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.

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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jaelinsmith40652 29 months ago
Pretty Cool, Davy Jones was a real good singer.
tvnutt76 29 months ago
Here are a few more facts: He appeared on an episode of The Farmer's Daughter where he sang the song, Gonna buy me a dog. He also did his Monkees screen test on the set of the show, specifically Glen Morley's (William Windom) office. In fact all the Monkees did their tests on The Farmer's Daughter set.
Shannonm75 29 months ago
I saw Davy at an oldies concert in 2001 just days before 9/11. Unfortunately we had to leave because a storm was coming in. Davy even said..."Look at that lightning!" It was flashing all over the sky. I heard him sing a few songs and we left while he was singing Daydream Believer. It was a great experience though to be just several yards away. Right there.
Helen65blue 29 months ago
When I was 10, my best friend and I saw Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Boyce and Hart at the old Riverboat Club at the bottom of the Empire State Building. We threw a stuffed monkey for Davy. He caught it and said: well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!! We loved it and the Monkees!! RIP Michael Nesmith💔
WandaBaker 29 months ago
My cousin and I saw him in Oliver! at Starlight Theater in Kansas City in 1993.
sandramonkee 29 months ago
R.I.P Michael Nesmith. Passed Dec 10th,2021 of natural causes
shivasgirl66 48 months ago
How about that Davy was an accomplished drummer.....or he and Mickey were in The Point?
Oldsoul03 50 months ago
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 51 months ago
I still can't believe he's gone but at least we have the TV show & all the music he left us.
remodel18 51 months ago
The Monkees were my first concert back in August 1967 in St. Louis. I was 17.
groovygirl remodel18 48 months ago
lucky! i'm only twelve, i wish i could've been there!
Moverfan groovygirl 29 months ago
I would have loved to have been there, too--but I was in Michigan...and i was five (started kindergarten that September).
HopeDuchaine 51 months ago
I read that it was a massive heart attack. Is this true?
Ehsauve HopeDuchaine 50 months ago
Yes it is true
Barry22 51 months 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 51 months 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 51 months ago
My cable system use to carry it, and then dropped it. The Ed Sullivan shows were the best part of it.
DawnGraham Lynn 51 months 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.
groovygirl Lynn 48 months ago
its on dvd!
CaroleThorpe 51 months 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).
MadaNewbyHam CaroleThorpe 51 months ago
The article said he was born New Year's Eve Eve...thst would be the 30th 😄
Sway MadaNewbyHam 51 months ago
New Years Eve is December 31
CaroleThorpe MadaNewbyHam 51 months ago
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 51 months ago
Life is a series of typos, if we apologized for every typo, we wouldn't have time for anything else!
ErinWard Sway 51 months ago
And New Years Eve EVE is Dec 30th.
Moverfan ErinWard 28 months ago
It's also fun to say...New Year's Eve Eve, New Year's Eve Eve...(don't mind me, I'm having fun...)
Carla 51 months 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!!!
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