Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power
Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”
Jean: Why The Monkees Matter. Cute kids. Mop Tops. Allowed to talk about controversial things that adults didn’t like talking about back in the 50’s, right? Rosanne is a busy woman. She does it all and actually one of the exciting things about me living here in Los Angeles — I’m a Texan if up can’t tell – is I love people like Rosanne. It’s a different world and it’s a fascinating one that’s I’ve always been interested in. So here we have The Monkees/They introduce touchy subjects like the Vietnam War just by playing a domino game. Things like that. They don’t put it in your face like that. So, The Monkees start to be a popular show among teenagers obviously. Now, Were adults starting to like it, as well?
Rosanne: A little bit, I mean, you know. it did all right but it never made the top 10 for lots of reasons, including that it didn’t air all over the country because there were some southern stations that didn’t take because their long hair — which we would laugh at today, because we wouldn’t consider it long — was so strange and anti-establishment that they immediately dismissed the show for their purposes.
A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy. Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.
This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces.
Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.