McCoo & Davis, Coming to a Town Near You!
Marilyn and Billy, two special fans are quite fervent in their hopes to have you appear in their areas. Robyn Pippins wonders, often “will you be performing in Atlanta anytime soon?” And Hiromi Hirahata asks, “Do you have a plan to come to Japan in the near future? 47 years passed since The 5th Dimension came to Japan for the very first time. We Japanese fans eagerly hope you will come again and sing for us!”
Robert: And may I add to this, because you have fans from Chicago, Boston, New York City and many more places, clamoring for your return engagements. Does management take note of this, and does it help for fans to suggest to you a specific venue or to even request “McCoo and Davis,” specifically at their home town venues?
BOTH: Robyn, thanks for your enthusiasm for us to return to Atlanta. We love Atlanta and want to play there again. We just need the offer to return.
BOTH: Hiromi, we are very frustrated that we haven’t been back to Japan. Our experience at Expo ’70 is one we treasure, and winning the Tokyo Music Festival has been a highlight of our careers.
BOTH: We believe, and have seen evidence, that if enough people express to the right venues an interest in seeing an artist perform in their area, it can encourage the buyers to investigate the possibilities. So, that being said, we love Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, San Diego, Pittsburgh (and many more; the list gets long!).
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Speaking of touring, Luann Scribani wonders, “Over the years, what was your favorite venue to perform in? Is there a particular concert that stands out in your minds?”
: Favorite concert: at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, The Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe opened for The 5th
Dimension. This was a special program where we were able to present to our fans an exciting evening of music and dance They loved it and the concert was very favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times. (Billy & I got married a week after we closed.) My favorite place: the Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland; they were always awesome audiences.
BILLY: My favorite venue is The Cerritos Performing Arts Center in California because the sound is always incredible. My most memorable concert was in Saratoga, NY. The house was filled to capacity, and the audience was waiting for us to come out into the house at the end of “Aquarius” to bring one person each on stage. We got back on stage and it looked like the entire audience was trying to join us. They swarmed the stage and the group left…with me still out there singing! Marilyn came back and got me, grabbed my arm and I left my mic on the floor. A scary experience!
Kon Koroneos says all the way from Melbourne, Australia, “Marilyn, I loved your hair and I loved your style! To Billy, from one bloke to another, you are all style! To Marilyn, on ‘Sold Gold,’ which of the duets you performed (for example, with Ronnie Milsap, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.) was your favorite? My fav ‘Solid Gold’ duet of yours (with someone other than Billy whose voice I love) is with Paul Williams!”
MARILYN: I’d never thought about which of the duets I sang was my favorite. So I had to go to YouTube to jar my memory (Thank God for YouTube!). There were three that stood out for me: Cliff Richard and me singing “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” the performance with B.J. Thomas singing his hits medley, and the duet with Carl Wilson singing “God Only Knows.”
Jeff Lahr echoes the thought,”Marilyn, you sang with many wonderful performers on ‘Solid Gold’ over the years. Who were some of your favorites?”
MARILYN: I’d forgotten how many songs I sang with Cliff Richard; he was always a pleasure to work with (so musical; Billy and I enjoyed the tour we did with him in England a few years ago.) Singing with the Commodores was so much fun (and a reach for me!). Paul Williams, in addition to being an incredible songwriter, was also a riot to work with. He toured with The 5th Dimension, so we got to know him well, and he and Billy really hit it off! Donna Summer and I sang a Christmas duet together. Her voice was so powerful that when she came to my dressing room to rehearse, she almost blew me out of the room! (And I thought Billy had a powerful voice!)
Billy Davis Jr., Donna Summers and Marylin McCoo
Brad Katzman shares, “I have followed you two over the years…love your music and wonderful marriage (and reading your autobiography made me feel connected to your lives). Would you consider doing a ‘Solid Gold’ type revival or similar show.
MARILYN: I’ve learned to always keep my mind open to new ideas. Who knows?
Scott Lakefield commented on Twitter: “Loved when you hosted ‘Solid Gold,’ Marilyn. Do you think it’ll ever be made available on DVD?
MARILYN: Sorry, Scott, I don’t have an answer on that one.
Marc Stoc asks, “Hi Marilyn, what are your thoughts on your SOLID GOLD album? Do you wish you had released more solo projects?”
MARILYN: It was a concept project meant to capitalize on the TV exposure. I’m sorry it didn’t do better but we all have those experiences in our lives. One of my favorite songs on that album was “Every Breath You Take.” I was very pleased with my contemporary Christian CD that was nominated for a Grammy, THE ME NOBODY KNOWS. I enjoy looking for new project ideas for Billy and me to do together.
