Happy Birthday, LaMonte McLemore–An Eternal Visionary Who Cares…

MAC BDAY FINAL COLLAGE 17

As posted on LaMonte’s Facebook Page:

Fans & friends, this is LaMonte McLemore’s biographer, Robert-Allan Arno, taking a special moment to “curate” as we say these days, Mac’s page. Today, Sept 17 is his birthday. I have had the pleasure of growing up with The Original 5th Dimension as my personal heroes on many levels, and LaMonte is someone I have gotten to know intensively this past decade as we’ve worked on his inspiring, now hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” plus a wide array of social media endeavors and media appearances. The spirit of excellence “The 5th” always stood for was manifested by its founder, LaMonte. His keen “visionary eye” has so much to do with seeing the best in people, and not taking “no” until they see it for themselves and then realize their true potential. For all my accomplishments as an actor/announcer and teacher, it was Mac who stepped forward to edify my gifts in new ways. I’m sure, you too have a similar story. Right?

Whether you’ve sung on “parallel stages” to LaMonte’s harmonies, played baseball with him, been beautifully photographed by him, befriended by and inevitably made to laugh by him, whether you’re an eternal fan of “Champagne Soul”…his elemental kindness has changed lives.  It’s what his cherished Grandma Gertrude always taught him as a young boy, and it’s his lifetime motto: “We’re only in this world to help one another.” Please join me on this thread, on this page, to salute an artist, a singer, songwriter, photographer, an ultimate humanitarian on the occasion of his birthday. With Love, my big brother, and wishes for God’s continued abundant blessings, I say “Happy Birthday, LaMonte!”  –“Rev. Arno”

Fans & friends, go to CD Baby right now, to hear a sample of & purchase for download LaMonte’s new sweet-Soul, harmonic dance tune, I WISH I COULD FALL IN LOVE at this link:

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore2

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Introducing “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room”: Your Questions Requested!

LIVING LIVING LIVINGINTRODUCING “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room“…and Special Fans, YOU’RE INVITED! Over the past 9 years, each time the globally-acclaimed FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog has had the pleasure of interviewing the 7-time Grammy award-winning “First Couple of Pop & Soul,” hands-down your consistent feedback has been: “It’s like I’m in their living room, being part of the conversation with Marilyn and Billy!” The blog’s creator and trusted biographer of The Original 5th Dimension, Robert-Allan Arno observes, “In my warm chats with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve talked the music of a lifetime including ‘going deep’ with rarities, we’ve even done mini-Master Classes in singing interpretation! And we’ve never excluded keeping it faith-based while weaving in all the burning questions fans have wanted to hear!”

Now it’s your chance to ask those questions directly to “MarBill!” Submit them at the relevant thread on their Official Facebook page*— about the music, the historic recordings, memorable stage & media appearances, about marriage, faith…and even fashion!  But no more than TWO questions per fan, please (due to space limitations)! Our first edition will festively be unveiled at the FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog (right here!) on Marilyn’s birthday, Sept. 30, 2017.  (Questions will be compiled and a curated selection will be submitted to Marilyn & Billy by Sept. 15…so they have time to answer!)  So Fans & Friends, please begin leaving your questions at the thread (on the Official Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Facebook page*)  and thank you for your cooperation and enthusiasm! –“Team MarBill”

 *Go to the Official Marilyn & Billy Facebook page at:
Black White Columbus Day

Summer Highlight: Florence LaRue joins Jimmy Webb!

Flor and JimmySummer ’17 Highlight! In late July, the vibrant Florence LaRue joined Jimmy Webb onstage at his acoustic concert, Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. The two celebrated the 50th anniversary of UP-UP AND AWAY, performing a delightfully rousing version of the multi-Grammy award winner penned by Webb, a signature hit for The 5th Dimension. Ms. LaRue also celebrates 5 decades with the quintet, today she leads the current 5th Dimension to sold-out shows, globally.  Special note: Two fan-favorite “Florence solos”: THIS IS YOUR LIFE and MAGIC IN MY LIFE from the “Portrait” and “Earthbound” albums, respectively were written (and the latter produced) by Webb.  –Robert-Allan Arno

RARE ALTERN 5th

Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for concert schedule & more at: http://florencelarure.com or  http://5thdimensionlive.com

 

LaMonte McLemore releases new tune…and you can dance to it!

I WISH I COULD FALL IN LOVEIntroducing LaMonte McLemore‘s new song available for download right now at CD Baby! Mac enthuses, “This is the type of dance tune I always wanted The Original 5th Dimension to record!” The Grammy legend explains, “Now I get to conceive it with a 2017 spin…featuring the talented Julio Hanson in the sweet-soul, harmonic driver’s seat!”JULIO

Vegas Mac Glover TwoComing on the heels of McLemore’s viral sensation, CEASE FIRE (a call for world peace), I WISH I COULD FALL IN LOVE switches themes, repping Mac’s versatile vision. And yet the elemental message of “love” always manifests where LaMonte travels artistically. –Robert-Allan Arno

Fans & friends, go to CD Baby right now, to hear a sample of & purchase for download I WISH I COULD FALL IN LOVE at this link:

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore2

LaMonte says: “Thanks, all, for the great response so far…”

The fans say: 

Chazz Dixon I like!

