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Micky Dolenz was a member of the 1960s created-for-television rock group, The Monkees.
The Monkees - Full Episode (45:10)
Micky Dolenz of The Monkees talks about how the band went from television to music fame.
Hey, hey, it's the Monkees! Here's everything you ever wanted to know about the first of the manufactured bands that shocked the music industry in the 60s by generating a slew of hits.
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But their efforts did not reach the same level of success as their earlier recordings.
The Monkees spun their success into their own feature film, Head (1968), which was directed by Jack Nicholson. Unfortunately for the so-called Pre-Fab Four, it was a dud at the box office. The group did better with their tour that year, which had Jimi Hendrix as their opening act. Dolenz later told Entertainment Weekly that the experience of touring with Hendrix was "strange and embarassing. He'd be in the middle of 'Purple Haze' and kids would be going 'We want Da-vy!'"
The series was canceled in August 1968, and Tork left the group shortly after. Dolenz and the remaining members soldiered on for a while, releasing 1969's Instant Replay before splitting up.
After the Monkees, Dolenz floundered for a time. He did voice over work for such animated series as Scooby Doo and made guest appearances on such television shows as My Three Sons. Returning to music, Dolenz reunited with Jones and former Monkees' songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. They released one album together in 1976, which failed to make much of an impression on the music buying public.
Dolenz moved on to stage work, appearing in a production of Tom Sawyer in 1976. The following year, he went to London to appear the musical The Point written by Harry Nilsson. Dolenz stayed in England for 12 years, finding work in television as a director and producer.
In the 1980s, however, Dolenz was lured back to his life as a Monkee. There was a renewed interest in the group, and some of their original recordings were re-released by Rhino Records. In 1986, Dolenz, Tork, and Jones reunited for a successful concert tour. The group also released a greatest hits collection, Then and Now, that same year. For the collection, the group recorded a new single, "That Was Then, This Is Now," which became a top 20 hit. Reruns of the group's series started airing on MTV in 1987, giving the band even more of a boost. That same year, the Monkees released the original album Pool It!.
Dolenz wrote about his rock star experiences in I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness (1993). Nesmith returned to the group in the mid-1990s for a successful tour and a new album, 1996's Justus. This new recording failed to make the charts.
Dolenz combined his love of singing and acting to make his Broadway debut in the musical Grease around this time. Working behind the scenes, he also directed a few episodes of the family sitcom Boy Meets World. In 2003, he returned to Broadway to join the cast of Elton John's musical drama Aida. He also worked on a 2006 touring production of Pippin. That same year, he had his first children's book, Gakky Two-Feet, published.
Recently, Dolenz returned to television as a contestant on Gone Country. The show pits music stars from different genres against each other to see who has what it takes to make it in country music.
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In 1965, over 400 people responded to an ad seeking young men for a new television show about a rock group called The Monkees. The Monkees, starring Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork premiered on September 12, 1966, and audiences adored the humorous antics of the band. Though made for TV, The Monkees had real-life hits and struggled against their "Pre-Fab Four" image. Some of their best-loved and number one hits included Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville." More successful singles followed, including another Neil Diamond song, "Little Bit Me, Little Bit You," Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and "Daydream Believer" by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio.
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