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Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

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Tommy Boyce (born Sidney Thomas Boyce, September 29, 1939 — November 23, 1994) and Bobby Hart (born Robert Luke Harshman, February 19, 1939, Phoenix, Arizona) were a prolific songwriting duo, best known for the songs they wrote for The Monkees.

Hart’s father was a church minister. Hart served in the Army after leaving high school, and on discharge travelled to Los Angeles seeking a career as a singer. Boyce was separately pursuing a career as a singer. After being rejected numerous times, Boyce took his father’s suggestion to write a song called “Be My Guest” for rock and roll star Fats Domino. He waited six hours at Domino’s hotel room to present him with the demo, and got Domino to promise to listen to the song. The song hit #8 in the US and #11 in the UK, becoming Domino’s biggest hit there in serveral years, and sold over a million copies. Boyce met Hart in 1959, and the following year played guitar on Hart’s single “Girl In The Window,” which flopped, but marked the first time he used the name Bobby Hart, since his manager shortened it to fit the label.

Their partnership made a breakthrough with a song recorded by Chubby Checker, “Lazy Elsie Molly”, in 1964. They went on to write hits for Jay & the Americans (“Come a Little Bit Closer”), Paul Revere and the Raiders (“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”) and The Leaves (“Words”). The latter two songs provided the Monkees with hit B-sides in 1967. The duo also wrote the theme song to the daytime soap Days of Our Lives. At one point in this period, Hart also co-wrote “Hurt So Bad” for Little Anthony & the Imperials with Teddy Randazzo and his regular songwriting partner, Bobby Weinstein.

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