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: Did The Monkees have, their show, did they also ultimately have some international appeal?
Rosanne: They did and they still do. Goodness. There are, there are still fan clubs in Japan. They were huge in Japan and, in fact, after the show ended and the group actually broke up they came to a point where individually sometimes they would tour and you could go to Japan. Just huge crowds would come to them. They were pretty big in England because of Davy Jones and, of course, the funny thing was that in America they were considered sort of a secondhand Beatles, but in England, they were “The Monkees” and they were their own American pop band.
Jean: And as we discussed on a previous video that didn’t work out so well, isn’t it true that, at their zenith, The Monkees sold more records than The Rolling Stones and The Beatles at that time?
Rosanne: Yes, in 1967 they beat both their sales of both of those combined. So they were worldwide huge. and they could still tour in other countries. They’re going to go, excuse me, they just did tour in Australia and New Zealand. They toured South America at their height. It was pretty amazing. They were all over.
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.