8 things you might not know about Davy Jones of the Monkees

He was on Sullivan with the Beatles!

Everyone has their favorite Monkee. We here at the MeTV offices are split between Micky, Michael, Peter and Davy. But as far as the general public goes, Davy Jones was undeniably the most popular. After all, the svengalis behind the band (not to be confused with Svengoolie) made him the frontman — despite the fact that Peter Tork admitted Jones was the most talented drummer in the group.

Jones had a successful solo career before and after the Monkees, and made memorable television appearances as a solo artist. 

But did you know he was also a successful horse racer and marketplace owner? Let's take a closer look at this former teen idol.

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1. He made his television debut on a British soap opera.

David Thomas Jones was born in Manchester on New Year's Eve Eve in 1945. In 1961, when he was 15-years-old, the Northern English kid made his television debut on Coronation Street, a soap opera centered around a section of Manchester near to his childhood home. The series was new at the time — and is still on the air today. Jones played Colin Lomax in one episode.  

Image: ITV

2. He trained to be a jockey — and won a horse race at 50 years old.

Despite a television credit to his name, Jones dropped out of school to pursue a career in horse racing. He trained to be a jockey. Music and acting eventually swayed him back to showbiz, but he did get to show off his equestrian skills in an episode of The Monkees, "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth," seen here. Jones remained a horse-lover his entire life. In fact, in 1996 at the age of 50, Jones won his first horse race, the Ontario Amateur Riders' Handicap.

3. He was on The Ed Sullivan Show in the same episode the Beatles made their debut.

February 9, 1964, is a day forever immortalized in music and television history. The Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, sparking the British Invasion, Beatlemania, and the modern era of pop music in general. Another future icon quietly appeared in that episode — Davy Jones. He performed a musical number from Oliver! Jones had been delighting theater crowds in the West End of London with his portrayal of Artful Dodger in the Dickens adaptation. Of course, he would end up in a band styled after the Beatles! Small world.

4. He had a chart hit before the Monkees.

When the Monkees were assembled, Jones was the member with name recognition. He had already been releasing music under his own name, David Jones. The teenager released "What Are We Going To Do?" in 1965, which managed to crack the Billboard Hot 100, charting at No. 93 in August 1965.

Image: Colpix Records

5. He forced David Bowie to be named David Bowie.

As the Monkees were becoming a pop phenomenon (they were one of the biggest-selling bands of the 1960s) another rock legend was getting his start in England. Davie Jones fronted a beat combo called the King Bees. As he pursued a solo career, industry folks advised he change his name, so as to avoid confusion with the far more popular British singer Davy Jones. Inspired by American pioneer Jim Bowie and his eponymous knife, Davie Jones changed his name to David Bowie.

Image: Decca

6. His most famous solo song was a flop at first.

Outside of The Monkees, Jones' most memorable TV moment is undoubtedly his appearance on The Brady Bunch. Marcia Brady convinces the teen idol to appear at her junior prom in "Getting Davy Jones." In the episode, Jones performs "Girl." Over the years, through reruns, it became his signature song. Nobody thought much of it when it was released early in 1971. The single flopped saleswise, and the track was even left off his solo album Davy Jones. Decades later, it would have an unlikely revival when Jones offered up a grunge version of it for The Brady Bunch Movie (1995).

Image: Bell Records

7. He opened an indoor market in Los Angeles.

At the young age of 24, Jones became an entrepreneur. Inspired by the indoor markets of New York City, he opened a Hollywood marketplace dubbed "The Street" in Los Angeles, on August 5, 1970. He envisioned The Street as a place to help young craftsmen display and sell their products. It was like Etsy meets Warhol's factory. In fact, it was located on the ground floor of "The Factory," birthplace during World War II of the Norden bombsight and later the site of a well-known nightclub for the younger set on the second floor.

Image: AP Photo / George Birch

8. He died on Leap Day.

Jones passed away on February 29, 2012. He was 66 at the time.

Image: AP Photo / RH

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Oldsoul03 4 days ago
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Can’t get enough of Davy Jones or The Monkees in general? Follow me on Pinterest or just my Monkees board! My Pinterest Profile name and picture are on my MeTV profile description. I also have boards for The Beatles and The Beach Boys! Happy Pinning!
RogerClyneIsAGod 24 days ago
I still can't believe he's gone but at least we have the TV show & all the music he left us.
remodel18 25 days ago
The Monkees were my first concert back in August 1967 in St. Louis. I was 17.
sara017 1 month ago
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HopeDuchaine 1 month ago
I read that it was a massive heart attack. Is this true?
Ehsauve HopeDuchaine 16 days ago
Yes it is true
Barry22 1 month ago
Saw him with The Monkees in 1986, in a revival of Oliver (early 90's I'm guessing) and in concert like in 2001. We even got to meet him, great guy. Wasn't he also a pretty good amateur boxer?
Lynn 1 month ago
last night on the Decades Network showed the episode with the Beatles first visit on Ed Sullivan.. Unfortunately I don't have that nework I wish there was someplace I could watch it
Barry22 Lynn 1 month ago
My cable system use to carry it, and then dropped it. The Ed Sullivan shows were the best part of it.
DawnGraham Lynn 1 month ago
There is an app called Locast, that shows local over the air channels, like Decades & MeTV. It is available in about 18 major cities.
CaroleThorpe 1 month ago
Not that any of us have come to expect accuracy from MeTV, but Davy was born on December 30 -- not New Year's Eve. Coincidentally, he and Mike share the same birthday three years apart (Mike in 1942).
The article said he was born New Year's Eve Eve...thst would be the 30th 😄
Sway MadaNewbyHam 1 month ago
New Years Eve is December 31
Someone on staff slipped in and made the correction after I wrote my post. Clever -- but they should own up and include a post with an apology and acknowledgement of their error when they do it.
Tlor CaroleThorpe 1 month ago
Life is a series of typos, if we apologized for every typo, we wouldn't have time for anything else!
ErinWard Sway 1 month ago
And New Years Eve EVE is Dec 30th.
Carla 1 month ago
Over the years I saw him perform several times. I was also fortunate enough to be able to meet him at Samuel French's Bookstore in Hollywood. It was for his Book signing of "They Made a Monkee Out of Me". I was able talk to him, get his autograph in the book, take pictures with him and I even kissed him on the lips!!!! I will never forget that day!!!
Lantern 1 month ago
Several years ago, when I watched that DVD of the Beatles' appearances on Ed Sullivan (which contains all the other acts on those nights plus the original commercials), I nearly fell off my chair when I recognized Davy Jones in that scene from "Oliver".
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