A Wedding Anniversary, A New Dance-Tune, A Multi-Season Touring Schedule

May 18 Banner SqDateline July 26–Welcome to our latest “eclectic” edition of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION. It’s the 49th Wedding Anniversary of our 1st Couple of Pop & Soul, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr…go to their official Facebook page, today, and enter the drawing to win an autographed copy of their 2-volume Live CD! We’ve been having so much fun on Twitter–which I’m so honored to curate for our duo through my company, The Soul of The Voice, Ltd.–counting down to this special day.  We’ll review those Tweets at the close of our blog…but right now, here is MarBill’s heartwarming statement for the occasion:

With one of us originally from St. Louis, the other ‘an LA girl,’ if we had known 49 years ago that God would bless us with a relationship that would reach today’s anniversary, the concept would’ve been so unlikely, we would’ve laughed. (‘Who can stay married 49 years in this day and age–and in this business!?’) But never underestimate the Lord! Thank you, ALL of you for your love & support over all these years. We are so blessed & so thankful to have each of you!! 

Love, Billy & Marilyn 49 ANN COLLAGEMarilyn & Billy will be “in residency” over Labor Day weekend!  They say, “How we love putting together your favorites with new cabaret surprises! Join us at Hollywood’s intimate Catalina Bar & Grill for Jazz, Pop, Torch & Blues…done the ‘MarBill’ way!” That’s Fri Aug 31 – Sun Sept 2. For tickets go to: http://www.catalinajazzclub.com/

Florence and GroupFlorence LaRue & The 5th Dimension are sizzling! Their concerts of Champagne Soul bring classic harmonic hit sounds to today’s stages for multi-generational family entertainment performed for consistently sold-out crowds! Their current summer ’18 tour calendar…their upcoming Christmas residency…their bookings into the 2019 season…are ALL thrilling!fLOR RED BOB BARRY

Go here to see their cross-country touring schedule–tix for Florence & The 5th Dimension always sell out fast!!  Ms. LaRue & the group look forward to seeing YOU!:

http://5thdimensionlive.com/calendar/

Flor Kim

#SnapShot Whether on the road with The 5th Dimension or involved with her solo endeavors, our delightful diva, Florence LaRue is always busy! Last month, she co-hosted with actress Kym Whitley, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival’s “Legends, Movement, And Memories” show.

LaMonte McLemore wants you to meet Ms. Fanny Fine…Fanny Big ArtworkLaMonte’s new dance tune is here, ready for download purchase on CD Baby…here’s the scoop:  “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the baddest of them all?” Introducing “Fanny Fine.” According to 6-time Grammy award winning founder of legends The 5th Dimension, LaMonte McLemore, who wrote & produced the new dance tune, “The lady is an homage to and a montage of ALL the beautiful women I’ve had the honor and pleasure of photographing for top magazines over 5 decades!”mac museum large yellow A touch retro but definitely today, “Fanny” elicits those dance-able club moves amid catchy, “5th Dimension-inspired” harmonic grooves. With music production & arrangement by Lloyd Tolbert and lead vocal by the soulfully dexterous Julio Hanson. “And don’t forget the characterization by Tyrone Fox…his artwork reflects the essence of Fanny!” adds Mr. Mac, who punctuates with his inimitable humor. He chuckles, “Fanny Fine will make ‘Brick House’ look like a shed!”

