On Sept. 12, 1966, a new comedy series titled The Monkees premiered on NBC-TV. It starred David (Davy) Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael (Mike) Nesmith and Peter Tork, who were chosen to portray members of a struggling, fictional rock band looking for work.
Jones and Dolenz were already actors when they were hired for the show, while Nesmith and Tork were musicians. Eventually, this made-for-television band ultimately became a real-life band, playing their own instruments and taking control of their music. Between 1966 and 1967, The Monkees albums both outsold the Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.