On May 31st 1966 filming began on The Monkees first TV series.
Inspired by the success of the Beatles, TV producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider came up with the idea of the sit-com ‘The Monkees’ which they sold to Screen Gems Television in 1965.
Davy Jones was the first member cast after he was signed to a long term contract with Screen Gems. A casting call was then sent out to find the remaining members of the band and 437 applicants responded. The three cast members chosen were Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Michael Dolenz.
When the show was picked up to series The Monkees began to rehearse but it was clear they would need help and Don Kirshner was brought in as a producer.
The Monkees’ first single, ‘Last Train to Clarksville’, was released in August 1966, just weeks prior to the TV broadcast debut. In conjunction with the first broadcast of the television show on September 12, 1966 on the NBC television network, NBC and Columbia had a major hit on their hands.
After the release of the band’s first album Kirshner was forcibly dismissed and the band began to take more control over their own music.
55 years after it all began, it was announced on May 4th 2021 that the Monkees will disband following a farewell tour in the United States consisting of surviving members Michael Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz.