Jack Keller passes – Micky Interview
The all new biography of Michael Nesmith of The Monkees is out, with 75 new=
photos and 2 new chapters, with details on the 1997 reunion, ABC special
and the only known photo of Michael with his father. Buy it online and get=
free gifts and free shipping!
Jack Keller, wrote ‘Bewitched’ tune, dies
Posted on Fri, Apr. 01, 2005=09
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pop songwriter Jack Keller, who wrote the theme song for=
“Bewitched” and other TV sitcoms and was a producer on the Monkees’ first
album, died Friday. He was 68.
Keller had leukemia, according to his son, Jordan Keller.
The son of a musician, Keller got his big break when he joined Aldon Music,=
Don Kirschner’s Brill Building publishing company, which also employed a
stable of young pop songwriters including Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Neil
Sedaka, and Howard Greenfield.
Keller and Greenfield wrote “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” and “My Heart Has=
a Mind of Its Own,” both No. 1 hits for Connie Francis in 1960, and “Venus=
in Blue Jeans” for Jimmy Clanton.
After Aldon was purchased by the TV production company Screen Gems, Keller=
and Greenfield wrote the theme song for the shows “Bewitched” and “Gidget.”
The TV work led Keller to the Monkees, getting producer credit on their TV=
theme song and first album.
From: Randi Waddell
Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz is a new voice at drive time
Friday, April 1, 2005
By ED BEESON
Who says you can’t teach an old Monkee new tricks?
Micky Dolenz, the former drummer and singer for The Monkees, the
sitcom-spawned rock band of the 1960s, thinks he can still learn a few. Now=
a jock with the oldies station WCBS-FM 101.1, Dolenz is betting he can
transition into something new – live, unscripted radio.
As an actor, Dolenz has always worked with a script. Even his role as a
drummer was scripted. He was cast as one on “The Monkees” without knowing
how to play a single beat.
The same could be said of his jump into radio. After all, Dolenz famously
sang “I’m a Believer.”
Especially when WCBS made him a good offer.
“To be offered a major radio show in a major market on a major station is
not something you take lightly,” Dolenz said recently from his office at
WCBS, on the 40th floor of the Viacom building in Times Square. Even if
that means he now tries to go to sleep by 8 p.m., and wake before even the=
His show, “Micky Dolenz in the Morning,” which began Jan. 10, airs live
every weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. It is a difficult hour to learn a new=
craft, perhaps more so at his age. Dolenz is no longer a 20-year-old
rock-’n'-roll hunk full of vigor. He is a 60-year-old man, thrice married,=
four times a father and, on this brisk March morning, an exhausted performe=
Insomnia the night before had sapped his energy for the day, which began,
as weekdays now do, at 4:30 a.m. Earlier, during a commercial break, Dolenz=
was quiet, nearly remote. “I think I’m not biologically set up to do early=
mornings,” he said, the lines of fatigue evident in his face.
But then, he leaned into the microphone by his face and belted, “Spring!
Let’s hear it for spring!”
Good morning, New York, New Jersey and beyond. It’s 8 a.m. Micky Dolenz is=
awake, alert (sort of) and back from commercial break.
Joining him is a nearly three-decade veteran of radio, the mustachioed DJ
Mike Fitzgerald. His right-hand man is Brucer the Producer, the
barrel-chested man born Bruce Goldberg. Mr. G., or Irv Gikofsky, broadcasts=
the weather from the comfort of his home, while Karen Stewart is the show’s=
And Dolenz? “I am what they call ‘color,’ ” he said.
Some might wonder why a powerhouse radio station would take a chance on an=
“Well, they want a star who’s going to get the people to tune in,”
Fitzgerald said to Dolenz.
Over the past decade, radio stations of all formats have tended to
gravitate toward celebrity hosts, especially for their personality-driven
morning shows, says Sean Ross, vice president of music and programming at
Edison Research Media, a radio research firm in Somerville. It is believed,=
Ross says, that celebrities not only draw curious listeners, but their very=
lives provide a unique perspective.
There is some proof for this. The soul crooner Isaac Hayes once co-hosted a=
successful morning show for New York’s Kiss 98.7. Millie Jackson, the
Georgia-born, New Jersey-raised R&B singer from the 1970s, has broadcast a=
daily show for years for KKDA 730 in Dallas. Danny Bonaduce, the former
child star whose career bears an uncanny resemblance to Dolenz’s, co-hosts=
a morning show for Los Angeles’ Star 98.7.
But Dolenz seems cast as part of the bigger picture of WCBS.
“He understands that he’s creating a bridge into the future for the radio
station,” says Theresa Beyer, the station’s marketing director. His morning=
show, along with a slew of other changes, is expected to replenish the
station’s audience with newer and relatively younger listeners. “At one
point, the station had a little bit of a dustier image.”
