Rosanne Welch, PhD, Author of Why The Monkees Matter, presents “How The Monkees Changed Television” at a Cal State Fullerton Lunch Lecture on May 8, 2018.
In this talk, she shows how The Monkees, and specifically their presence on television, set the stage for large changes to come in the late 1960s.
This is the album. All these songs are written by people that you’ve heard of. Like Rivers Cuomo, Andy Partridge, Ben Gibbard, Noel Galagher. All famous, current rock-and-rollers who were brought together by a producer who said, “If you could have lived in the ’60s and written for The Monkees, what song would you have written?” and they all wrote a song that they thought was particular to their tastes and so Ben Gibbard has actually been — a couple of the tour dates her came in an sang with them, which is great. So this is him talking about that “before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground, before Punk or Indie Rock, The Monkees were the first band that I truly loved.”They influenced so many of today’s modern day performers and yet people keep forgetting them. So I think that’s important. “You Bring The Summer” was their first release off that album and in a second I’ll play a little clip from it just for fun.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.
Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.
Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.
Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?