Peter Tork, Monkees bass player, has died at 77

/ CBS News

A half-century ago, a made-for-TV band suddenly became bigger than The Beatles. The Monkees hit the pop music scene in an unprecedented way, with four No. 1 albums and a classic Emmy-winning comedy.

Peter Tork, the bassist of the legendary band The Monkees, has died, his bandmate said on Twitter. Tork was 77.

On Twitter, Monkees' drummer Micky Dolenz wrote, "There are no words right now…heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork."

There are no words right now…heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork. #petertork #themonkees @TorkTweet pic.twitter.com/C8SwoA8pEV

— Micky Dolenz (@TheMickyDolenz1) February 21, 2019

A statement on York's Facebook page announced his death and Tork's sister, Anne Thorkelson, confirmed the musician and singer's death to The Washington Post.

A statement on Tork's Facebook page says in part, "It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world."

The Monkees, made up of Tork, Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones made their debut on television in 1966. By 1967, they would outsell the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and their first four albums went to number one.

Their series ended after two seasons and the band members went their separate ways. Jones died in 2012.

But to mark their 50th anniversary, Dolenz and Tork went out on tour.

Tork spoke with "CBS Sunday Morning" in 2016, explaining that he heard about auditions for The Monkees from his friend Stephen Stills, who had been passed over.

"So Stephen had to settle for Crosby Stills Nash & Young. He's never forgiven me," Tork said.

The band told Anthony Mason they bonded "instantly," but Tork remained humble.

"There were no duds among us — except me," Tork said. "But I wasn't really a dud. I played one on television."

The Monkees 21 photos

First published on February 21, 2019

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The Monkees

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