The Monkees were sometimes derided for being a “manufactured” TV band, but that didn’t stop others from seeking out fame and musical success through the small screen in subsequent years. With the recent passing of Davy Jones, we thought we’d revisit some of the more colorful acts to eke out a pop career by way of our TV sets.
Wow. This really happened, didn’t it? Creepy (and since-incarcerated)) boy band czar Lou Pearlman slapped (ahem) together the handsome O-Town during Season 1 of MTV’s Making The Band, and they managed to scrape two singles (“Liquid Dreams” and “All Or Nothing”) into the Top 10. Member Ashley Parker Angel later starred in another MTV reality series, There And Back, and released a solo album. But, yeah, “Liquid Dreams” — subtle, guys.
6. The Archies
We don’t care if The Archies were simply a cartoon band spun off from a comic book series and made of a studio group created by manager Don Kirshner after The Monkees fired him. Because 1969′s “Sugar, Sugar” is as sticky-sweet today as it was 43 years ago.
5. Jem And The Holograms
Showtime, Synergy! Speaking of animated series, Hasbro’s Jem aired from 1985 to 1988 and revolved around music manager Jerrica Benton, who used a sassy computer to turn into Jem, frontwoman of The Holograms, an act that often did battle with their rivals The Misfits. Nine-year-olds at the time didn’t know what kind of MTV-era razzle dazzle hit them. And they still haven’t forgotten “Twilight In Paris”.
4. Danity Kane
We’re as shocked as you are that we’re placing Diddy’s Season 3 Making The Band vixen troupe this high on the list. But let’s face it, 2008 hit “Damaged” was a total jam.
3. Girls Aloud
Oh, Girls Aloud — we never knew ye here in the States, save for Cheryl Cole’s storied (and ill-fated) attempt at US stardom last year via the first season of The X Factor. That’s too bad, since the girl group, which was assembled during 2002 UK TV talent competition Popstars The Rivals, were behind some of the biggest, poppiest hits across the pond last decade. Below is our favorite, “Call The Shots”.
2. Hannah Montana
Before the masses knew Miley Cyrus as singer of such smashes as “The Climb” and “Party In The USA”, we knew her as star of Disney Channel’s pop-star-in-high-school-drag series Hannah Montana. The show premiered in 2006, and Cyrus charted with a handful of singles as her Hannah Montana alter ego, including the Robbie Neville co-write “Nobody’s Perfect”. Work it, Miley — er, we mean Hannah.
1. The Partridge Family
Yeah, we know. The Partridge Family, which hit TV in 1970 and revolved around widowed California mom Shirley Partridge (Shirley Jones) and her clan of singing kids (including Jones’ real-life son-in-law David Cassidy, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce), was derivative of both The Monkees and The Brady Bunch. But, come on — get happy, get hip to that multi-colored bus and sing along with “I Think I Love You”!