Michael Nesmith, singer-songwriter and member of the Monkees, has passed away at 78. His death was announced by his family in recent days, which came as a shock to many fans. It is not clear how he died, but he will be missed dearly.
Michael Nesmith Early Career
Michael Nesmith was born on December 30th 1942 in Houston, Texas. At Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Nesmith took part in choral and drama activities. After high school, Nesmith served his country by enlisting in the US Air Force. After the Air Force he worked in a variety of bands, performing folk, country, and occasionally rock and roll. In addition to solo, songs he published were recorded by the likes of Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Mary Mary) and Linda Ronstadt (Different Drum).
The Monkees is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from September 12, 1966 to March 25, 1968. The show starred four clean-cut young men chosen because their appearance would be the antithesis of what you might expect rock performers to look like. They played themselves, so to speak, in the show’s fictional world.
As the title suggests, the show focused on the zany adventures of a fictional rock band, The Monkees. The group was originally composed of four members – Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones.
The show’s producers were inspired by The Beatles films “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!”. The Monkees was one of the first TV series to take advantage of then-new videotape technology to pre-record before a live audience. Though the ABC network initially aired episodes live, this proved problematic for filming.
The success of “The Monkees” TV show led to the release of a series of albums, as well as a feature film, Head.
Nesmith penned many of the group’s most popular songs, such as “Mary, Mary,” “Circle Sky,” “Listen to the Band” and “The Girl I Knew Somewhere.”
Each episode debuted two or three new Monkees songs, manyof which became Top 10 Billboard hits during the program’s two-year run. Three others, including “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” and “Last Train to Clarksville,” reached No. 1.
Rest in Peace
In an interview with Fox News about the passing of Michael, his bandmate Micky Dolenz stated “I’m heartbroken,” “I’ve lost a dear friend and partner.”
Michael Nesmith will be greatly missed by his loved ones and fans alike. He was an immensely talented singer-songwriter and will forever be remembered for his contribution to the Monkees. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. RIP.
Want to learn about other great artists, see our Nirvana Nevermind 30th Anniversary Album Review.