Alain Baptiste We highly recommend this harmony laden and sweet new dance tune from our hero, Mr. LaMonte McLemore.  —Mariette and Alain Baptiste

Evelyn Geatros I love the new song LaMonte! It has a great beat!!
 

Douglas C. Charles Woo Hoo!!

Sandra Davis I just ordered your new song!

Oscar Sheppard Sounds great!

Byron J Woods Sounding good!! Much success on the new groove LaMonte!

 

This Week: Marilyn & Billy Chat on Radio…Sing at Feinstein’s, San Francisco

StarMcCoo-and-Davis-hugging-from-The-Brokaw-Co_WEB

Fans and friends know, each time their “MarBill” makes a media or stage appearance, the duo likes to bring something “fresh” to the festivities. The First Couple of Pop & Soul will be gracing the west coast airwaves both on Thursday and Friday, talking about their shows this week, Aug. 17-19 at the intimately posh Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco. There, they’ll celebrate #SummerofLove50 with the tastiest Pop, R & B, Blues, Torch and Broadway in town…gold & platinum hits galore and sweet surprises as the 7-time Grammy winners are sure to dazzle.

You can hear McCoo and Davis “live” talking about their Feinstein’s engagement and more—those charming “MarBill” stories including their recent 48th wedding anniversary!—this Thursday on KALW Radio, on the “Open /Air” show. Listen between 1 & 2 pm, pacific time, or starting 4 pm eastern:

Now hear the podcast at:

http://kalw.org/post/mccoo-and-davis-nikko-mendelssohn-s-elijah-something-rotten

Then on Friday, the twosome joins award-winning actor, comedian & author, Brian Copeland on K-Go Radio for a full half hour, 2:15-2:45 pm, pacific time, or starting 5:15 pm eastern:

Now hear the archive of this absolutely lively, charming interview at:

http://www.kgoradio.com/briancopeland/

It’s #SummerofLove50, MarBill-style…in concert-cabaret, chatting on the radio…making August 2017 “a nicer place,” indeed!  –Robert-Allan Arno

Seats are Limited*…

*Now Sold Out!!

See Marilyn & Billy at Feinstein’s at the Nikko this Thurs – Sat, Aug. 17-19…

For tix and more information: 

http://www.feinsteinsatthenikko.com/calendar/

9th Anniversary Edition of Forever 5th Dimension

9th ANNIVERSARY COLLAGE TWO9 years ago, while sitting in Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.’s suite, post-show at the Cafe Carlyle, during our “cozy catch-up” visit I presented the concept of the “Forever 5th Dimension” blog-magazine.  It was met with immediate instinctual approval by “MarBill” with Billy smiling, “I like the title,” and Marilyn adding with a wink, “I’d read it!”  And that they both have, with such kind and astute validation & participation over these past 9 years where we first started on MySpace and migrated over to WordPress in recent years!

After decades of affiliation with my heroes, the members of The Original 5th Dimension, these past 9 years have been cherished for so many reasons, the adventures we’ve shared alone are thrilling: the St. Louis Walk of Fame Induction of The 5th Dimension, the Friar’s Club salute to Marilyn & Billy, the book launch in Vegas of LaMonte McLemore’s memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” for which I am the co-author, helping promote Florence LaRue’s astounding one-woman “Jazz a LaRue!” show at NYC’s Metropolitan Room and our attending some Broadway shows together to toast it all!  PLAYLIST SCAN 001Compiling tunes with the group’s members and doing liners for “Playlist” for Sony just like we did with “Ultimate 5th Dimension” was “scholarly hip”…and of course, reporting on the countless sold-out, ovation inducing concert events of Marilyn & Billy (the First Couple of Pop n’ Soul) and the indomitable Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension (including Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker & Floyd Smith) is simply sensational!  And our worldwide fan participation for each of our star’s birthdays is always an awesome “sunshine” celebration!  Marilyn & Billy, Florence and LaMonte (plus Kyle Townson who is so supportive in repping his beloved dad, Ron)–each of them are not only cherished friends but mentoring colleagues who are a total pleasure to work with…their taste and faithful ethic are unparalleled. It just makes sense that the essence of The 5th Dimension brought our world together in harmony during the turbulent times of the late ’60’s/early 70’s…and it’s a blessing that these artists continue to enthrall us with such magic and energy, today.  Also the support of another personal mentor, renowned producer Bones Howe is never forgotten.