Order “Fanny Fine” on CD Baby, here:

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore3

Twitter Recap! Now, here’s a review of some of the fun & “sweet Tweets” Marilyn & Billy have been featuring as a count-down to today’s anniversary…we leave you with there’s as we anticipate our own 10 year anniversary edition of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION…complete with surprises…coming soon!  –Robert-Allan Arno

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#ThrowbackThursday We’re starting a one-week count-down to our #49thWeddingAnniversary (July 26) featuring fave picture & musical memories! This pose is from the photo shoot of our 1st duet album–you could find it on the LP’s inner sleeve! #IHopeWeGetToLoveInTime

When asked about our fave duet recordings, “My Reason to Be is You” is one of them. Please enjoy this live version that follows our performance of “Sad Eyes”…view it here: https://t.co/6ee9R9CTBm

As we count down to our #49thAnniversary on Thurs, we’re thinking of what we did for our 40th…the #ManyFacesofLove project! From it, “We Can Work It Out”* is perfect for #TuesdayGroove! Listen here: youtu.be/fPrHQS2NeFo

“You are the early mornin’ sun, you bring the light into my day…”
One of our faves from our duet sessions, “My Love for You (Will Always Be the Same)” is also our choice for today’s #SundaySunshine tune as we count down to our #49thWeddingAnniversary. Listen here: https://t.co/FlCFzavEtj

 

Wedding Collage#FashionFriday Which was our “real” wedding attire?! We were styled on the left, to perform “Wedding Bell Blues” on TV. On the right, come July 26, this photo will mark our official 49th! #49WeddingAnniversary

Wedding Fashion done

Special Thanks to Marilyn & Billy, Florence, LaMonte, the worldwide fans, Steve Rosenblum (Sterling/Winters)

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved, intellectual property, copyright 2008-2018)

 

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Celebrating Billy’s Birthday ’18!

Today June 26, we honor Billy Davis, Jr.’s special day. Our 7-time Grammy winning Gentleman of Soul has been regarded as a major “influencer” to such beloved luminaries as Maurice White and Gerald Levert of Earth, Wind & Fire and The O’Jays, respectively. Tunesmith Jimmy Webb considers Billy to be one of our all-time greatest singers…and of course, so does his lovely wife of soon-to-be 49 years, Marilyn McCoo. And you, the special fans all have your favorite “Billy solos” and vocal moments!  Go on over, today to the Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Official) Fan page on Facebook…then mention a few of your faves as you wish Billy a “Happy Birthday”…AND be eligible to win an autographed copy of Marilyn & Billy’s LIVE double-CD. (See rules at the thread!)
Billy Birthday Collage TWO
And @mccoodavis on Twitter (official), a page I’m so pleased to curate for our duo, we’ve been featuring a pre-birthday week Tweet-a-day with quotes from Marilyn & Billy and links to some very special “Billy solos”…we’re going to review them for you right now at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, for your “Billy listening party!”  Enjoy, as I personally wish to recognize a role model whose impeccable interpretations and gentle spirit reflect a state of Godliness that brings revelation and peace with each year I have the pleasure of knowing Sir Billy Davis, Jr.  –Robert-Allan Arno
This past week, Marilyn & Billy Tweeted:

#BillyBDay Marilyn: We’re beginning our week-long celebration leading to Billy’s birthday by bringing you my husband’s special solos–my faves, his, & yours! For #TuesdayGroove the question is…are U “Feelin’ Alright?”
Listen here: youtu.be/x_O-hj-SbEw

#BillyBirthdayCountdown Marilyn: “When we were planning tunes for THE MANY FACES OF LOVE project, I thought the classic ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ would be ideal for Billy’s voice and style!” Billy: “And I’m so glad my wife suggested it!” Enjoy it here: https://t.co/K601FgNesF

#BillyBDayCountdown #ThrowbackThurs People tell us this particular song from the #IndividuallyandCollectively album has resonated for them over the years. Its title alone brings words to live by: “Leave a Little Room.”
Listen here: youtu.be/KDp2B_ac5Y8

#FashionFriday #BillyBdayCountdown We feature this mashup of “The Worst that Could Happen”/”Wedding Bell Blues” because quite simply, these Webb/Nyro gems never go out of style! Marilyn: “Billy’s interpretation of @realjimmywebb’s lyric is so powerful!” https://t.co/tlXEnB57N7

Photo of 5th Dimension

#SundaySunshine #BillyBdayCountdown Sing along with us as we “Let the Sunshine In” on this 1st Sunday of #Summer18! Listen here: youtu.be/afoIYhgJbI4

