Passings: Ward Sylvester, Pivotal Figure in the Monkee's History (1939 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Producer, manager, promoter, executive and key figure in the rise of the Monkees', Ward Sylvester, died on Sunday (June 11) at the age of 77.

In the early 60's, Ward was Vice President of Columbia Pictures when he attended the Broadway production of Oliver! with Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger. He invited him to come to Hollywood to test where Sylvester eventually signed him under the Screen Gems banner for both acting and recording on their Colpix label.

Ward was key in casting for The Monkees series, working with Jones to find appropriate actors. When the show hit the air, Ward was billed as an Associate Producer.

As the Monkees' fame grew, Sylvester was key in the band's push to be able to play their own instruments going to bat against producer Don Kirshner. He also became the group's manager for their first concert tour and produced their first television special 33-1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee.

Sylvester took on Bobby Sherman as a client after he appeared on The Monkees as a guest star and was Music Producer for his series Getting Together.

During the 70's, Sylvester produced TV movies but, in the mid-80's, started working again with Michael Nesmith, acting as a supervising producer for his Elephant Parts video, Television Parts and Dr. Duck's Super Secret All-Purpose Sauce.


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