- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hey, hey! The Monkees are back. On June 3, the group opens the Delta Classic Chastain Summer Concert Series in Atlanta with the first North American date on its 45th-anniversary tour, the band’s first live excursion in 10 years. The List this week takes a second look at the famed 1960s group.

2011 tour: Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones found fame in the 1960s alongside Mike Nesmith, who does not appear on the tour, with their eponymous television show and went on to sell more than 50 million records. The band split up in 1971 but has reformed several times since.

The Monkees: The TV show “The Monkees” ran from Sept. 12, 1966, to March 25, 1968, with 58 episodes. The show, inspired by the Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” won two Emmy Awards.

Big sellers: In 1967, the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in the United States.

Greatest hit: “I’m a Believer,” written by Neil Diamond, remained at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for seven weeks. Mr. Diamond also wrote “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You,” which reached No. 2.

Number ones: The Monkees had six top-10 hits, including three No. 1 hits: “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer.”

Oldest Monkee: At 69, Mr. Tork is the oldest Monkee. He was born on Feb. 13, 1942. Mr. Nesmith is 68, Mr. Dolenz is 66 ,and Mr. Jones is 65.

One Brit: Mr. Jones was the one non-American in the band. Born in Manchester, England, he once appeared on “Coronation Street,” Britain’s longest-running soap opera, first broadcast in 1960. He also appeared in the London musicals “Oliver!” and “Pickwick.” Mr. Jones appeared with the cast of “Oliver!” on “The Ed Sullivan Show” the night of the Beatles’ live American debut.

Monkee exits: Mr. Tork left the band in 1969; Mr. Nesmith left the following year. Mr. Tork rejoined the band for reunions, and Mr. Nesmith has made the occasional appearance.

Monkee with a famous mom: That would be Mr. Nesmith, whose mother, Bette Nesmith Graham, invented Liquid Paper in her kitchen in 1951. She sold the company to the Gillette Corp. in 1979 for $47.5 million with royalties. She died in 1980, leaving Mr. Nesmith as her sole beneficiary.

“Circus Boy”: Mr. Dolenz, the Monkees‘ drummer, began his show-business career in a children’s show called “Circus Boy” under the name Mickey Braddock. He played the water boy for the elephants. His sister, Coco Dolenz, was also on the show, which ran from Sept. 23, 1956, to Dec. 12, 1957, for 49 episodes.

Cancer battle: Mr. Tork battled adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer in early 2009 but got the “all clear” from doctors in September of that year.

Military service: Before the Monkees, Mr. Nesmith was a member of the U.S. Air Force, which he joined in 1960. He was based at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, and discharged under honorable conditions in 1962.

The hat: Mr. Nesmith always wore his trademark knitted hat and earned the nickname “Wool Hat.”

Famous book title: Mr. Jones titled his autobiography “They Made a Monkee Out of Me.”

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