#24: My Dad by Davy Jones

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: June-July 1967
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ did not chart
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “My Dad
Lyrics: “My Dad

David Thomas Jones was born in suburban Manchester, UK, in 1945. Jones began acting in his childhood. In 1959, his Aunt Jessie answered an ad in the Manchester Evening News calling for “school boys to audition for a radio play” with the BBC She helped David, at 13, get the lead role in There is a Happy Land. He was on an episode of Coronation Street  in March 1961, when he was 15 years of age. He also had a guest appearance in the BBC police TV show Z-Cars. He considered pursuing becoming a jockey riding on horses. However, he was encouraged to pursue acting. He appeared on stage as Little Michael in Peter Pan, and then as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! in the early 60’s in the West End of London. In 1964 he was in a Broadway production of Oliver! and nominated for a Tony Award at the age of 18. On February 9, 1964, Jones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on one of the episodes where the Beatles also were guests.

Later in 1964, Davy Jones appeared in a number of episodes in the medical TV drama Ben Casey, and the sitcom The Farmer’s Daughter. 

As a singer, in 1962 Davy Jones and the Dolphins released “Strictly Polynesian”, which got some airplay in Connecticut. In 1965, Jones released several singles and had two Top Ten hits in Australia, including #4 hit “The Girl from Chelsea” and “Dream Girl”, which reached #7. Jones first single release to crack the Billboard Hot 100 was “What Are We Going to Do?”, which stalled at #93. His cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” reached #4 in Sweden in 1967.

Davy Jones joined The Monkees in 1966. The group had a string of hits, starting with “Last Train To Clarksville”, “I’m A Believer”, “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”, and “Daydream Believer”. In the midst of this streak of chart-topping hits, Jones kept on releasing solo singles and albums. One of these was a cover of the 1962 Top Ten hit by Paul Petersen titled “My Dad”.

My Dad by Davy Jones

“My Dad” was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

“Conscience” was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Barry Imberman was born in Manhattan in 1939. Raised in a Jewish family, he began his professional career as a songwriter in 1958 at Aldon Music in the Brill Building. His first songs, all credited to Barry Mann, included recordings by Sal Mineo, the Kalin Twins, the Pony-Tails, “Don’t Destroy Me” by Crash Craddock, and “She Say (Oom Dooby Doom)” by the Diamonds – a Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. That year Mann also wrote the B-side to the Top 20 hit “Here Comes Summer” by Jerry Keller, and “Footsteps” and “Come Back Silly Girl” for Steve Lawrence. In 1961, Barry Mann also recorded a Top Ten hit he wrote in 1961 titled “Who Put The Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)”.

Mann met Cynthia Weil in the Brill Building on Broadway. Their professional relationship became personal and they married. Mann and Weil cowrote many songs including “Don’t Know Much” for Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt, “Hungry” and “Kicks” for Paul Revere And The Raiders, “Somewhere Out There” for Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram,
“(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” for the Righteous Brothers, “On Broadway” for The Drifters, “Walking In The Rain” for the Ronettes and Jay and The Americans, “I’m Gonna Be Strong” for Gene Pitney, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova” for Eydie Gorme, “Here You Come Again” for Dolly Parton, “Make Your Own Kinds Of Music” and “It’s Getting Better” for Mama Cass, and “Rock ‘N Roll Lullaby” for B.J. Thomas. In addition, Barry Mann wrote (or co-wrote) “I Love How You Love Me” for the Paris Sisters, “Patches” for Dickey Lee, and “Sometimes When We Touch” with Dan Hill.

Cynthia Weil was born in 1940 in Manhattan and raised in a conservative Jewish family. In her teens she studied acting and dance but went on to develop her skills as a songwriter. Early in 1960 she landed a position with the Frank Music Company headed by Frank Loesser, writer of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and the musicals Guys And Dolls, Hans Christian Andersen and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Weil moved on to Aldon Music in the Brill Building late in 1960.

For those who didn’t have a great relationship with their father, “My Dad” may seem too good to be true. But, the song does summon the best of what a boy raised in a loving, caring household might think about his dad. This is a ‘dad’ who is “strong,” who is “always there,” and “understands when I bring him troubles to share.”

When I was small I felt ten feet tall,
when I walked by his side
And ev’ry one would say, “that’s his son,”
and my heart would burst with pride.

“My Dad” was originally sung by Paul Petersen on October 25, 1962, telecast of The Donna Reed Show. Paul Petersen played Jeff Stone, the son of Donna Stone (played by Donna Reed), Dr. Alex Stone (Carl Betz) and Mary Stone (Shelley Fabares).

In a 2008 interview, Paul Petersen stated:

[The Donna Reed Show] depicts a better time and place. It has a sort of level of intelligence and professionalism that is sadly lacking in current entertainment products. The messages it sent out were positive and uplifting. The folks you saw were likable, the family was fun, the situations were familiar to people. It provided 22-and-a-half-minutes of moral instructions and advice on how to deal with the little dilemmas of life. Jeff and Mary and their friends had all the same problems that real kids in high school did. That’s what the show was really about, the importance of family. That’s where life’s lessons are transmitted, generation to generation. There’s a certain way in which these are transmitted, with love and affection.

It was in this TV show milieu that “My Dad” was performed, as Paul Petersen’s (Jeff Stone) dad, Dr. Alex Stone, hears his son sing a tribute song. Jeff had expected his dad to arrive earlier to hear him perform in a band. Dr. Stone arrives late because he had to save a little girl who was injured in a car accident. She might have died if not for Dr. Stone’s intervention. Jeff Stone is persuaded to sing “My Dad”.

Petersen’s recording climbed to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1963.  In Canada, Paul Petersen’s recording of “My Dad” climbed to #3 in Toronto, #4 in Ottawa, and #5 in Montreal.

My Dad by Davy Jones

In 1967, Davy Jones’ version of “My Dad” was a number-one hit in Calgary for four weeks, and #16 in Pocatello, Idaho. Davy Jones, like Paul Petersen, recorded “My Dad” on the Colpix Record label.

Davy Jones had a Top Ten hit in 1967 with “Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner”. It climbed to #3 in Denmark and #10 in Sweden. As well, “Theme For A New Love” was a hit in a number of record markets in Alberta in 1967. All of these singles mentioned in this article so far – with the exception of “The Girl from Chelsea” – came from the 1965 debut album, David Jones.

In 1971, Jones released another studio album titled Davy Jones. The single release of “Rainy Jane” was a minor hit that made the Top 20 in Montreal, Toronto and Windsor (ON). It reached #5 in Valleyfield, Quebec.

In 1975, ex-Monkees bandmates Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz teamed up with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to do a tour of 38 cities across 13 states. In 1976, they performed in twenty cities across the USA, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Boyce and Hart had written numbers of songs for The Monkees and were a singer-songwriting team in their own right. In 1986 Davy Jones and Peter Tork went on a 17 concert tour of Australia. An even more ambitious tour saw Jones and Tork joined by Micky Dolenz across the USA for 145 concerts between May 24 and December 3. For one of these concerts ~ the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles ~ Mike Nesmith joined the concert for an original lineup on their 20 year reunion tour. Jones and Tork returned to Australia to perform in 42 concerts in 1987. There were more tours to follow in the USA, Australia and Japan. And in 1989 Jones, Tork and Dolenz went on a 32 concert tour of Europe. The trio went on a 30th Anniversary tour of the USA in 1996. And in 1997 they were joined by Mike Nesmith on a tour of the UK.

Jones, Dolenz and Tork continued to tour as Monkees in different combinations at a trio and a duo with their last big tour in 2011, 45 years after The Monkees TV show debuted. Over the decades, Davy Jones released eight studio albums. His last was in 2009 titled She. He also released seven live albums.

Davy Jones died in 2012 at the age of 66 of a heart attack.

December 23, 2023
Ray McGinnis

References:
Andy Greene, “Davy Jones: The Life of a Monkee: How a Child Actor Joined the Best Fake Band of All Time – and Never Escaped,” Rolling Stone, March 29, 2012.
Davey Jones bio, Davey Jones.net.
Barry Mann bio,” mann-weil.com.
Cynthia Weil bio,” mann-weil.com.
Paul Petersen, “My Dad“, The Donna Reed Show, Colpix Records, 1962.
Life was better in ‘Donna Reed’ world, cast member Paul Petersen says,” Miami Herald, December 10, 2008.

My Dad by Davy Jones
CKXL 1140-AM, Calgary (AB), Top 40 | July 10, 1967


One response to “My Dad by Davy Jones”

  1. Tom Locke says:

    Great backstory highlighting the dynamic team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil. “My Dad” by Paul Petersen is a staple on my jukebox.

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