DANCING

The Original 5th Dimension

So, in celebrating our 9th year, I want to conclude with a few links to some of my favorite editions…as we look forward to new horizons from our favorite stars…that’s what “Forever 5th” is all about!  In  gratitude, Robert-Allan Arno

–2 summers ago, Marilyn & Billy stopped by for this “super-sized” edition of FOREVER 5th called “Singing in the Light.” We had so much fun going deep into sentimental recordings, answering fan questions…we actually laughed and cried!  Take a look back, here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/marilyn-billy-singing-in-the-light/

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     If you’re reading FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, then you’re well-acquainted with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.:  the seven-time Grammy winning founding members and former lead singer…

–This past February’s special edition for Black History Month featured a charming segment on the timeless Florence’s milestone birthday soire with heartfelt thoughts from our “delightful diva,” herself and special photo ops.  We include The 5th’s recognition by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, too. Read “Celebrating A Legacy” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/celebrating-a-legacy/

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Honoring Black History Month ’17– a Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive Report by Robert-Allan Arno Museum Display– Here’s a lively backstage photo of The …

–It took 4 years to co-pen LaMonte’s now hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music,” and Mac & I would never trade the excavating experience for anything in the word, lol!  We celebrated the book’s launch in  early ’15, an “afternoon in Vegas” via “Mac & Arno’s onstage chat show” with special guests Marilyn & Billy (and proclamations from Florence and Bones)…and then we attended MarBill’s stellar Valentine’s show that evening! Read all about it here aka “Valentine’s in Vegas: Mac’s New Book, MarBill’s Sold-Out Show”: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/lamonte-marilyn-billy-macs-new-book-marbills-sold-out-show/

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LaMonte, Marilyn & Billy: a Valentine’s in Vegas Escapade! by Robert-Allan Arno Dateline Feb 14: “After all, The 5th Dimension stood for love,” is part of …

–Remembering Ron “Sweets” Townson’s birthday is always important at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION. But for our 9th anniversary, we also acknowledge the recent anniversary of his passing, Aug. 2, 2001.  Let’s put the spotlight on his lasting musical legacy with a look at our most comprehensive salute ever, experience “Sweet Memories of Sweets” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/celebrating-ron-townsons-birthday/

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SWEET MEMORIES OF “SWEETS” by Robert-Allan Arno As we honor his official birth date (it’s January 29 and not the 20th as so many sites state in inadvertent error) at “Foreve…

–We have some nifty interviews with Bones Howe in our archive (the old MySpace days!) and will bring you some excerpts–by popular request– in the near future!

Lovely Quotes from Lovely People:

“Robert, no one can weave all of those elements about our music together in a superb lyrical tapestry like you do. You have a way with words that is truly God’s gift to you.” —Marilyn McCoo

“I’m  so proud of the work Robert does for The 5th Dimension’s biography and my own, I’ve truly learned so much from him!”–LaMonte McLemore

“Robert is ‘The 6th Dimension!’”–Florence LaRue on Rewound Radio

“Robert, you never cease to amaze us! Know how much we appreciate you & your involvement in our life & career over the years. With so much knowledge to share, you bring a spirit of excellence to all that you do. We love you!”  —Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

“Robert brings his rare passion to The 5th Dimension legacy, he is wonderful in  keeping us fresh in his creativity.”–Bones Howe, The 5th Dimension Producer

Essential Links:

RARE FLOR WINGS

The Delightful Florence LaRue

Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for concert schedule & more at: http://florencelarure.com or  http://5thdimensionlive.com

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First Couple of Pop & Soul

Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. for appearances & more at: Facebook Official, on Twitter @mccoodavis  or at:  http://www.mccoodavis.com

book coverVisit LaMonte McLemore on: Facebook, Twitter @LaMonteMcLemore, and Linked-in

Purchase Mac’s 5-star hit memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5TH DIMENSION at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487528579&sr=8-1&keywords=hobo+flats+to+5th+dimension

Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum of Sterling Winters

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-17, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved)

Happy 48th Anniversary: A Salute to Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.’s Greatest Duet Hits

MARBILL 48 Collage

Summer is always a sentimental time for fans of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., for July 26 is the date of their wedding anniversary, this year marks 48 years!  The seven-time Grammy winning founding members and former lead singers of legends The 5th Dimension, the scintillating “You Don’t Have to be a Star” duo who have shone brightly on “TV and stage” for decades are a timeless pair.

