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May 25, 2011 by  
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“I was singing hard rock including songs by the Rolling Stones and the Animals,” Dolenz said in his bio provided by Paradise Artists. “In fact, I auditioned for ‘The Monkees’ singing Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode.’” The Monkees audition took place in autumn 1965. Dolenz was one of four actors chosen out of 400 applicants who responded to a trade ad announcing auditions.

Don Kirshner, head of Screen Gems music division, was tapped to drum up talent. After selecting band members and cycling through a string of producers, The Monkees released their first single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” in 1966, just a few weeks before the television show’s debut. The song soon topped the U.S. Hot 100 chart.

“I was hired as an actor to play the role of a singing drummer,” Micky recalled. “I had to learn to play drums.”

“Last Train to Clarksville” featured Micky on lead vocals.

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