Monkeeville is a sad place tonight.
Davy Jones, the singer for the Monkees perhaps best known for his vocals on “Daydream Believer,” died on Wednesday at his home in Indiantown, Fla. He was 66.
The cause was a heart attack, according to the medical examiner’s officer there and a spokeswoman for the singer.
Mr. Jones, a former jockey and stage actor, was an important member of the first and arguably the best of the pop groups created for television to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. Though they were not taken seriously at first, the Monkees made some exceptionally good pop records, thanks in large part to the songwriting of professional songwriters like Neil Diamond and Tommy Boyce.
Mr. Jones was born on Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England, the son of a railway fitter and a homemaker. He dropped out of school after his mother’s death from emphysema in 1960 and began a career as a jockey, but later quit to pursue acting, appearing in television shows like “Coronation Street” and “June Evening.” He landed a contract with Colpix Records after he appeared in the musical “Oliver!” and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He was 20 when his first album, “David Jones,” came out.
In 1965, he auditioned for the TV comedy series dreamed up by Columbia Pictures executives who were inspired by the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” and landed the part, along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Though they didn’t play instruments at first, the group’s debut album the following year yielded the hit single “Last Train to Clarksville”; two more big hits, “I’m a Believer” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” were on the second album. The show was broadcast until 1968.
“Daydream Believer” is a great song, but this is my favorite song by the group.