Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and Neil Diamond penned "I'm a Believer." Musicians who played on their records included Billy Preston, who later played with the Beatles, Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, Ry Cooder and Neil Young.
Young tweeted Wednesday that he was saddened by Jones' death.
"The Monkees were such a sensation that it was a thrill for me to have them record some of my early songs," he added.
The group also released the 1968 film "Head," derided at the time as a psychedelic mishmash notable only for an appearance by Jack Nicholson. It has since come to be considered a cult classic by Monkees fans.
After two seasons, the TV series had flared out and was canceled after 58 episodes in the summer of 1968. But The Monkees remained a nostalgia act for decades. Jones maintained that the stage was the only place he truly felt at home.
"Even today, I have an inferiority complex," he told the Daily Mail in an interview last year. "I always feel I'm there at the window, looking in. Except when I'm on stage, and then I really come alive."
After the TV show ended, Jones continued to tour with the other Monkees for a time, sometimes playing the drums at concerts when Dolenz came up front to sing.
Many also remember Jones from a widely seen episode of "The Brady Bunch" that aired in 1971, in which he makes an appearance at Marcia Brady's school dance. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school's Davy Jones Fan Club, promised she could get him to appear before her classmates.
The group eventually broke up over creative differences, although it did reunite from time to time for brief tours over the years, usually without Nesmith.
In 1987, Jones, Tork, and Dolenz recorded a new album, "Pool It." And two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On Wednesday, flowers were placed on Jones' own Hollywood star nearby as fans mourned.
All four of the Monkees came together for a 1996 album, "Justus," and a subsequent TV movie "Hey, Hey, It's The Monkees!" that saw them still living in the same house and still traveling in the Monkeemobile — just like old times.
Tork spoke of his former bandmate in an interview Wednesday night, saying "He was one of the funniest men and most talented I have ever known."
In a statement, Nesmith said: "David's spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people."
Jones, who is survived by his wife Jessica Pacheco and four daughters from previous marriages, continued to make appearances on television and stage later. But it was the fame of The Monkees that pulled him back to that era time and time again. On his website, he recalled during auditions for the show when all four men finally were put together in a scene.
"That's it," he recalled everyone around him saying: "Magic."
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Frazier Moore and Hillel Italie in New York, Mike Gracia in Washington and John Rogers in Los Angeles.
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