BBC Radio 2 broadcast: 19th July 2016
Back in 1966 the TV & pop worlds were shaken by the arrival of the Monkees, a post-Beatles, pre-boy band sensation who took the charts by storm, selling millions of records off the back of their hugely successful TV series.
The songs - I'm A Believer, Last Train To Clarksville, Daydream Believer and many more - were instant pop classics and the Monkees - Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones - were instant pop stars.
Except that they weren't. They were actors playing a part, pretending to be a band, miming on screen and singing over other people's music. But like Pinocchio, they wanted to be real and the puppets turned, wrestling control of their records from the hands of the TV moguls and striking out on their own, a path that led them to the Sgt Pepper recording sessions, to Jimi Hendrix, to avant garde film-making and to a completely unique type of stardom.
Now, 50 years later, the Monkees are back with a big hit album full of songs written for them by the likes of Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher & Andy Partridge of XTC, alongside Neil Diamond & Harry Nilsson.
In this two part series, the Monkees tell their own story with new, exclusive interviews with the 3 surviving band members, alongside their friends, family and associates.
The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday [Warner Strategic Market]
The Monkees - Cuddly Toy [Warner Strategic Market]
The Monkees - Take A Giant Step [Rhino]
The Monkees - Papa Gene's Blues [Rhino]
The Monkees - (Theme From) The Monkees [Arista]
The Monkees - Last Train To Clarksville [Old Gold]
The Monkees - Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Rhino]