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McCoo & Davis: Timeless

Indeed, the beauteous McCoo and the distinguished Davis continue to perform to the best reviews of their career.  Just recently they honored Jimmy Webb at Carnegie Hall, stopping the show with their 50th anniversary rendition of “Up-Up and Away.”  And coming up next month, as part of the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love,” the twosome will present their own love songs, hits, torch and blues at Feinstein’s at the Nikko, August 17-19 in San Francisco. But enough with “the 50th” because for our “MarBill” it’s merely their 48th! In celebration, a sampling of special fans have participated in the following survey to honor their Greatest Duet Hits. And when it’s all been said, in making such artistic choices an extension of  our affection for the “Sweethearts of Pop n’ Soul,” we’d like to express our heartfelt congratulations and blessings on the occasion of your 48th anniversary, Marilyn & Billy.  With Love, Robert & The Special Fans

I HOPE ALBUMThe Question:  If there would be an ULTIMATE McCOO & DAVIS GREATEST HITS CD featuring your favorites of their recorded DUETS, what personal top 5 (in no necessary order) would you choose? Pick singles and/or album tracks from their 4 primary duet projects (“I Hope We Get to Love in Time,” “The Two of Us,” “Marilyn & Billy,” “The Many Faces of Love,”)…or from their select Original 5th Dimension duets….or perhaps inspirational tunes like “Praise Ye the Lord” or “Keep the Lovelight Burning”…then there’s “I Believe in You and Me,” a duet featured on Marilyn’s solo album…etc., and THANK YOU for your participation!

The Fans Respond:

Brian Medoro Your Love, Together Let’s Find Love, Look What You’ve Done To My Heart, My Very Special Darling, What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)RARE YOUR LOVE

Robyn Pippins Hi Robert, my top 5 would be You Don’t Have To Be A Star, In My Lifetime, You Are So Beautiful, Your Love, and The Two of Us.STAR SINGLE

Alain Baptiste My Love For You Will Always Be The Same, Nightsong, I Got Love For You, Just Once and our fifth is every other one they recorded! Happy Anniversary, Mariette and Alain

Paul Corley Perfect Dancer, Bye Bye Baby (w/ The Versatiles), There’s Got To Be a Happy Ending, We’ve Got To Get It On Again, The Times

RARE 8 TRACK

Remember 8 Tracks?!

Jim Handakas I Believe In You and Me, The Two of Us, Carry Me, So Many Things for Free, You Don’t Have to Be a StarI believe in you and me

Deniserose Torres How Do You Keep the Music Playing, Look What You’ve Done to My Heart, I Thought It Took A Little (But Today I Fell In Love), Keep The Lovelight Burning…. there is about a 7 way tie for a 5th song…but I will go with The Two of Us.MANY FACES

Loretta Sorensen I always had poor decision making skills causing me anxiety! But this is a nice and gentle anxiety ’cause it involves Marilyn & Billy – ha ha! My favs are Bobbie’s Blues, What Does It Take, Your Love, We Can Work It Out and You Don’t Have to Be A Star!

Estes John My Reason to Be is You, Keep the Lovelight Burning, How Do You Keep the Music Playing, Love all the Hurt Away, Look What You’ve Done to My Heart

SHINE ON DISCORARE SILVER MOONSusie Paige Shine on Silver Moon, You Don’t Have to Be a Star, What Does it Take, The Two of Us, Praise Ye the Lord

BILLY DREAM

“Praise Ye” appears on “The Love of God”

Douglas C. Charles Wishing these two Lovebirds the best of Anniversaries – and many more joyous ones to come. My “top 5” – Look What You’ve Done To My Heart, Your Love, Bobbie’s Blues, Every Night and My Very Special DarlingRARE LWYD HEART

Renee T Armstead I have to say for the first one What Does It Take. Then Bobbie’s Blues, and Your Precious Love. Also, Soul and Inspiration, Together Let’s Find Love5th-dimension-together-lets-find-love-bellSusan Aglio Every Night, What Does it Take, Soul and Inspiration, I Believe in You and Me, and I Hope We Get to Love in Time. And I just have to add one more…Keep the Lovelight Burning!

the me nobody

“Lovelight” appears on “The Me Nobody Knows”

Dale Kocik You Don’t Have To Be A Star, Your Love, Every Night, Together Let’s Find Love, Soul and Inspiration.

YOUR LOVE SINGLEAndy Gard Your Love, Your Precious Love, Soul and Inspiration, My Reason To Be Is You, Carry MeMarilyn and Billy Album

Elston Harry (of The Friends of Distinction) We Can Work it Out, Love all the Hurt Away

TOGETHER LETS FINDRobert-Allan Arno Gonna take a crack at this myself. I find the following 1st duet album sequence miraculously indelible:  I Still Will Be With You, Never Gonna Let You Go, Nothing Can Stop Me. Then, Praise Ye the Lord. Finally, I will “cheat” by combining Together Let’s Find Love in “mash-up” with You Are So Beautiful!

 

Sweet Tweets!  Marilyn & Billy Tweeted @mccoodavis their own day-by-day Anniversary Countdown with links to these musical gems….

Special Thanks to Steve Rosenblum at Sterling-Winters

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