#BillyBdayCountdown Singing #SamCooke‘s “A Change is Gonna Come” over the years has been a blessing. When people comment on how my performance has moved them, I say: “That’s not me…it’s God working through me.” –Billy
Watch a special presentation here: https://t.co/PoRiOQHWjT

Summer Bonus! Enjoy this sweet-soul delight (one of producer Bones Howe’s personal faves!) from “The Magic Garden…”she’s a flower child,” #Summer’s Daughter: https://youtu.be/fA9ldtBG5FU

Lastly, Billy’s motto is “What comes from the heart…goes to the heart.” From the “Earthbound” album, here’s “Speaking with My Heart”: https://youtu.be/jABmrdv4Zoc

Billy Center

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 08-18, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved)

 

 

Stoned Soul Springtime Review!

APRIL 1 RARE FLIPWelcome to our “Stoned Soul” springtime review! As always, we immeasurably thank Marilyn & Billy...Florence & The 5th Dimension…and LaMonte for their enthusiastic contributions & support…we celebrate our 10th anniversary of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION in late July with some tasty “special events!” And to you, the worldwide fans, our appreciation for making this near-decade of “5th-fabulousness” a global adventure! Let’s catch up…

Marilyn & Billy started the new year with something they had looked forward to for a long time….a trip to Africa. They shared their journey on Twitter & Facebook (official)–starting in front of Nelson Mandela’s statue in Pretoria “with his arms open to the word” and ending at a Namibian village where they were warmly embraced. Along the way, snapping shots of the charming African penguins at Boulders Beach…elephants, baboons, giraffes, “We just loved how all the species seemed to live in harmony!” smiled MarBill.AFMARBILLDONE

On Twitter @mccoodavis–which I’m so proud to curate–Marilyn & Billy and I have put our heads together to bring you new features like #TuesdayGroove, #FashionFriday and #SundaySunshine! Recently, excitement was in the air when our duo congratulated James Reynolds on receiving the prestigious Daytime Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  Many of you recall that Marilyn played the saucy, mysterious songstress “Tamara Price” on “Days of Our Lives” in the ’80’s, opposite Mr. Reynolds. Since their characters’ daughter, “Lani” has recently entered “Salem,” as played by the lovely Sal Stowers, fans are clamoring for an onscreen reunion between mother and daughter.  We shall see!

(Pictured, Marilyn with James Reynolds mid-80’s; Marilyn meets Sal Stowers, this past Thanksgiving eve, LA Mission) And remember, we celebrate Billy’s birthday on June 26! Just in per MarBill’s Management:  “Our friends at SiriusXM recorded Marilyn & Billy’s latest Soul Train Cruise performance along with a sit-down interview, which will air on Sunday, June 17 (Father’s Day) at 6pm EST on Channel 49–Soul Town.”

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Florence LaRue and The 5th Dimension simply sell-out wherever they tour! The family-oriented, ever sparkling Champagne Soul magic never ends with the vibrant Ms. LaRue in the lead–our “Delightful Diva” makes sure each show brings authentic harmonies, eye-catching costumes & choreography, warm patter, audience participation, and ALL the many, many hits! Check out the group’s constantly-building touring schedule for ’18 at this link and remember, tix sell-out quickly! Just in! Huge congratulations to Florence & The 5th Dimension for their outdoor concert performance in front of 10,000-plus fans on Sat. June 9 at the Manalapan, New Jersey festival! The group always looks forward to seeing YOU, the special fans:

http://5thdimensionlive.com/calendar/

MEMOIR COVER

Available at Amazon!

LaMonte…besides doing media in promotion of his popular 2nd edition memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” and his “viral hit” for world peace, “Cease Fire”…playing softball daily…and snapping the most candid yet professional photos wherever he goes…Mac’s passion is traveling the world with his lovely wife Mieko. Recent forays have seen Mac & Mieko in India, the Holy Land, and visiting Japan. LaMonte shares, “The Holy Land is my all-time favorite…the peace of God and His spirit of unconditional love was palpable, it fills my heart…forever.”  Mieko adds, “I wanted LaMonte to see Japan…where I grew up. There have been many changes but family and friends endure.” With a “Right on,” a truly touched Mac wants to thank all the fans for their continued enthusiasm. In fact, LaMonte’s cherished mother who we are all welcomed to call “Mama June,” celebrated her 104th birthday on June 3rd! The outpouring of messages from fans, friends and family was truly a thing to behold on Mac’s Facebook page!

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LaMonte, Mieko and adorable Mama June…104 years young!

Oh, and Mr. McLemore has a new dance tune…Ms. “Fanny Fine” is coming your way any day…details will be added here!

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50 Years! June is known as #BlackMusicMonth and we close this edition by honoring a 5 decade milestone! June ’68 marked the single release of #StonedSoulPicnic, bringing #TheOriginal5thDimension R&B chart success as they made Platinum with the genius of #LauraNyro. In that legacy tune’s joyful spirit, let’s all “surry” til the next time we meet!  –Robert-Allan Arno 

Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno is a production of The Soul of The Voice Ltd., copyright 2008-18, Intellectual Property, All Rights Reserved.

Happy New Year: Forever 5th-style!

NEW YEAR FOREVER LETTERINGHappy New Year from FOREVER 5th DIMENSION!

This holiday season, The 5th Dimension made #7 on Rewound Radio‘s Top 20 survey of all-time favorite artists, representing the station’s own 20th anniversary in bringing you the greatest songs of the Rock n’ Roll n’ Soul era.  Mega hits like “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Up-Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “One Less Bell,” and “Wedding Bell Blues” remain indelible as we thank our friends & fans at Rewound, including Program Director Allan Sniffen, for their support of The 5th Dimension legacy!

Rather than do a year-in-review, may I simply ask you to scroll down and/or check our “Recent Posts” located at right to re-visit a wide array of thrilling activities in ’17 for our fave stars–the plethora of sold-out shows including Christmas fare, media appearances, special events and features (like “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room” for which YOU contributed!) have not failed to show why Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., and LaMonte McLemore have continued to shine in new ways. Dear friends for life, it was heartening, too to see Florence give testimonial honor at Marilyn & Billy’s tribute at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcaster’s luncheon, or in turn for “MarBill” to attend Florence’s birthday soiree. “Mac” (whose song “Cease Fire” went viral this year!) shares he is often on the phone with either Florence or MarBill to offer a joke, a holiday or birthday wish, as I’m in consultation on a regular basis with our stars as both biographer and social media coordinator…they so graciously and enthusiastically endorse our current events- oriented, uplifting format and contribute in ways that make our collective hearts sing!

This year marked the 50th anniversary of “Up-Up and Away” and Marilyn & Billy feted Jimmy Webb at Carnegie Hall in March, while Florence joined Jimmy onstage on the west coast for his acoustic concert in Pasadena in June. Our featured photo: We’ve seen many an incarnation of this backstage photo shoot at the 10th Annual Grammy Awards where The 5th and Jimmy received their multi-awards for that transcendent song about a “beautiful balloon,” but here’s a rather rare one featuring not only Webb (center) with our “Fab 5,” but the group’s beloved manager Marc Gordon (far right). Enjoy as we, fans & friends, look toward a new year, holding hands with our stars…continuing to chase our dream across the sky!  —Robert-Allan Arno

RARE GRAMMY BIG

Marilyn & Billy’s holiday message:

MarBill New Year 18Dear Robert, Fans & Friends:

We appreciate so much the ideas and creative energy you’ve brought to our social media; we’ve received so many beautiful comments about your coverage of the “Colors of Christmas” tour and the year, in general. We met a number of fans after the shows who were so happy to let us know they were friends of yours who were encouraged to introduce themselves! We look forward to what the New Year will bring.

