The voting starts today for the 16th annual "Coolest Song in the World" listener poll courtesy of the Sirius XM channel, Little Steven's Underground Garage. Nominated this year is Micky Dolenz for his version of the Monkees classic, "Circle Sky," as heard on Micky's recently released solo album, Dolenz sings Nesmith.
You may vote in the "Coolest Song" contest once every 24 hours, and voting will close on December 19th at 12 pm ET.
In 2016, "Birth of an Accidental Hipster," a highlight from The Monkees' album Good Times!, took top honors in the poll, while also setting a record for voter turnout.
This year's "Coolest Song in the World" winner will be announced on New Year's Eve during "Kid Leo's Annual Year End Review" show on Sirius XM Channel 21.
In the summer of 1967, The Monkees hit the road for a concert tour that stopped in nearly 30 cities in the United States and England, a tour that also boasted the Jimi Hendrix Experience as the opening act during its earliest dates. The footage below, filmed at unknown locations, shows the energy and excitement exuded by The Monkees during their live shows at this particular time in their career. It should be noted that the footage found in the first video has been synced with audio recordings from the '67 concerts.
As a bonus, here's a promotional clip for "Randy Scouse Git" that aired on the July 6, 1967 episode of the British music program Top of the Pops (showing footage filmed on June 29, 1967 as The Monkees arrived in London and later held their first official group press conference).
"Randy Scouse Git," written by Micky Dolenz and appearing on The Monkees' third album, Headquarters, had been issued as a single in the United Kingdom and ultimately peaked at #1 on the charts there (albeit under the name "Alternate Title").
The "Randy Scouse Git" promo clip had been unseen since its original airing until it was included as a bonus feature on The Monkees: The Complete Series (Blu-ray).
During the 1960s, The Monkees filmed several commercials as a quartet and also as a trio. At one point, Kellogg's sponsored The Monkees television show and Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter starred in a series of Rice Krispies commercials. The ads were shot while The Monkees were filming on location as well as on the set of their TV show. Davy and Michael were also featured in an ad for Yardley's Black Label cologne.
When The Monkees debuted in reruns on CBS in the fall of 1969, Kool-Aid acted as a sponsor. With Peter no longer a member of the group, Micky, Davy, and Michael filmed a variety of clips for Kool-Aid in the desert outside of Palm Springs, California and, in early 1970, at an amusement park in San Diego, California.
The video below compiles all of these classic Monkees commercial spots:
In 1994, James Lee Stanley's Beachwood Records released Peter Tork's first ever solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring several notable guest musicians and friends including Stanley, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles). Last year, 7a celebrated Stranger Things with an expansive compact disc reissue while also pressing a limited edition splatter vinyl.
7a's latest incarnation of the album arrived this fall on transparent green vinyl, and it's available to order from both Amazon and Deep Discount. Thank you very much to Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of this version of Stranger Things Have Happened.
A member of The Monkees' extended family has passed away from natural causes in California at the age of 79. Keith Allison was a friend of Michael Nesmith's from Texas who acted as a session musician on several Monkees recordings, including "Auntie's Municipal Court," "Zor and Zam," "D.W. Washburn," "Rosemarie," the studio version of "Circle Sky," and "Through the Looking Glass."
Mr. Allison composed "Auntie's Municipal Court" with Nez, and this enduring track from The Monkees' fifth album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, was performed at every stop on the recently completed Monkees Farewell Tour. "I came up with the intro and I played two guitars on the track - one tuned down a full step," recalled Allison in an interview with Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval. "We broke for lunch and Mike had written most of the lyrics. He said, 'I'd better call Micky [Dolenz],' and he came down from Horseshoe Canyon and did the vocal right then and there. We finished the whole thing in one afternoon."
Ultimately enjoying a prolific career in music, Mr. Allison appeared on recordings by Sonny & Cher, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, and many others. Keith also toured with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart in the mid-1970s and played on the group's eponymous album.
Multiple media outlets have noted Mr. Allison's passing, including the Hollywood Reporter, and their tribute can be read via the link below:
Last night, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith closed out the "Monkees Farewell Tour" with a triumphant performance in Los Angeles, California at the Greek Theatre.
Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, who also produced the tour, introduced the show:
The evening's set list included the following songs:
Video footage from the Greek appears below, and be sure to check out these reviews of the show courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock, The Glorious Corner, and Goldmine.
Micky posted the following message across his social media channels after the show at the Greek Theatre:
Legendary singer/songwriter Bobby Hart is JR's latest guest on "The Monkees Pad Show." Bobby discusses the life and death of his partner and friend, Tommy Boyce, writing and producing for The Monkees, the legacy of Boyce & Hart on record and television, their 1987 reunion, the Dolenz, Jones Boyce & Hart era, and much, much more!
As the "Monkees Farewell Tour" enters its final stretch, Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz delivered a superb performance this past Saturday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Riverside Theater. "Best show (so far) of The Monkees tour," wrote Monkees producer and author Andrew Sandoval on Facebook.
The Live Almanac would like to send a special thanks to Sherri Hansen, who was on hand to photograph the evening, for sharing her pictures of Nez, Micky, and the band from Milwaukee. There's plenty of excellent video footage below, too, courtesy of Jennifer Rice, Nunupics Zomot, and laminateman on YouTube.
Next stops: St. Charles and Kansas City, Missouri!
The "Monkees Farewell Tour" rolls on as this past week Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and their band performed in front of packed houses at venues in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois. Footage from these shows can be seen below, along with a couple of notable pieces that have recently appeared in the press.
The tour rolls into Milwaukee, Wisconsin this evening, and stops tomorrow in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for all the latest, and don't forget to follow the site on both Twitter and Facebook!
Monkees Farewell Tour in the Press
Greensburg, Pennsylvania @ The Palace Theatre (11/1/2021)
Detroit, Michigan @ Masonic Cathedral Theatre (11/2/2021)
Rosemont, Illinois @ Rosemont Theatre (11/5/2021)
Eric Goulden, also known as Wreckless Eric, is an English rock/new wave singer-songwriter, best known for his 1977 single "Whole Wide World." More than two decades after its release, the song was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time. Monkees fans surely are familiar with this classic track as in 1987, the group covered the song on Pool It!, their first album of new material since 1970.
Earlier this week on "Ericland," Goulden reminisced about his Monkees fandom, expressed appreciation to The Monkees for covering "Whole Wide World," and shared his thoughts on the current "Monkees Farewell Tour" after attending a recent show in Tarrytown, New York. You can read Eric's entry below:
Recap: Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith