The Monkees’ Songwriter Wrote a Hit Song for Fats Domino

Classic rock star Fats Domino recorded a song by one of The Monkees’ regular songwriters. Notably, the song in question became a huge hit for Domino. During a passage from his memoir, another one of The Monkees’ songwriters discussed learning Domino recorded the track.

The Monkees' Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz near a poster
The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz | James Jackson/Evening Standard/Getty Images

Fats Domino inspired a songwriter behind several Monkees songs

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were a songwriting duo most known for writing songs for The Monkees under the name Boyce & Hart. They co-wrote Prefab Four classics such as “Last Train to Clarksville,” “(Theme From) The Monkees,” “Valleri,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” and “I Wanna Be Free.” In his 2015 book Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem Into Miracles, Hart cited Domino as one of his musical influences. He recalled listening to Domino to cope with hardships in high school.

In the book, Hart recalled spending time on Hollywood Boulevard with his wife, Becky. “The circus of extremes for the senses with its bright lights and colorful characters was still about the only form of entertainment that we could afford,” he recalled. “As we passed Johnny’s Steak House, we ran into [singer Curtis Lee] and Tommy, who were enjoying the same affordable pastime. We told them our good news; we had just found out that Becky and I were expecting our first child!”

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What Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart thought when Fats Domino recorded a song by Tommy Boyce

Hart then learned Domino decided to cut one of Boyce’s songs: “Be My Guest.” “Then, Curt told us Tommy’s good news: one of his songs had been recorded by rock ‘n’ roll legend and one of my high school heroes, Fats Domino!” Hart remembered. “Becky and I were elated at the news and the four of us exchanged spirited congratulations.”

Hart saw this as a turning point for Boyce & Hart. “That elusive dream of success in the music business, which until that moment had seemed so far away, was finally becoming a reality for one of our own young crowd,” Hart wrote. “Somehow, that made it seem more attainable for all of us.”

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How Fats Domino’s ‘Be My Guest’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Be My Guest” became one of Domino’s most successful songs in the United States. The track peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the charts for 14 weeks. 

“Be My Guest” was popular in the United Kingdom as well. The Official Charts Company reports the song reached No. 11. “Be My Guest” lasted on the chart for 12 weeks. “Be My Guest” appeared on the compilation The Best of Fats Domino. The compilation hit No. 58 in the U.K. and lasted on the chart for two weeks.

“Be My Guest” is a classic song and it has an interesting connection to The Monkees.

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