Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Kent -
I loved the Monkees post. I guess that isn't news to you as you know I am a Monkees fan.
Yes, there was a single that Kirshner put out with Davy called My Favorite Monkee Sings.
I don't have it but I have seen it. I read that the reason he titled it that way was that, unlike the other three, Davy was always willing to go into the studio to sing anything for Kirshner.
I am not surprised to read that he may have wanted to give Davy a chance for a solo career.
Just an FYI.

A week or two ago we ran the "early" Don Kirshner-endorsed version of "She Hangs Out" by The Monkees. While I knew that this actually made its way to Canadian release as a single (Colgems 1003) before it was pulled from the market (thanks to a lawsuit filed by The Monkees that ultimately got Kirshner fired, despite the fact that he had spear-headed their career and virtually overnight made them the hottest recording act on the planet!), I hadn't heard that an unauthorized version of the song was ALSO pressed as a single under the vanity-heading of "Davy Jones Presents" / "My Favorite Monkee Sings". Despite EXTENSIVE research into this issue, I have yet to turn up a single shred of proof that this is the case ... no photos, no documentation ... NOTHING!

But Kirshner DID help Davy promote his own label for a brief time in early 1967. (All indications I found showed a total of FOUR releases before they closed up shop ... all singles ... and NONE of them by Davy Jones himself!)

Noted Monkees Historian Andrew Sandoval documents the launch of Davy's label (through various Billboard Magazine press releases) in his EXCELLENT "The Monkees: Day By Day" book ... and goes so far (in the liner notes for the Rhino CD "Missing Links, Volume 3", which features the early Jeff Barry-produced version of "She Hangs Out" that ended up on the Canadian B-Side single in question) to claim that "She Hangs Out" ALSO came out on a Don Kirshner released single pressed with the heading "My Favorite Monkee" / "Davy Jones Sings", implying that Kirshner may have already been laying the groundwork for Jones to leave The Monkees and pursue a solo career. The label was short-lived and, according to Sandoval, cases of Jones' "My Favorite Monkee Sings" 45's were later found unsold, stashed in the basement of the Kirshner residence! (lol)

Since I personally wasn't really familiar enough with the lifespan of the label (and was unsuccessful finding ANYTHING that would substantiate Sandoval's claim), I contacted Jerry Osborne, "Mr. Music" Himself, to see if HE could shed any light on this obscure "Davy Jones Presents" record label. Coincidentally, he had ALSO been working on a reader's inquiry on this very subject ... and had already started a research folder into the history of the label! (In fact, you'll find this piece is the subject matter of Jerry's "Mr. Music" column this week, syndicated and running in newspapers all over the country as well as on his website):
Click here: "MR. MUSIC"

It sounds like they only had four releases ... and Jerry says that NONE of them were actually by Davy Jones himself. (He, too, found nothing that would indicate that Don Kirshner pressed a single of The Monkees' early version of "She Hangs Out" and released it as what would have appeared to be a Davy Jones solo record.) As far as I've ever known, "She Hangs Out" ONLY came out as a B-Side single in Canada ... and then it was quickly pulled from the market, making it an INSTANT collectible in the process. (In our earlier article on this topic, we ran photos of the EXTREMELY rare picture sleeve that accompanied this release in Canada, thanks to FH Reader Clark Besch ... they appear again below ... along with what will make up Jerry's "Mr. Music" Column on this subject, originally sent to us in advance of publication (but held until today due to our own scheduling snafus!) kk

My late brother was a teenager in the 1960s, and among his things are many records from those days. Most are plainly marked and obvious as to what they are, except for one mysterious item, a picture sleeve with no record inside.
This plain white paper sleeve has a pencil drawing, credited to Ted Sully, of Davy Jones. This is the same young man who was a member of the Monkees. The only other print reads “Davy Jones Presents” (presents what, we're not told), and “Davy Jones Record Co., New York & Beverly Hills.”
My online searches for “Davy Jones and Ted Sully” came up with nothing.
Since no mention is made of anyone else, I assume this sleeve was originally accompanied by a Davy Jones recording, unless Mr. Sully is also a recording artist, which I doubt.
If not Davy, which record belongs to this sleeve?
-- Pauline Mason,
Santa Ana, Calif.

Can't say exactly which, but we are certain it is one of four.
We know this because the entire record output of the Davy Jones Presents series numbers four singles, all packaged in the exact same nameless picture sleeve.
The short-lived Davy Jones Presents vanity label came and went in the summer of 1967, perhaps in part because being a Monkee at the peak of their popularity left Davy little time for anything other than Monkee business.
The fledgling label's executive vice-president was industry veteran, Jack Angel, co-founder of the Herald label. Among his more successful Herald artists are: Mello-Kings (“Tonite, Tonite”); Nutmegs (“Story Untold”); Faye Adams (“Shake a Hand”); Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (“Stay”); and Turbans (“When You Dance”).
Staying with what he knew best, in one of the company's first press releases, Angel says: “We're sticking to R&B-oriented and Pop-R&B music, mostly by newly-discovered talent.”
That the company made only generic picture sleeves probably indicates they printed the sleeves before they knew the artists and titles of their eventual contents.
The same Ted Sully drawing of Davy, and text you see on the sleeve, is also used as the company logo on the record labels -- peculiar because Jones is not heard on the songs, and there are no images of those who are.
As a tie-in when launching their new label, 50 of the nation's top radio stations ran a “Weekend with Davy Jones” contest, with listeners submitting their responses to “Why Davy Jones is Your Favorite Monkee.”
The 50 winners, one from each radio market, were treated to dinner and a recording session with Davy Jones in Los Angeles, and other fun stuff. Each teen winner was accompanied by the parent or guardian of their choice.
Here then is the complete Davy Jones Presents discography:
Davy Jones Presents 661: “Gypsy Girl” / “Girl”
(Vinnie Basile)
Davy Jones Presents 662: “Fly Superman Fly” / “Have You Been Dreaming” (Randy Johnson)
Davy Jones Presents 663: “White House Happening” / “President Johnson” (Dickie Goodman)
Davy Jones Presents 664: “
Back to the Beach” / “Too Proud to Let You Know” (Relations)
-- Jerry Osborne
IZ ZAT SO?: Davy Jones, the first member chosen to be a Monkee, must have liked “Gypsy Girl,” an obscure 1966 release by the Staccatos (Syncro 661).
One of the first moves by Davy Jones Presents was to reissue both sides of the Syncro single on their label, and to use its selection number (661) as a starting point for his company's numbering.
Rather than credit the Staccatos, the DJP single is shown as by Vinnie Basile, the featured vocalist of the Staccatos.
-- Jerry Osborne

