The Monkees music was written by some of the best songwriters of the day, including Carole King and Neil Diamond. As the group grew more popular, they insisted on writing their own music and playing their own instruments. Although their later work has attracted a huge cult audience over the years, their mainstream success quickly dwindled and the group split in 1971. Jones went onto a solo career, and he memorably performed his song "Girl" on an episode of The Brady Bunch.
Jones returned to acting in the late 1970s when his solo career failed to take off, but he found it difficult to escape the shadow of the Monkees. By the mid-1980s Monkee mania was reborn when MTV and other stations began regularly airing old episodes of the tv show. The band – minus Mike Nesmith – reunited for a highly successful reunion tour in 1986. They toured off and on through 2001 when infighting led to another split. Last summer they patched things up for a 45h anniversary tour, though it was called short because of what guitarist Peter Tork called a "glitch."
Jones was on a solo tour at the time of his death, playing as recently as last week.