How the Beatles influenced the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville'

The Monkees
The Monkees in an undated photos. From left, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz at a press conference at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.
Evening Standard | Getty Images

Today's Morning Edition music is from the Monkees' first single "Last Train To Clarksville," which debuted 50 years ago today.

It may sound uncannily familiar to another upbeat, twangy rock song: "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles. That song came out just three months earlier.

One of the Monkees' songwriters, Bobby Hart, heard "Paperback Writer" on the radio and thought Paul McCartney was singing the words "take the last train." When he realized McCartney was actually singing "Paperback Writer," Hart decided to use the phrase himself.

MPR News is Member Supported

What does that mean? The news, analysis and community conversation found here is funded by donations from individuals. Make a gift of any amount today to support this resource for everyone.