Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

Hey, Hey, we’re The Monkees, come and watch us sing and play. We’re the young generation, and we’ve got something to say…

Made for television band The Monkees starred in a weekly program for two seasons and continued to perform together in various combinations for the next fifty years.

The series was conceived by producers Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider of Raybert Productions as an American answer to the popularity of British pop band The Beatles. Over 400 young actors/musicians tried out to portray one of the four members of a fictional, struggling band.

Chosen were Micky Dolenz (1945- ), Davy Jones (1945-2012), Mike Nesmith (1942-2021) and Peter Tork (1942-2019) who used their actual names instead of being given fictional ones. Filmed by Screen Gems Television, the series was picked up by the NBC network and the first episode aired on September 12, 1966. Each week, the fast-paced situation comedy ended with a performance, including The Monkees’ first hit single, Last Train to Clarksville, released as a single in October 1966.

During the 1970’s, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, original members of the band, performed with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Boyce and Hart wrote the theme song for The Monkees TV series.

In the story line, the band members lived together in a funky beach pad and traveled in a custom-designed Pontiac GTO dubbed the Monkeemobile. In the first season offstage, there were continued disputes with the show’s music coordinator, Don Kirschner, who preferred using studio musicians instead of letting the actors play their own instruments. Monkees members won, and Kirschner left the show.

After winning Outstanding Comedy Series in the 1967 Emmy Awards, the series returned for a second season. The final episode aired March 25, 1968 and was not renewed for a third season after Monkee members insisted on changing the format to a one-hour variety show.

Members continued to perform together as The Monkees in a 1968 musical movie, Head, and a 1969 special, 33 ⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, but disbanded in 1970 when Tork left the group. The original 59 episodes produced continued to air in syndication.

This one inch pin-back button, marked “Raybert Prod. ™ 1967 Screen Gems Inc.” was a prize from a 10 cent vending machine.