I did read that, after the fourth single had been released, Jones sued his label partners and manager ... something about misappropriations of royalties and funds (or something to that effect) ... and the singles (which never sold well and never charted) ARE pretty scarce ... ESPECIALLY with the Davy Jones picture sleeve!

Here are two other web postings I found on this topic:

OK, here's a real interesting 45, not only because it's on the famous "Davy Jones Records" label, but because there might be some confusion about who this actually is.
This 45 originally was released on the Syncro label (from who knows where) credited to The Staccatos. Garage aficionados know about The Staccatos from Ottawa, ON, a very popular Canadian group, but this one is not listed in their discography, or on any of their reissues.
So my guess is that there was another "Staccatos", and were eventually picked up by the "famous" Davy Jones and re-released on his label as "Vinnie Basile" who was probably the lead vocalist. All this is speculation on my part though.

As explained by Jerry Osborne above, Basile was the lead vocalist OF The Staccatos ... why they picked THIS track as their first release is anybody's guess (unless, as Jerry speculates, Davy just REALLY happened to love this song!) Being a long-time Dickie Goodman collector, I can say that his Davy Jones Presents release, "White House Happening", alluded me for AGES before I finally snagged a copy. Like I said, NONE of these records sold particularly well. (kk)

And, finally, we found a Wikipedia entry (which references the Eric Lefcowitz book "The Monkees Tale" which, we told you a few weeks ago, is coming back into print later this month in a completely revised edition).

Wikipedia states (using the book "The Monkees Tale" by Eric Lefcowitz along with the liner notes to the Rhino "Monkees Greatest Hits" CD) that Don Kirshner pressed a number of promo copies of what HE thought was going to be the new Monkees' single, "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" backed with the early "R & B Version" of "She Hangs Out" on his own label, boldly named label "My Favorite Monkee - Davy Jones Sings" ... yet despite extensive searches on the web, I just can't seem to find a copy to share with you. Anybody got one?

According to another Monkees website I found, Kirshner pressed his "promo" copies of the "My Favorite Monkee - Davy Jones Sings" "She Hangs Out" single AFTER he was dismissed as The Monkees' Musical Director. (A retaliation move perhaps???) Kirshner was fired for releasing this single in Canada after a new contract negotiation stipulated that EVERYTHING The Monkees did from this point forward had to contain a minimum of 50% Monkees involvement production-wise. As such, The Pre-Fab Four wanted to release "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", a song written by Michael Nesmith and sung by Micky Dolenz as their new B-Side, which is the way this single came out everywhere else in the world. Truth is, it was also the better of the two recordings and ultimately charted on its own at #39 in Billboard Magazine.

According to Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval, cases of Jones' "My Favorite Monkee Sings" 45's were later found unsold, stashed in the basement of the Kirshner residence ... so how come NOBODY seems to have a copy?!?!? (kk)
EDITOR'S NOTE: All of our efforts to contact Andrew Sandoval have so far gone unanswered (ignored???) My hope was that he may have since come upon additional information in this regard ... or, perhaps had some "photo evidence" that we could share with our readers. If we DO hear back from him, we'll be sure to let you know! (kk)
BY THE WAY: Davy's allegiance to Don Kirshner caused a bit of dissension within the group ... and to this day is still a point of contention between the former Pre-Fab Four. While Michael and Peter had long been pushing for complete creative control, (they, after all, were the real musicians in the band), Davy believed (and, in hindsight, perhaps rightfully so) that Kirshner was responsible for The Monkees' success and, from the sounds of things, would have done anything to simply leave well enough alone. Also in hindsight, one cannot help but wonder why Davy didn't go back to Kirshner after the dissolution of The Monkees to jump-start his solo career, something it appears Kirshner had been grooming him for all along! (Perhaps by this point, too much damage had already been done.) By the same token, might their television series have lasted another season or two longer if Donnie Kirshner were still at the helm of thing musically? We'll never know ... but the show has stayed in syndication for the past 45 years and the music has attracted new generations of fans (pardon my pun) Every Step Of The Way ever since. Rumors of a 45th Anniversary Tour are spreading and, other than Mike (who always seems reluctant to rehash his past), all parties have said that they wouldn't rule out anything as long as the arrangements can be worked out to everyone's satisfaction. Who knows ... very soon they may be coming ... walking down the street ... getting the funniest looks from ... oh well, you get the idea! (kk)