Like many oldies stations nowadays, WCBS is attempting to correct that.
“Around the country, oldies stations are going through changes,” Ross says.=
Some stations, like WCBS, play more songs from the 1970s to grab a
relatively younger audience, he says. Others are simply closing shop
because they aged out of their market. “The ones that are doing the best
now are the ones that have real morning shows.”
And WCBS has not done as well since Harry Harrison, the self-titled
“Morning Mayor” and a four-decade veteran of New York radio, retired from
his weekday morning show. His replacement, an afternoon DJ named Dan
Taylor, sank in the ratings. From winter 2002 to winter 2004, the morning
show plummeted from a tie for sixth place to a tie for 12th, according to
Arbitron ratings data.
Last fall, incoming program director Dave Logan replaced Taylor with
Fitzgerald, a former night DJ. Then he began to search for a morning crew.
Serendipity brought a golden opportunity.
Last October, Dolenz dropped by for an on-air interview. He unwittingly
impressed management with his easygoing humor and smooth rapport with
Fitzgerald. Logan offered Dolenz the morning show. At the time, Dolenz had=
finished a two-year run with the musical “Aida,” including eight months on=
Broadway. He needed work. Not that he was desperate.
“I have a lot of interests. I have an awful lot of interests,” Dolenz said.=
He recently tried out for a television pilot with WCBS’ blessing, he said -=
and sold a children’s book to Penguin Books and, to a big manufacturer, “an=
invention, a household device” that he described only as “boring.”
Also, about once a month, Dolenz hits the road with his sister Coco to
perform a repertoire of Monkees songs and originals at places like the
Marie Irwin Center in Homewood, Ill., or the Mountaineer Race Track and
Resort on Route 2 in Chester, W.Va.
WCBS’ offer trumped that.
Admittedly, “Micky Dolenz in the Morning” was rough when it launched, Logan=
says. Dolenz tended to be too tense on-air, causing many of his jokes to
But over time, Dolenz has found his niche. “We dipped and now we’re on our=
way up,” Logan says.
Dolenz admits as much. “The show for me is like learning to ride a bicycle=
by learning on a Harley. With no training wheels,” he says.
“For the first couple weeks, I was like a deer caught in the headlights,”
he said from the counch in his office after a recent show. “Thank God for
people like Mike, or I would have totally just jumped off a cliff.”
“Yeah, but you’re a fast learner,” Fitzgerald said, as he was leaving for
the day. “Since you got back,” from a recent vacation to England, “you
jumped up a level.”
Fitzgerald kept the good cheer coming: “Right now, I’d have to say, is the=
height of my career.”
“Oh, cool,” Dolenz chirped.
Dolenz’s most striking feature is his smile. Of all the Monkees, his smile=
was the widest. It stretched across his face as wide as a banana and
toothsome as an ear of corn. His smile made him look like a goofball, if
not actually a monkey. If anything, it set him apart from his former
bandmates: the demure Michael Nesmith, the leaden Davy Jones, the hazy-eyed=
WCBS’ photos of Dolenz show off that smile. They also give the appearance
that Dolenz has a fuller head of hair and broader shoulders than he
actually has. But Dolenz’s smile may not be the first thing people notice
nowadays. Before meeting two reporters recently, Dolenz pulled a comb from=
his pocket and ran it through his thinning hair. He didn’t smile, but shook=
hands in a slightly officious manner, formal, but polite.
Then he spoke. “Hi,” he said.
Dolenz is a curiosity on the airwaves because of his voice. Flip the dial
during the morning rush hour and hear nearly every jock booming a
thunderous basso. Not so Dolenz, who squeaks, by comparison. His, however,=
is an endearing voice, lilted like the character Piglet from “Winnie the Po=
Combine that with his refined, wordy politeness and he is a charmer. From
his office, he asked if a reporter calling from West Virginia planned to
attend Dolenz’s concert in the state. “If you do, you must do please look
me up,” he said.
But niceties aren’t what the on-air Micky Dolenz is about. He counts his
best qualities as “the ad-libs, the impromptu, my twisted observations.”
The more Dolenz settles into his role, the more his humor grows absurd,
perhaps unhinged – almost as if he has nothing to lose.
“What’s up?” a deep-voiced caller asked.
“Well, we’re having a contest and you called in,” Dolenz chimed.
Last Tuesday, a middle-aged caller fell into near-hysterics when she heard=
Dolenz speaking to her. Dolenz responded with hysterics of his own,
sounding as if Goldberg was tickling him with a feather. Then the former
Monkee abruptly halted and asked the woman for her answer to his contest
Gradually, Dolenz is creating more content for the show. “That’s a great
idea, Micky, to pull that thing up, because people are traveling all the
time,” Goldberg said after Dolenz read off several travel advisories from
an air traffic control Web site. “That’s a great idea.”
