1968 The Monkees – D. W. Washburn

1968 The Monkees – D. W. Washburn

The writing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote at least 70 chart hits. In 1952, they wrote Hound Dog, which turned into a major hit for Elvis. They also wrote and produced the first eleven chart records by the Coasters in the late fifties. The pair also started Red Bird Records and produced hits on that label in the early sixties.

In 1963, two songs they wrote reached the charts. They wrote the English lyrics for Uno dei Tanti. Ben E. King recorded the song as I (Who Have Nothing). They also wrote Only In America, which Jay and the Americans turned into a hit record.

The next song the pair wrote that became a hit was D. W. Washburn. The Coasters recorded the song in 1967, but the band did not release the song as a single at first.

The Monkees recorded the song in early 1968 during the production of the second year of their television show, but the song was not put on their fifth album or used in the first run episodes that year. Instead, a song recorded in 1966 became the band’s release in early 1968 (Valleri).

The last episode of their show aired in March 1968, and their record company released D. W. Washburn as the group’s next single in June. The single performed poorly. All the group’s previous singles had hit #1, #2, or #3 on the Hot 100, but the new single peaked at only #19 in July.

The Coasters version of the song was dusted off and issued as a single in July 1968, but it did not reach the Hot 100 at all.

The Monkees television show was cancelled. They filmed a controversial movie (Head) and released several singles, but when their records continued to do poorly, the group slowly disbanded over the next few years. They would not reach the top forty again until MTV began reruns of their television show in 1986.


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