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Joanne – Michael Nesmith and the First National Band

Joanne by Michael Nesmith and the First National BandDavy Jones of The Monkees died on leap day, February 29, 2012. Only three Monkees remain. The world mourns the passing of another teen idol.

While The Monkees had 12 Top 40 hits, only one member of The Monkees had a solo song reach the Billboard Top 40.

And it ain’t Davy Jones.

It’s Michael Nesmith with his 1970s twangy soft-rock ballad, “Joanne.”

Never heard it before? I’m not surprised. This song reached #21 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1970 and was billed to Michael Nesmith and the First National Band.

A follow-up song titled “Silver Moon” reached #42 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1970, nearly disqualifying Nesmith from becoming a one-hit wonder.

Listen to Joanne by Michael Nesmith and the First National Band

Nothing else Nesmith performed ever reached listener’s ears on Top 40 stations. But Nesmith went on to a long and distinguished career as a songwriter, director, producer and more.

In fact, Nesmith produced the video for Lionel Richie’s hugely popular “All Night Long” in the 1980s and the video for Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Impressive work. He also won a Grammy Award Nesmith for Long-form Music Video in 1982, for his hour-long Elephant Parts.

But his best claims to fame?

Nesmith was a member of The Monkees and partially responsible for their bubblegum rock brilliance. Even better, he’s the only Monkee who is a one-hit wonder.

Go Mike, go!

Buy Joanne by Michael Nesmith and the First National Band

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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One Response to "Joanne – Michael Nesmith and the First National Band"

  1. Krystuffer says:

    two things…
    firstly, as a lifelong Monkees fan, it pains me how people (including fellow fans, i’m sorry to have to say) tend to define them as Davy and “those other three.” Davy may of been the most popular Monkee, but the fact is that he was also the least talented Monkee. so i’m glad to see a hat tipped the way of one of of them. (if only we could arrange similar post-Monkee cred for Micky Dolenz and/or Peter Tork as well.)
    the other thing is that i think you might be mistaken. didn’t he later have a hit of sorts with “Rio”? after all, that’s the one most cited when we hear about Nes’ pioneering work in the art of music videos. surely if Mike has a them song, that’s the one…?
    i guess i could be wrong. maybe it’s a case of anthem rather than official hit, a’ la “Stairway To Heaven.” it’s entirely possible. but even if i am wrong about the hit part, i still think the article should’ve given “Rio” it’s due as well…

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