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Tommy Boyce
Tommy Boyce
Credits
Role Himself
Biographical Information
Birth Name Sidney Thomas Boyce
Birthdate September 29, 1939
Birthplace Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
Death Date November 23, 1994 (age 55)
Death Place Nashville, Tennessee, United States[1]
Series Affiliations Bobby Hart (partner)

Tommy Boyce played himself in the sixth season episode, "Serena Stops the Show".

Biography[]

Tommy Boyce was an American singer and songwriter. He is probably best known as a member of the prolific songwriting duo Boyce and Hart, who wrote songs for the 1960s rock group The Monkees and other musical groups of that era.

Born Sidney Thomas Boyce, his father was a minister. After high school, he served in the United States Army and upon his discharge, he travelled to Los Angeles, California to pursue a singing career. After being rejected numerous times, he took his father's suggestion to write a song called "Be My Guest" for rock and roll star Fats Domino, who liked the song, recorded it, and it reached Number 8 on the US charts and Number 11 in England. It became Domino's biggest hit in England in several years, and sold over a million copies.

In 1959 he met Bobby Hart and the following year played guitar on Hart's single "Girl in the Window," which was unsuccessful. In 1964 their partnership made a breakthrough with a song recorded by Chubby Checker, "Lazy Elsie Molly." They went on to write hits for Jay & the Americans ("Come a Little Bit Closer"), Paul Revere and the Raiders ("(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"), and The Leaves ("Words"). The duo also wrote the theme song to the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives."

In late 1965, they wrote, produced and performed the soundtrack to the pilot of the television sitcom "The Monkees," including singing lead vocals (which were later replaced, once the show was cast). In 1966, despite some conflicts with Don Kirshner, who was the show's musical supervisor, they were retained in essentially the same role. It was Boyce and Hart who wrote, produced and recorded (with the help of their band, the Candy Store Prophets) backing tracks for a large portion of the first season of "The Monkees," and the band's accompanying debut album. The Monkees themselves re-recorded their vocals over Boyce and Hart's when it came time to release the songs, including both "(Theme from) The Monkees" and "Last Train to Clarksville," the latter of which was a huge hit.

Kirshner suddenly relieved Boyce and Hart as producers, by claiming they were using studio time booked for Monkees songs to record tracks for their own solo project. While working with The Monkees, the duo and Hart embarked on a successful career as recording artists in their own right, releasing three albums on A&M Records, "Test Patterns," "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight," and "It's All Happening on the Inside" (released in Canada as "Which One's Boyce and Which One's Hart?"). They also had five charting singles, the most well-known being "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight," which reached Number 8 in early 1968, which sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

Their other Top 40 hits include "Out and About" (Number 39) and "Alice Long" (Number 27). They also performed "I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind" on the television show "Bewitched" in one of several television series appearances that included guest spots on "The Flying Nun" and "I Dream of Jeannie."

They also were involved with producing music for motion pictures for Columbia Pictures during the mid-late 1960s, including two Matt Helm movies ("The Ambushers" [1963] and "Murderer's Row" [1966]), "Winter A-Go-Go" and "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows." They provided the music score for a television movie called "Three's a Crowd" starring Larry Hagman and Jessica Walter and did promos for the United States Army Reserve and Coca Cola. This included the creation of two Coca-Cola commercial jingles, one being a powerful psychedelic "Wake Up Girl" song while the other is their single "Smilin'" with totally different lyrics.

In the mid-1970s, they reunited with former Monkees members Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, performing the songs they had written for The Monkees a decade before. Legally prohibited from using the Monkees name, they called themselves Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. The group toured amusement parks and other venues throughout America, Japan and other locations from July 1975 to early 1977, also becoming the first American band to play in Thailand. Signed to Capitol Records, the group released an album of new material in 1976. (A live album was also recorded in Japan, but was not released in the United States until the mid-1990s.) The tours coincided with the syndication of "The Monkees" television series, and helped boost sales of Arista's "The Monkees Greatest Hits."

The group also starred in their own television special called "The Great Golden Hits of the Monkees Show," which appeared in syndication. It featured a medley of other Boyce and Hart songs, as well as the songs they had produced for the Monkees. In 1979 Boyce formed his own band, called The Tommy Band, and toured the United Kingdom as support to Andrew Matheson (ex-Hollywood Brats), which was largely ignored by the public. He reunited with Hart during the 1980s resurgence of the Monkees, and performed live.

After a stint living in the United Kingdom, he returned to live in Nashville, Tennessee, where he struggled with depression, and later suffered a brain aneurysm. Tommy died on November 23, 1994, at the age of 55 from a suicide.[2] He was survived by his wife, Caroline.[3]

References[]

  1. Tommy Boyce on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on February 1, 2020.
  2. Cinnamonntoast4. Tommy Boyce memorial, findagrave.com, July 19, 2002. Retrieved on February 1, 2020, edited.
  3. Boyce and Hart biography, Boyce and Hart Ultimate Fan Forum, 2015. Retrieved on March 17, 2022.
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