Produced by Chip Douglas, and backed with "White Christmas" that featured a lead vocal by Davy, this single was released on Douglas' own label in 1976. Original orders for the single included this mini-poster seen below.
A big thanks to JD McCutcheon of Monkee45s for sharing!
I've been digging deep into my Monkees collection lately and turned up this old 1987 catalog from Gary Strobl. Does anyone else remember this?
Gary is a longtime Monkees collector and confidant of the group, and for a brief time during Monkeemania in the '80s he published Monkees West. Gary also sold merchandise, and this particular catalog below offered everything from buttons to posters to pennants, and even Gene Ashman 8-button shirts. Note the front cover and its mention of Gary's book on The Monkees. Perhaps this will finally become a reality soon.
"Star Collector" was a longtime feature in Monkee Business Fanzine. Monkees collector and author Ed Reilly would break down a wide range of memorabilia, including everything from toys, records, and much more. In this column, Ed examines Monkees cereal box records that were originally issued through Post Cereals in 1969 and 1970. For easier reading, click to enlarge.
In 1976, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork released "Christmas Is My Time of Year," a holiday single produced by Chip Douglas and written by Douglas and Turtles founding member Howard Kaylan. In a 2015 interview with Iain Lee for The Monkees Live Almanac, Douglas confirmed that he contributed guitar and bass to the track, Peter played Hammond organ, and ex-Monkees session musician Eddie Hoh sat in on drums. Micky and Davy shared lead vocals, and Douglas eventually added horns. Here's the original 1976 mix of the song:
Backed with "White Christmas" that was also produced by Douglas and featuring Davy on lead vocals, the single was an extremely limited release, and was not issued with a picture sleeve.
Thanks to Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares who provided scans of the original 1976 single and its labels:
Both "Christmas Is My Time of Year" and "White Christmas" were remixed and augmented by Douglas in 1986 (during The Monkees' highly successful 20th Anniversary Tour) and sold via mail order, this time with a picture sleeve:
Here are the lyrics to "Christmas Is My Time of Year" from the back of the 1986 picture sleeve:
Listen to the '86 remix of "Christmas Is My Time of Year" below:
Amazingly, neither side of the 1976 Christmas single has ever appeared on a Monkees compilation, though "Christmas Is My Time of Year" surfaced on a late '80s Rhino Records holiday collection.
For more information about the release history of "Christmas Is My Time of Year," check out Monkee45s.
UPDATE 12/11/2019: The 1986 remix of "Christmas Is My Time of Year" was included on a CD bonus tracks edition of The Monkees' 2018 holiday album, Christmas Party.
The original 1976 mix of the song later appeared on the special Record Store Day Black Friday double vinyl single Christmas Party Plus in November 2019.
Micky and Davy performed a series of shows at New York's Riverboat Cafe (in the Empire State Building) in 1977. The photo below was taken on April 17, 1977. They were backed that evening by The Laughing Dogs and Micky's sister, Coco.
Thanks to Cassie Wilson for submitting this picture from her personal collection. As we said in an exchange of emails, it's not the best, but photos from this era are sometimes hard to come by...
Note Mike and Peter holding some of Gretsch's finest...
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith