Along with his songwriting partner Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart is responsible for penning some of The Monkees' most enduring songs, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," and "Valleri." Arriving with determination and drive to the nascent Monkees project, the duo wrote and produced the soundtrack to the pilot episode, including singing the lead vocals, which were later replaced once the show was formally cast with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter. Despite conflicts with Don Kirshner, the show's music supervisor, Boyce and Hart were retained, and with the help of their backing band, The Candy Store Prophets, Boyce & Hart went on to produce many of the early Monkees recording sessions. Their influence eventually waned once Kirshner was sacked and The Monkees gained control over their musical output in early 1967. However, each original Monkees album, except Head, contains Boyce & Hart tunes.
Tommy and Bobby went on to have a successful recording career on their own, making guest appearances on television shows and contributing scores to movie soundtracks. In the mid-1970s, they teamed up with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, a project which lead to concert tours, new music, and a television special. Boyce & Hart have been celebrated recently with a full-length documentary (co-produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval), and earlier this year, Bobby published his autobiography.
In this interview from 1987 on The Monkees Hour, hosts Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio speak with Bobby about a wide range of subjects, including songwriting, how he met Tommy Boyce, his thoughts on not being selected as one of The Monkees, his relationship with Don Kirshner, the track "Long Way Home" from the Pool It! LP, and much more. You'll also hear Tommy and Bobby's version of "I Wanna Be Free" and their 1968 Top 10 hit "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight."