Bobby Hart was one-half of the prolific '60s songwriting duo Boyce & Hart, best known for their heavy involvement with the Monkees' early records. Hart was born in Phoenix, AZ, on February 18, 1939, to a minister father, and served a stint in the Army after high school. After his discharge, he went to Los Angeles to try and make it as a singer; when he failed to pique anyone's interest, he moved into songwriting. In the early '60s, he met Tommy Boyce, who was already on his way to being a successful songwriter. Hart placed an original composition, "Dr. Heartache," with teen idol Tommy Sands. Not long after, he and Boyce were involved in a near-fatal car crash returning home from a Bobby Vee concert. Boyce soon moved to New York, and Hart followed when he had fully recovered. Their partnership had its first success with "Lazy Elsie Molly," recorded by Chubby Checker in 1964; that same year, Jay & the Americans took "Come a Little Bit Closer" into the Top Five, giving the duo a breakout success. Hart broke away from Boyce briefly to co-write Little Anthony & the Imperials' 1965 smash "Hurt So Bad" with Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Whiting, but the two then signed an exclusive deal with the Screen Gems publishing firm together, and returned to Los Angeles. Early efforts like "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" and "Words" were recorded by Paul Revere & the Raiders and the Leaves, respectively, but the duo initially found it difficult to duplicate its hitmaking success; they did, however, team up with Charles Albertine to write the theme song for the long-running TV soap opera Days of Our Lives.