Last Train To Clarksville – The Monkees | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1966

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In a day when groups are regularly fabricated for the sole purpose of raking in the cash, it’s hard to believe that music fans were once shocked at such an act. Yet, shocked they were in 1966 when a made-for-television band called the Monkees released a record into the marketplace.

Producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson originally wanted to create a show around the Lovin’ Spoonful. When that didn’t pan out, they placed a musicians/singers-wanted ad in the Daily Variety.

From the several hundred respondents – among them a then-unknown Stephen Stills – four lucky guys were chosen. The fictitious Beatles-style band now needed some music.

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – who’d written hits such as Pretty Little Angel Eyes and Come A Little Bit Closer – turned in a winning candidate that name checked one of Hart’s favorite Arizona towns.

The much-maligned Monkees got their revenge when Last Train To Clarksville steamed straight to #1; kicking off a string of million sellers.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Tommy Boyce
  • Bobby Hart

Lyrics Written by:

  • Tommy Boyce
  • Bobby Hart