Davy Jones: Remembering the charming frontman of The Monkees

10 July 2024, 15:21

Davy Jones
Davy Jones. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Davy Jones, the charismatic frontman of The Monkees, captured hearts around the world with his boyish charm and infectious energy.

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Born in Manchester in 1945, Davy’s journey to stardom was as captivating as his performances. He started as a young actor on Coronation Street before heading to London’s West End, where he shone in Oliver!

But it was in 1965, when he joined The Monkees, that he truly skyrocketed to fame. The band’s catchy tunes and TV show made them a sensation, with Davy’s cheeky smile and musical talent making him a fan favourite.

Beyond The Monkees, Davy enjoyed a diverse career, including solo albums, acting roles, and even a stint as a jockey. Davy Jones was more than just a Monkee; he was a beloved icon.

  1. Where and when was Davy Jones born?

    Davy Jones was born on December 30, 1945 in Openshaw, Manchester.

    His parents were Harry and Doris Jones. He grew up in the Openshaw area of Manchester and had three sisters: Hazel, Beryl, and Lynda.

  2. How did he get his start in music and when did he join the Monkees?

    The Monkees
    The Monkees. Picture: Getty

    Davy Jones got his start in music through his early work in theatre.

    As a young actor, he performed on Coronation Street and gained notable attention for his role as the Artful Dodger in the West End production of Oliver! This performance led to his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles performed, which significantly boosted his visibility.

    He said: "I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself, this is it, I want a piece of that."

    He released his debut solo single in 1965, 'What Are We Going To Do?', which peaked at number 93 in the US. The 19-year-old singer released his self-titled debut album soon after.

    In 1965, Jones joined The Monkees after responding to a casting call for a new TV show about a rock band.

    He was selected along with Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. The Monkees quickly became a sensation, both as a television show and a band, with Jones' charm and vocal talents playing a key role in their success.

  3. What did he do outside The Monkees?

    Davy Jones Performs at BB King's - March 8, 2008
    Davy Jones Performs at BB King's - March 8, 2008. Picture: Getty

    Outside of The Monkees, Davy Jones enjoyed a diverse and fulfilling career. He released solo albums that showcased his vocal talents and explored different musical styles.

    His solo work included hits like 'Rainy Jane' and 'Girl'.

    Jones also continued his acting career, appearing in various TV shows and stage productions. He made guest appearances on popular TV series such as The Brady Bunch and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, delighting fans with his enduring charm.

    Additionally, Davy had a lifelong passion for horse racing. He trained as a jockey in his youth and later owned and raced horses, fulfilling a childhood dream. His love for horses was a significant part of his life, and he often participated in equestrian events.

  4. Was he married and did he have kids?

    Davy Jones with first wife Linda and daughter Talia in 1969
    Davy Jones with first wife Linda and daughter Talia in 1969. Picture: Getty

    Davy Jones was married three times and had four children.

    His first marriage was to Linda Haines in 1968, and they had two daughters, Talia Elizabeth and Sarah Lee.

    Davy Jones with daughters Annabel and Jessica in 2011
    Davy Jones with daughters Annabel and Jessica in 2011. Picture: Getty

    After their divorce in 1975, he married Anita Pollinger in 1981, with whom he had two more daughters, Jessica Lillian and Annabel Charlotte. This marriage ended in 1996.

    His third marriage was to Jessica Pacheco in 2009, but they were separated at the time of his passing in 2012.

  5. When and how did he die?

    Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz in 2011
    Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz in 2011. Picture: Getty

    Davy Jones passed away on February 29, 2012. He died of a heart attack at the age of 66.

    He had been experiencing chest pains earlier in the morning and was rushed to Martin Memorial South Hospital in Stuart, Florida, where he was pronounced dead.

    His bandmate Michael Nesmith stated that Jones' "spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels."

    Peter Tork said "Adios to the Manchester Cowboy", and Micky Dolenz said "He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart."