The Monkees were a pop rock quartet assembled by Robert "Bob" Rafelson and Bert Schneider in Los Angeles in 1966 for the American television series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968. The members were Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones, who were supervised and popularized by Don Kirshner.
At the time of the band's formation, its producers saw The Monkees as a Beatles-like band. At the start, the band members provided vocals, and were given some performing and production opportunities, but they eventually fought for and earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band's name. The group undertook several concert tours, allowing an opportunity to perform as a live band as well as on the TV series. Although the show was canceled in 1968, the band continued releasing records until 1971. The group reached the height of fame from 1966 to 1968, and influenced many future artists. In 1986, the television show and music experienced a revival, which led to a series of reunion tours, and new records featuring various incarnations of the band's lineup.
The Monkees had many international hits which are still heard on pop and oldies stations. These include "I'm a Believer", " Steppin' Stone", "Daydream Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville", and "Pleasant Valley Sunday".
Aspiring filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider were inspired by the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night to devise a television series about a rock 'n' roll group. As "Raybert Productions," they sold the show to Screen Gems television. Rafelson and Schneider's original idea was to cast an existing Los Angeles-based folk rock group, the Lovin' Spoonful. However, the Spoonful were already signed to a record company, which would have denied Screen Gems the right to market music from the show on record. So in September 1965, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter ran an ad to cast the band.