We’re praying that all of you have a Merry Christmas with your families and loved ones as we await God’s plans for us in 2018. He is truly a God of miracles! Stay healthy and keep the faith!

Love,

Billy & Marilyn

Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Official on FB, at http://www.mccoodavis.com or go to @mccoodavis on Twitter

Florence and GroupVisit Florence LaRue’s lovely updated website at: https://www.florencelarue.com/ And check in with Florence & The 5th Dimension’s 2018 schedule at: http://5thdimensionlive.com/

Visit LaMonte McLemore on FB or go to @LamonteMcLemore on Twitter

book coverMac’s hit memoir “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” co-written by Robert-Allan Arno, 2nd edition, is available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505846340&sr=8-1&keywords=hobo+flats+5th+dimension+mclemore

Tune into Rewound Radio on the ‘net at:  http://www.rewoundradio.com

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved, copyright 2008-2018)

Marilyn & Billy Melt Hearts on The Colors of Christmas Tour ’17

Exclusive Review by Robert-Allan Arno

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December 3–The Colors of Christmas Tour ’17 kicked off at Theater at Westbury, New York tonight and it was a powerfully intimate affair. The energy was electric with never a wasted second, as song after song–from Christmas favorites to greatest hits, and surprise duet and quintet collaborations–were presented with love of craft, audience and faith! Seasoned pros for any season, the camaraderie between Peabo Bryson, Jody Watley, Ruben Studdard (who at times was reminiscent in tone and congeniality of the beloved Ron “Sweets” Townson) and our very own Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. was simply delightful. Each stylish artist took their well-deserved star turns and were met with sheer warmth amid revival meeting amens, standing O’s and sing-along moments.

While Billy’s solo on “Go Tell It on the Mountain” brought us to the highest altitudes of Spirit-filled elation, Marilyn’s “Oh Holy Night” stopped the entire show in our elegant diva’s magnitude of meaning and musical dexterity. For these tours-de-force alone, go tell it…to a friend, and GO! Hits like “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” and “Up-Up and Away” appeared as special highlights, staged and arranged in fresh ways. “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” brought a thundering ovation…not only for the welcomed groove, but because of the absolute “adorableness” of McCoo & Davis. Marilyn dueting with Jody on “Jingle Bells” was also “too cute;” seeing gentlemen of Soul, Bryson and Studdard with Davis sharing the stage was an homage in and of itself to Billy’s influence on so many who came after him.

COC BILLY LightBilly told me with a laugh, “This tour is really one-nighters, it keeps us young!” COC Marilyn ChatMarilyn added with an animated smile, “There are people here who have come from near and far…part of the fun, too is meeting and greeting our loyal fans!”

Next stops–New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas and more…

Here’s the link to the official Colors of Christmas schedule, through December 17th: https://www.thecolorsofchristmas.com/

Special thanks to Marilyn & Billy, Steve Rosenblum–Sterling/Winters, Randall Jeffries; Onstage Photos by Martha Vink & Robert-Allan Arno (Westbury); Deniserose Torres & Jonathan Weitz (Cerritos)

12/17–“We had the best of times on this year’s #ColorsofChristmas tour & we’ll miss being onstage with Peabo Bryson, Jody Watley and Ruben Studdard. We enjoyed spending quality time with our longtime fans, friends and colleagues, as this wonderful collage reflects!” –Marilyn & Billy

CHIC COLLAGE

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., 2008-2017, all rights reserved)

It’s Fun to Vote!

ITS FUN to VOTE! Our good friends at REWOUND RADIO feature the memorable tunes & current happenings of The 5th Dimension/McCoo-Davis legacy all year through! Please support their annual event–now in its 20th year!–and cast your personal top 10 votes for the Top 77 songs of all time. It’s easy & fun to choose your all-time favorites of the Rock n’ Soul era…to be unveiled between Christmas & New Year week. Happy 20th, Rewound!

Fans & friends, go here & “do what you wanna do!”:

http://musicradio77.com/voting2017.html

A Stellar Marilyn & Billy Honor Dionne Warwick at Heartwarming Event

A Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive Review by Robert-Allan Arno

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Marilyn & Billy (also on the big screen) are joined by Darlene Love and Russell Thompkins, Jr. & the new Stylistics, giving a “Then Came You” musical homage to Dionne Warwick

The City of Brotherly Love became even more enchanting than its usual likeable self as the prestigious Marion Anderson Award–reflecting the historically celebrated essence of the trailblazing African American contralto–was given to Dionne Warwick at the spectacular Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia on Tuesday, November 14. And there to honor the Songstress of Smooth were recording impresario Clive Davis, local radio legend Jerry Blavat as MC, the powerful Darlene Love, the sentimentally soulful Russell Thompkins Jr. & the new Stylistics, and our very own Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

KC 6Introduced by Blavat with a cute, “Do you remember that beautiful girl from The 5th Dimension and her handsome boyfriend,” it wasn’t too far of a stretch as the eternally youthful Marilyn & Billy–now married 48 years–entered the cavernous hall with a rousing “Up-Up and Away.” Followed by “You Don’t Have to Be a Star,” and an ovation-inducing “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” the duo made timeless tunes seem all the more age-proof with their pristine notes and energetic verve.  Indeed, McCoo delivered rich tones and scaled her trademark highs while Davis was at his “crystalline crisp” R&B best, not to mention presenting it all with welcomed agile “MarBill” dance moves n’ grooves.

KC 9A sleekly gowned Marilyn emoted, “We find Dionne Warwick to be one of our greatest contemporaries,” while the debonair Billy added, “If we’re appearing in the same town, we never miss a chance to see her.” Marilyn then shared with a confidential air, “When The 5th Dimension was planning its second TV special, we asked Dionne to be our guest, and we couldn’t believe she accepted! The songs that Florence (LaRue) and I performed with Dionne…I can’t tell you how much we learned from her.” Dionne nowIn response, Miss Warwick was beaming from her royal box seat. “Dionne, this one’s just for you,” Billy introduced as the strains of “I Know I’ll Never Love this Way Again” began. Turning Lady W’s hit into a classic “MarBill” duet for the occasion was a stroke of genius, with kudos going to Music Director, Darrell AlstonKC 10

At the backstage hospitality suite, Marilyn mentioned to me about their final song choice, “We wanted to do something special for this event.” I noted, “This could have been on THE MANY FACES OF LOVE project.” Marilyn and Billy responded simultaneously, “We thought of that and may just continue including it in our current shows!” It was much fun to visit with the ingratiating twosome trading all sorts of endearing stories…also joining were eternal fans Susie Paige, Cynthia Malachi White, plus (pictured) Philly musician Samadhi X Koamane and his brother Nemon who presented Marilyn with a one-of-a-kind piece from his jewelry line of “wearable art.” Before our final hugs, Marilyn and Billy mentioned, “Please tell everyone we look forward to seeing them next on the Colors of Christmas tour!”

Backstage Visit, l to r: Koamane, Billy, Robert, Marilyn and Nemon

colorsFor more information about the Colors of Christmas tour, Dec. 3-17:  https://www.thecolorsofchristmas.com/

Enjoy Marilyn & Florence with Dionne in “She’s A Lady”:  https://youtu.be/gcvM7RGJWKs

Marilyn & Florence trade hits with Dionne–“Up-Up and Away,” “Save the Country,” “Sweet Blindness,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Walk on By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,”– watch here:  https://youtu.be/D7RK_15gecM

“Like” Marilyn & Billy’s Official FB page, follow them on Twitter @mccoodavis or visit them at:  http://www.mccoodavis,com

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Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. with their Social Media representative & biographer of The Original 5th Dimension, Robert-Allan Arno

Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., copyright ’08-2017, intellectual property, all rights reserved.