Thursday, November 21, 2013

Remembering Davy Jones December 30, 1945 - February 29, 2012

"From horse jockey to teen idol" describes the life of Davy Jones.

Davy was born in Openshaw, Manchester, England.  His mom died of emphysema when Davy was 14 years old.  He enjoyed working with horses and began his career as a jockey when he took a job with the Newmarket thoroughbred racing group.  He dropped out of school and his jockeying career ended soon after he took an interest in acting when he tried out for the role as "Artful Dodger" in the production of "Oliver!" in London's West End" He left England to come to the United States and appeared on Broadway in the same production and  was nominated for a Tony Award.  During that time, he also performed on the Ed Sullivan Show on the same episode that featured The Beatles.  While watching the Beatles and the excitement of fans, Davy decided that he wanted to draw the same exuberance.

Following his appearance on the Sullivan show, he signed a contract with the predecessor of Columbia Pictures and made appearances on
episodes of the "Ben Casey" show  and "The Farmer's Daughter"  He also began his musical career having begun a solo career in 1965 with a single called "What Are We Going To Do?"  and an album soon followed.

The Monkees
"The Monkees" formed as a result of the beginning of a television series that was produced by Screen Gems and Davy became the lead singer of the group. The series became extremely popular and resulted in "Monkeemania" and the recordings of big hits that included "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer." The group continued until 1971 when they disbanded.  The group also had a huge hit called "Last Train To Clarksville" that reached the top of the charts. The show continued in syndication.  Three years later, Jones came together again with Monkee, Mickey Dolenz and musicians, Boyce and Hart.

Twenty years after the end of the Monkees, they were reunited for a broadcast called "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "Monkeemania" resulted once again until they discontinued their performances.  They continued to perform on different anniversaries of the groups creation.  Jones last tour came on the 45th anniversary of the group in what was called "An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour."

Davy Jones and his horses
Davy Jones opened a store that sold "hip" clothing called Zilch in Greenwich Village in 1967 and in 1971, he also created a New York style street market in Los Angeles called "The Street" He continued to make solo performances from time to time.  He also recorded solo albums and renewed his acting once again.  He appeared in "Here Comes the Bride" "Love, American Style," My Two Dads," and The Brady Bunch.  He also appeared in an animated form of himself in "Scooby Doo" movies.  He made a cameo appearance in "SpongeBob SquarePants" and continued to record and perform over the years.

In 2008, Yahoo! Music named him the "Number 1 teen idol of all time and Fox News listed him 2nd on it's list of the 10 best teen idols of all time in 2009.  Jones published his autobiography in 1987 called "They Made A Monkee Out of Me."

 Davy continued his love of horses having owned and raised several horses in Florida.  He also had a residence for many years in the small town of Beaverton, Pennsylvania where he acquired a closed church and planned to create a museum in its location.

Jones memorial program
On February 29, 2012, Jones was riding one of his horses when he began to experience chest pains and difficulty breathing.  An ambulance was called and he was taken to Martin Memorial South Hospital in Stuart, Florida where he was pronounced dead.  The cause of his death was a severe heart attack due to atherosclerosis.  He was 66 years of age.

A private funeral was held at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Indiantown, Florida.

One of three banners displayed at memorial in Beaverton
Memorial services were also held in New York City and Beaverton, Pennsylvania (program and banner shown).  The service in Beaverton was held near the future site of Davy's museum.  The town of Beaverton has plans to continue Davy's dream for the museum.

Davy Jones was cremated and his ashes have supposedly been returned to his birthplace of Manchester, England.

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