The Monkees member has died at 66, reportedly of a heart attack. One obit is here:
The Monkees were, of course, one of the great phenomenons of music and television: a "prefab four" put together by TV producers in a format that bore a more than passing resemblance to the Beatles' movies. But Jones, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork proved exceedingly successful, thanks not only to their televised personalities but their being connected with top-shelf songwriters of the day.
The TV show ran just two seasons and was never a huge across-the-board hit, but it was a youth-driven hit. And the Monkees had more than their share of memorable hits: "I'm a Believer" (written by Neil Diamond, who also penned "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You"), "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone," the heavyhanded but hummable "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer" ... I have songs severely bouncing in my head.
But this is not just about the Monkees. Jones had been a stage actor in musicals before the show and maintained a career after, although he always seemed willing to join in Monkees reunions. And he had no problems acknowledging that connection, for instance in the big-screen "Brady Bunch" movie, which reprised the Jones plot from that TV show but with a time-passes point: When Jones sings "Girl" at a school dance, it's the adult women who rush the stage, not the kids.
Of course, Jones was always, deliberately, the heartthrob of the group, a contrast to the goofier Dolenz, somber Nesmith and stupid-on-the-air/political-off Tork.
The show was all right, a fond memory for people (especially girls) who were discovering cute boys around the time it aired, or in the years of reruns. The songs remain catchy pop. Farewell, Mr. Jones.