The Big One," and Boy Meets World.

In 1997 he guest-starred as himself on the TV Show Sabrina The Teenage Witch and sang "Daydream Believer" to Sabrina, played by Melissa Joan Hart.

In recent years, Jones performed with his former bandmates in reunion tours and appeared in several productions of Oliver!, this time as Fagin.

He continued to race horses with some success in his native England, while residing in Beavertown, Pennsylvania in the U.S.

In April 2006, Jones recorded the single "Your Personal Penguin," written by children's author Sandra Boynton, as a companion piece to her new board book of the same title.


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