Wherever you go, you find Monkees fans and the Denver Popular Culture Con was no different. Amid rooms full of caped crusaders and cosplay creations, I was initially not sure how many folks would attend a talk on a TV show from the 1960s – but happily I was met by a nice, engaged audience for my talk on Why the Monkees Matter – and afterward they bought books! What more could an author ask for?
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Obviously, as I said, the TV Writers, the music writers mattered. I mean, Carole King — how many Grammy’s in her day — and she wrote Some Time In The Morning, which I think is one of the most beautiful love songs ever. Boyce and Hart, as I mentioned were the major songwriters for them in the first couple of years and then it expanded. Neil Sedaka wrote for them. Neil Diamond — how about that young picture of Neil Diamond. Paul Williams, who also — somehow the Muppets and The Monkees — I need a book that connects them because there is a lot that connects them. David Gates from Bread wrote a couple of songs and actually, Micky has an album of — he does a new album called Remember and in that he records Diary which is a famous David Gates song which David wrote and tried to sell to him in the late ’70s and he said no, I don’t think I’m a singer anymore. So he did that later in his career. But that’s how important — and Carole Bayer Sager of course. So they knew that writers were an important thing.
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?