I was part of the target audience for the show, being 15 in 1966 when it first appeared on TV. I didn’t know enough to be a purist about bands playing their own instruments or singing their own songs, which later became a knock on the band. All I knew was that the show was funny and the music was extraordinarily catchy, even when measured against the other great pop songs of the era. The Billboard charts would bear that out: the first four albums hit number one and the fifth hit number three.
I admit I hadn’t thought of the band or its members in years, but Davy Jones’ death today has brought back some memories of the pre-psychedelic era in American pop music.
Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone has some great audio/video clips of Jones as he was when The Monkees were hot.