DAILY DIRT: When the Monkees ruled the world of pop music


Mickey Dolenz, second from the right, is the last Monkee standing.

Daily Dirt for Monday, Nov. 13, 2023

Monday evenings became something special, thanks to this group … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 781 of The Daily Dirt.

1. It seems hard to believe, but it was 57 years ago this week — that was in 1966, for the mathematically challenged — that the Monkees’ debut album, appropriately titled “The Monkees,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard chart.

And there the album would stay for 13 consecutive weeks, eventually replaced by the group’s follow-up, “More of the Monkees,” which was No. 1 for the ensuing 18 weeks. Yes, the Monkees had the No. 1 album for an astonishing 31 consecutive weeks.

If you didn’t live through Monkeemania it’s hard to describe just how popular Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were. They even had their own sitcom on NBC every Monday night through 1968.

Sadly, there’s only one Monkee remaining. Dolenz, who is 78, remains active in the entertainment industry.

Jones died in 2012, Tork in 2019 and Nesmith in 2021.

Personally, I was in junior high when the Monkees burst on to the pop culture scene. And believe me, they WERE popular. To this day, I can remember every Tuesday morning chatting with good friend Marianne Swihart during our first-period class about what had happened the night before on the Monkees’ latest TV episode. On more than one occasion, our teacher, Mr. Price, advised us to be quiet.

Looking back, these were my five favorite Monkees singles:

1. “Daydream Believer”

2. “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”

3. “I’m A Believer”

4. “Steppin’ Stone”

5. “Last Train to Clarksville”

2. In the book “The Path-Way to Health,” written by Peter Levens in 1654, a peculiar remedy for baldness was suggested.

Levens said he recommended men combine chicken droppings (at the time, called “culver dung”) with a solution of lye, which contains strong potassium salts. The idea was to wash  their scalps with this concoction in an effort to stimulate hair growth by energizing hair follicles.

Say what?

3. It was a rather mild week in the normally wild world of college football.

There were no major upsets. Here’s our updated top 10 rankings and what to expect next weekend:

1. Georgia (10-0): Don’t worry, the Bulldogs will not get caught looking ahead to that Dec. 2 SEC title game vs. Alabama. This week’s prediction: Georgia 35, Tennessee 17.

2. Ohio State (10-0): Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck will have Minnesota fired up for its meeting with the Buckeyes. It won’t matter. This week’s prediction: Ohio State 56, Minnesota 10.

3. Michigan (10-0): One week until the blood-letting vs. arch rival Ohio State. This week’s prediction: Michigan 73, Maryland 3.

4. Florida State (10-0): The Seminoles have a virtual lock on a 12-0 regular season finish. The last time they managed that feat was 1999. This week’s prediction: Florida State 54, North Alabama 0.

5. Texas (9-1): The Longhorns can score with any team in the country. Unfortunately, they usually have to because their defense is so suspect. This week’s prediction: Texas 31, Iowa State 24.

6. Washington (10-0):  The game of the week is in the great Northwest.This week’s prediction: Washington 24, Oregon State 21. This should be a dandy.

7. Oregon (9-1): Is quarterback Bo Nix a legit Heisman candidate? This week’s prediction: Oregon 35, Arizona State 10.

8. Alabama (9-1): In case you have not noticed, the Crimson Tide is “back.” If Alabama wins the SEC championship game, I would hate to be on the selection committee for the playoffs. This week’s prediction: Alabama 49, UT Chattanooga 3.

9. Missouri (8-2): Let it be known we have Mizzou ranked higher than any other poll, and there is a reason. The Tigers deserve it. This week’s prediction: Missouri 27, Florida 21.

10. Louisville (9-1): Arguably one of the top three uniform combinations in CFB. This week’s prediction: Louisville 28, Miami (Fla.) 17.

On the outside looking in: Oregon State (8-2), Ole Miss (8-2). LSU (7-3).

Steve Thought O’ The Day — “Hey, hey we’re the Monkees, and people say we monkey around … “

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. If the Hannibal to St. Louis Amtrak line becomes real, will there be a Clarksville stop?

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