saternow, lynn 2010

Lynn Saternow

It was with sadness that I watched and read the news about the death of Davy Jones, former lead singer of The Monkees.

Not that I was an enormous fan of the group, but we all can reflect on times in our younger days, memories stimulated by music. We can remember certain events and years when some songs were part of our lives.

The making of The Monkees was a fascinating story for anyone who follows musical history. The group was formed specifically for a TV show and hundreds of people tried out.

Those tryouts might have looked like an early version of “American Idol.” Or maybe the tryout scenes from the new TV musical show “Smash.”

Finally, Jones was paired with Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork for the musical television show that had them playing zany characters. Although the show lasted only a couple of years – there was a cartoon show about them later if I remember correctly – their music still lives on today.

They were an interesting group and their music was actually pretty good. The TV show was a little crazy for my taste, but the 1960s were crazy times.

But they were fun times, and part of the fun was provided by groups like The Monkees.

And who knows, maybe we will start having Davy Jones sightings, just like with Elvis.

ä It’s funny how we remember our musical greats who have passed on. Early last month people were talking about “The Day the Music Died.”

The song was about the plane crash that killed three musical talents – Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson – on Feb. 3, 1959.

I was just a youngster at the time, but I remember it well. Movies about Holly and Valens are fantastic if you are into music.

Of course the trivia question resurfaced about the coin flip Valens won over the band’s guitarist that put him on the plane instead of the band member.

Who was that guitarist? Waylon Jennings, who went on to become a big-time country star.

Even with the loss of those singers, or even Davy Jones, music never dies. It just changes to better reflect the wants of each generation.

And we all said “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie” a long time ago.

ä Speaking of music playing a role in our lives, the open call for the annual Mercer County Senior Follies will be held Saturday, March 24, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Shenango Valley Senior Center, North Buhl Farm Drive, Hermitage.

It gives anyone 50 and up a chance to sign up to participate in this year’s Follies, the first weekend in August. It is not really a tryout, just a signup, and it doesn’t require great talent or even the ability to read music.

There are great musical leaders – Maureen Murray-Jaklic and Julie Morris – who will work with you, as well as a dance director, Bonnie Banick, who can put a hop in anybody’s step.

If you want to sign up, or learn a little more about it, stop out at the open call session.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this weekly column for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at

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