Future Recordings, Mar-Bill style!
Robert: Which leads to Robyn‘s inquiry about you two hopefully “blessing us with potential new recordings.” Marilyn and Billy, we have a number of questions in this regard.
Jungle Room also asks, “Would Billy consider doing a follow-up to his Gospel CD?” Faithful fan Susan Aglio enthuses, “Marilyn’s Christmas CD is an all-time favorite. I’m hoping Marilyn and Billy might record a new Christmas project!”
BILLY: Yes, I have thought about doing another Gospel project.
MARILYN: Billy and I have talked about the possibility of a Christmas project together. We would enjoy that.
returns with: “With your 50th wedding anniversary on the horizon, have you given any thought to going back into the studio and recording a follow-up to ‘The Many Faces of Love?’ Since your voices are still in such excellent shape, I know we’d all love to hear fresh material from you!”
BOTH: We haven’t really considered doing a 50th Anniversary project at this point, but we still have a couple of years…
Brian Medoro offers this recording “twist”: “I’ve noticed some artists, in lieu of recording full albums, are releasing songs one-at-a-time. It takes the pressure off especially if the artist is on a tour…and of course, there’s nothing better than seeing you live! Would that concept be something you would consider for yourselves?”
BOTH: Brian, thanks for the suggestion; today’s market is very different from our original record-making time. It’s worth considering…
Good for the Soul…
Robert: Marilyn and Billy, some faith-based questions are so lovely as we now light candles in our “Living Room” environment for fellowship…
Nita Durham: “Do you think being Christians enhanced your spirit to perform ALL kinds of music to the world in order to spread the Gospel? God Bless you and keep on singing!”
BOTH: We think it’s our duty to spread the good news of God’s love wherever we go. Sometimes it’s reflected in the songs we sing; sometimes His light is seen through our relationship. Many people have commented on how moved they are by how we carry ourselves, on stage and off.
And our friend, Pastor Martha Vink poses this touching “twofer”: “Your faith is an integral part of your lives. What do you do to ‘nurture and grow’ your spirituality, especially with such a busy schedule?” She goes on, “What is one of the qualities you love most in one another?”
BOTH: We start our day with prayer and devotions together, thanking God for each day and counting our blessings, which are many.
MARILYN: Billy is very kind to everyone and has a very giving spirit.
BILLY: Marilyn is honest and generous, and very firm in her beliefs.
What a perfect visit, thanks to special fans, and of course “our MarBill”…
Robert: Marilyn and Billy, we can’t thank you enough for welcoming us into your “Living Room” and personally, for having FOREVER 5th DIMENSION host the event. And how timely that we get to unveil it so festively on Marilyn’s birthday which is always a precious date of celebration for your many, many worldwide fans! You still have so many artistic journeys in store for us, and you make it all seem so effortless, we never wish to take your spirit of excellence for granted. I know in particular, your participation in the Colors of Christmas Tour ’17 and then in the new year, on The Soul Train Cruise will delight many.MARILYN & BILLY: Robert, thank you for coming up with this incredible “Living Room” concept…it’s ingenious! And how beautiful that so many have been wondering about so many things regarding our careers! There were very interesting questions, some we’ve never been asked before, and others that allowed us to take some fun trips down memory lane and share with our “Living Room” friends.
Here are 10 specially selected songs, performances, & commercial links:
Moonlight Mile: https://youtu.be/SET2ebDJmEc
When Did I Lose Your Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpNO0uq8xyg
Black Patch: https://youtu.be/DvBMU3P4ISY
Dimension 5ive: https://youtu.be/nxNYjtXxwVM
The Worst that Could Happen (live): https://youtu.be/unsy1CxtWFQ
My Love For You Will Always Be the Same: https://youtu.be/_LFav-4Td6A
The Two of Us (live): https://youtu.be/B-8KjPv8-5s
JELLO commercial: https://youtu.be/pS7Z4ygOLbs
Marilyn sings with BJ Thomas: https://youtu.be/_Z5PTs6e-sY
Marilyn sings with Paul Williams: https://youtu.be/iwBWsS874_4
Follow Marilyn & Billy at their Official Facebook page, on Twitter @McCooDavis or visit their website at www.mccoodavis.com
Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum, Sterling Winters
Photo Credits: The Arno 5th Dimension McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection, LaMonte McLemore, Captain Bob, Music in the Mountains, Deniserose Torres, Martha Vink
(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room,” copyright 2008-2017, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd.,
intellectual property, all rights reserved)