DEAR JERRY: My late brother was a teenager in the 1960s, and among his things are many records from those days.
Most are plainly marked and obvious as to what they are, except for one mysterious item, a picture sleeve with no record inside.
This plain white paper sleeve has a pencil drawing, credited to Ted Sully, of Davy Jones. This is the same young man who was a member of the Monkees. The only other print reads "Davy Jones Presents" (presents what, we're not told), and "Davy Jones Record Co., New York & Beverly Hills."
My online searches for "Davy Jones and Ted Sully" came up with nothing.
Since no mention is made of anyone else, I assume this sleeve was originally accompanied by a Davy Jones recording, unless Mr. Sully is also a recording artist, which I doubt.
If not Davy, which record belongs to this sleeve?
Pauline Mason, Santa Ana, Calif.
DEAR PAULINE: Can't say exactly which, but we are certain it is one of four.
We know this because the entire record output of the Davy Jones Presents series numbers four singles, all packaged in the exact same nameless picture sleeve.
The short-lived Davy Jones Presents vanity label came and went in the summer of 1967, perhaps in part because being a Monkee at the peak of their popularity left Davy little time for anything other than Monkee business.
The fledgling label's executive vice-president was industry veteran, Jack Angel, co-founder of the Herald label. Among his more successful Herald artists are: Mello-Kings ("Tonite, Tonite"); Nutmegs ("Story Untold"); Faye Adams ("Shake a Hand"); Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs ("Stay"); and Turbans ("When You Dance").
Staying with what he knew best, in one of the company's first press releases, Angel says: "We're sticking to R&B-oriented and Pop-R&B music, mostly by newly-discovered talent."
That the company made only generic picture sleeves probably indicates they printed the sleeves before they knew the artists and titles of their eventual contents.
The same Ted Sully drawing of Davy, and text you see on the sleeve, is also used as the company logo on the record labels peculiar because Jones is not heard on the songs, and there are no images of those who are.
As a tie-in when launching their new label, 50 of the nation's top radio stations ran a "Weekend with Davy Jones" contest, with listeners submitting their responses to "Why Davy Jones is Your Favorite Monkee."
The 50 winners, one from each radio market, were treated to dinner and a recording session with Davy Jones in Los Angeles, and other fun stuff.
Each teen winner was accompanied by the parent or guardian of their choice.
Here then is the complete Davy Jones Presents discography:
Davy Jones Presents 661: "Gypsy Girl" / "Girl" (Vinnie Basile)
Davy Jones Presents 662: "Fly Superman Fly" / "Have You Been Dreaming" (Randy Johnson)
Davy Jones Presents 663: "White House Happening" / "President Johnson" (Dickie Goodman)
Davy Jones Presents 664: "Back to the Beach" / "Too Proud to Let You Know" (Relations)
IZ ZAT SO? Davy Jones, the first member chosen to be a Monkee, must have liked "Gypsy Girl," an obscure 1966 release by the Staccatos (Syncro 661).
One of the first moves by Davy Jones Presents was to reissue both sides of the Syncro single on their label, and to use its selection number (661) as a starting point for his company's numbering.
Rather than credit the Staccatos, the DJP single is shown as by Vinnie Basile, the featured vocalist of the Staccatos.