Though it’s been over six years since his untimely passing at the age of 66, the music of Davy Jones still endures. 7a Records, the U.K.-based label devoted to all things Monkees-related, has just delivered another treat for longtime fans of the band and its charismatic, perennially boyish singer with the mop top. “Rainbows” b/w “You Don’t Have to Be a Country Boy to Sing a Country Song” is a limited edition (500 units) 7-inch, 45 RPM single pressed on red vinyl.
Both sides of the single are perfectly matched for their homages to country-and-western. The A-side, “Rainbows,” has a pronounced twang and a sweet romantic lilt. “Rainbows only happen when you’re there,” Jones persuasively croons on the midtempo ballad. The singer is at his sweetest, exuding warmth and gentility on this melodic gem. “Rainbows” was written and produced by The Monkees’ close collaborator Chip Douglas (Headquarters; Pieces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones) and recorded by Davy in 1981. It appeared as the flipside of The Monkees’ “Steam Engine” on a 1983 private press single distributed at the Chicago Monkees Convention that year but has never seen a commercial release until now.
The flipside of “Rainbows,” “You Don’t Have to Be a Country Boy to Sing a Country Song,” represents a rare co-write between Davy and his old friend Tommy Boyce. In the song, Davy “plays” a truck driver with a musical dream. It was given a jaunty hoedown of a C&W production by Boyce and Richard Hartley. “You don’t need the rhinestone cowboy outfit to feel like you belong,” Davy asserts as he happily namechecks the illustrious likes of Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Glen Campbell, Charley Pride, and other country luminaries. “You Don’t Have to Be a Country Boy…” first appeared in 1978 as the B-side to “(Hey Ra Ra Ra) Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse,” a Joel Hirschhorn/Al Kasha song written for The Mouse’s 50th birthday on which Davy was joined by a children’s chorus. (The single, ironically, was on the Warner Bros. label rather than a Disney affiliate, and the picture sleeve depicts Davy celebrating with Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Baloo!) This 7a single marks the first time either side of that U.K.-only single has been reissued; neither track is as of now available on CD or in the digital realm.
7a’s release features beautiful new front and back cover artwork with photos courtesy of legendary L.A. music photographer Henry Diltz. Dave Blackman has mastered both sides for vinyl. The single itself is housed within a protective sleeve. “Rainbows” b/w “You Don’t Have to Be a Country Boy to Sing a Country Song” is a fitting tribute to the versatile Davy Jones. It can be ordered at the links below!
- You Don’t Have to Be a Country Boy to Sing a Country Song
Track 1 previously unreleased commercially; appeared as B-side of Relived Records private press single BIR 004, 1983
Track 2 originally released as B-side of Warner Bros. (U.K.) single K 17161, 1978