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.”
So he had been a child star, but as a child star he didn’t go by the name Dolenz — he used Braddock, which was a fake last name. It sounds very much more American and they dyed his dark hair blond. So if you look that up on YouTube you’ll see this little blond kid, but you can see, in the face, that in 8 years he is going to grow up to be the kid on The Monkees.
So he was already a known actor. He had been in and out of the business going to school but also doing some shows here and there — Peyton Place and what not as a guest actor and then he auditioned for this because, you now, it is what actors do. You audition for pilots and see if they get picked up. The joke about it is that he played guitar when people talk about who did or didn’t play instruments. He played guitar. Actually played classical Spanish guitar and he had gone on a tour around the country as th star of Circus Boy playing classical Spanish music, but when they came to film the show, they needed a “character” who would be the drummer and they originally thought is might be Davy Jones, but he was very short and they thought he would get lost behind the drums.
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.