The Story Behind the Song Davy Jones Sang on ‘The Brady Bunch’
One of the most famous moments from The Brady Bunch was when The Monkees‘ Davy Jones performed his song “Girl” during the episode “Getting Davy Jones.” Interestingly, “Girl” wasn’t written for The Brady Bunch, but for a 1970s film. Years after Jones performed on The Brady Bunch, one of the actors on the show revealed he had a strong reaction to Jones’ performance.
How a forgotten 1970s movie led to a classic moment from ‘The Brady Bunch’
Jones wasn’t very prominent during the time between The Monkees’ first breakup in 1970 and their reunion in the 1980s. However, he had one shining moment during that period on The Brady Bunch. Oddly enough, he never would have had that moment if not for a Neil Simon play. Hollywood adapted Simon’s The Star-Spangled Girl into a film called Star-Spangled Girl and it needed a song. In an interview with Goldmine, Charles Fox discussed the creation of “Girl,” the song he wrote for the film.
“As part of it, we wanted to put a main title song in so I asked my partner, Norman Gimbel, to do it with me and we wrote a song called ‘Girl,” he said. “We wrote an easier version than the one that Davy Jones did…. It was a premonition of what would happen in the film and yet it was very generalized so it doesn’t tell you anything about the movie itself except for letting it known this was going to be a very upbeat, fun film with romance and a nice warm feeling and aura emerging from the film.” Fox explained why Jones got the opportunity to sing “Girl.”
Why The Monkees’ Davy Jones got to sing ‘Girl’
“Davy Jones was our choice to sing the song,” Fox recalled. “He had a very positive, upbeat and youthful sound; we wanted to get the youthful quality, and he delivered that… Davy did a little faster and brighter version, adding a more positive kind of quality to it but the song is a positive song anyway.”
The legacy of Davy Jones’ appearance on ‘The Brady Bunch’
“Girl” was ultimately a flop single. However, it had a second life when Jones performed it in “Getting Davy Jones,” a famous episode of The Brady Bunch. In an interview with USA Today, Christopher Knight, the actor who played Peter Brady, said Jones was one of his favorite Brady Bunch guest stars alongside Vincent Price.
The aforementioned episode wouldn’t be the end of “Girl.” As part of the 1970s nostalgia craze of the 1990s, Hollywood churned out The Brady Bunch Movie. The film includes numerous references to specific episodes of the show as catnip for fans. In one scene, Jones performs at Marcia Brady’s high school, but this time, he performs a version of “Girl” influenced by grunge music. Who would have thought a song from a flop single would have led to a classic Brady Bunch moment?