When the singer Mario Vazquez walked off the set of “American Idol,” it
gave Dolenz another idea.
“That’s the biggest story in the nation. If we could get a scoop on that,
man. Do you think he’s a fan?” he said.
“Ahh …” Goldberg responded.
It may not have been a bad idea. Dolenz has shown himself to be an
entertaining interviewer, which may be surprising as he says he had never
interviewed anyone before this job.
“It’s like a dance. You don’t want to put too much of an imprint on him.
You want Micky to be Micky,” Goldberg said after coaching Dolenz for an
interview with Percy Sledge, the soul singer and recent Rock and Roll Hall=
of Fame inductee.
“Now the newest abductee to the Rock and Woll …” Dolenz said into his
“Abductee?” Goldberg said.
It is unclear how canned this humor is. But word flubs now seem to be a
part of his shtick.
And that, amid a sea of perfectly trained radio voices, is starting to
Peter Tork will appear at the Chiller Theatre celebrity autography
show April 29 in New Jersey.
From: Videoranch Foreman=09
[VIDEORANCH NEWS] Videoranch Sale!
Spring is finally here and it’s the perfect time for working in your
garden, or reading and listening to The Garden, by Michael Nesmith. For a=
short period of time, The Prison and The Garden 2 CD Set will be on sale
for $22.00. That’s $7.95 off the regular price!
Also, …tropical campfires=85, an entirely acoustic album, and one of our=
most popular here at the ranch, is on sale for $10.95, regularly $14.95.
And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’ is a great album with Nez singing and
playing with Red Rhodes on pedal steel. It’s on sale, as well, for $11. 95,=
Hope you have a wonderful spring weekend and have some time to stop by
The Videoranch Ranch Hands
8 Harris Court, Suite C1
Monterey, CA 93940
Toll Free: 866-727-2639
Due to the recent developments with the pope, CNN’s Newsnight with Aaron
Brown has pushed the Mickey Dolenz story to a later date. Keep a eye on
Micky’s site for details.
From: Jim Kraizel
Micky Dolenz live in Cleveland, OH
I wanted to share my review of Micky’s recent performance in
Cleveland, OH with the rest of our group members.
Micky performed at the Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland, OH on
March 12. This is an annual event to commemorate the first rock
concert which was held in Cleveland by Alan Freed in the early 1950′s.
Micky was the 2nd of 4 performers that night.
I was really looking forward to seeing Micky solo, as I have only seen
him perform as part of the Monkees before, and I was not disappointed.
Being that Micky was just a part of the entire show, his performance
lasted only 50 minutes or so. I would have preferred more, but
understand given the nature of this concert.
Micky played guitar throughout the show, and was backed by several
musicians, at least 6 or 7. Curiously, he never got behind the drum
set! Coco was also with him, and delivered 2 outstanding vocal
performances on Distant Drum and Runaway (the Del Shannon song) In
addition, Micky and Coco did a duet of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, which
for me was really a highlight. As much as I love the Monkees tunes,
it’s so great to hear some unusual songs.
Speaking of the song selection, I thought it was a very well rounded
and diverse show, given the short amount of time he had to perform.
The usual hit songs were performed: Clarksville, Steppin Stone, I’m A
Believer, That Was Then, but Micky also sang a couple of Monkees tunes
that Davy originally sang – Daydream Believer & A Little Bit Me, as
well as the old standard “Since I Fell For You.”
When introducing one of Davy’s songs, Micky said “Let me adjust the
microphone stand” and lowered it all the way to the ground. In fact,
Micky fondly referred to both Mike and Davy, but no mention of Peter.
I’m not sure what to make of that.
Another surprise of the show was the appearance of Vance Brescia, the
writer of That Was Then, who appeared on stage with Micky to sing that
number. Turns out he is now the music director of Herman’s Hermits
starring Peter Noone (who were also on the bill.) Some of you probably
knew that bit of info, but it was news to me!
My hope is that someday I’ll get to see a full length show of Micky’s
one day, but until then, I’m glad I had the opportunity to at least
see him perform.
Review of Micky’s Show
Micky took the stage right on time coming out to the Monkees theme song and=
quickly breaking into “last Train to Clarksville”. He had a full band
behind him much like the 2002 tour as a matter of fact there was some
familiar faces in the band. Also of note was that his sister Coco was on
stage with him playing tambourine and doing back up vocals. He also brought=
her forward to perform some duets and solo songs. He hit the classics as
well as some of his solo work it was a nice mix. He played for a solid hour=
and also revealed a little Monkee trivia. He performed a song entitled “Too=
Much Monkee Business” he stated he played this during his audition for The=
Monkees. After the show both he and Coco came out to sign autographs and
meet the fans. Another great performance by Mr. Dolenz.
To purchase Monkees CD’s, Videos and Collectable rare items, visit
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