Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Boyce and Hart
Hart was born on February 18, 1939. His father was a church minister. He served in the Army after leaving high school, and on discharge travelled to Los Angeles seeking a career as a singer. In the early '60s, he met Tommy Boyce, who was already on his way to being a successful songwriter.
Their songwriting partnership made a breakthrough with a song recorded by Chubby Checker, "Lazy Elsie Molly", in 1964. They went on to write hits for Jay & the Americans ("Come a Little Bit Closer"), Paul Revere and the Raiders ("(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone") and The Leaves ("Words").
In 1966, they wrote, produced and performed the soundtrack to the pilot of "The Monkees", including singing lead vocals. Despite some conflicts with Don Kirschner , who produced the show, they were eventually retained in substantially the same role. It was Boyce and Hart who wrote, produced and recorded backing tracks (with backing vocals) for the first series of the Monkees, and the accompanying LP. The Monkees themselves recorded lead vocals for "Theme from the Monkees" and "Last Train to Clarksville", the latter of which was a huge hit.
Whilst continuing to write for the Monkees throughout the late sixties, Boyce and Hart also embarked on a succesful career as artists in their own right, releasing three albums (notably "Test Patterns" in 1967) and several hit singles.
In the mid-1970's, Boyce and Hart formed a temporary touring partnership with Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones of the Monkees, performing the songs Boyce and Hart had written for the band a decade before. This group also recorded an album, "Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart", in 1976.
Hart was nominated for an Oscar in 1983 for his song "Over You", written for the film Tender Mercies.
Boyce and Hart wrote in excess 300 songs and sold more than 42 million records as a partnership ("Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll").
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