Sept 17: It’s LaMonte Day!

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Dateline Sept 17:  Today is “LaMonte McLemore Day!” as we celebrate the birthday of a great man– the founder & legendary mellow bass of the multi-Grammy winning The 5th Dimension, world-famous photographer, inspirational author & humorist…and so much more. As Mac’s biographer, I’m toasting a man whose creative vision & caring friendship is an indelibly fortunate part of my life. Please join me in honoring LaMonte with your own wishes, special memories and/or sweet stories here, at his Twitter or Linked-In, and especially on his lively Facebook page! “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension”…to many more magical journeys– we love ya, LaMonte, God bless! —Robert-Allan Arno
#LaMonteMcLemoreDay

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Mac Links!:

book coverGet the exciting (2nd edition) hit memoir, by McLemore & Arno, FROM HOBO FLATS to THE 5TH DIMENSION, recommended by McCoo/Davis, Sedaka, Mathis and Nancy Sinatra at: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

TV Awesomeness! View LaMonte with host Kelly Wright on the “Beyond the Dream” series:  http://video.foxnews.com/v/5065597260001/beyond-the-dream-lamonte-mclemores-life-journey/?#sp=show-clips

Enjoy this mega-fan fave, penned by LaMonte, from the seminal PORTRAIT album:  “Wanting to be together, yet wanting to be free,” it’s A LOVE LIKE OURS at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsnZ6GC9dh8

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The Original 5th Dimension, 1969, Vogue Magazine

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-2016 is a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved)

Happy 47th, Marilyn & Billy–Sweethearts of Pop n’ Soul

new marbill don' likeFOREVER 5th DIMENSION is so pleased to celebrate the 47th wedding anniversary of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., those forever fresh “sweethearts of Pop n’ Soul.”  Touring to the best reviews of their career with both sizzling concert evenings and special Broadway-like “Up-Up and Away–a musical fable” extravaganzas, these 7-time Grammy winners are timeless treasures in our lives.  How do we count the ways?  How about a retrospective featuring our recent favorite interview with the dynamic duo and links to some FOREVER 5th DIMENSION duet rarities from our popular YouTube channel…plus select fan greetings AND a gracious note from “MarBill,” themselves. Oh, and exclusive on-stage photos from Theater at Westbury this past June!  Join us, as we honor Marilyn and Billy…and all the love, harmony, and artistic excellence they stand for.  —Robert-Allan Arno

Singing in the Light CollageFave Q & A:
Among the many interviews we’ve done over the years, this is a true fan-fave. The engaging duo joined me here at FOREVER 5th a year ago to have some “coffee talk” as we laughed, cried and shared some pretty unique thoughts on the music, the magic and even had a mini Master Class. Read “Marilyn & Billy: Singing in the Light” at:  https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/marilyn-billy-singing-in-the-light/

 

Take a MarBill Listen:

Researching“You Make Me Feel Brand New”–With over 135 THOUSAND views, this has become a bona fide YouTube hit, from the duo’s recent THE MANY FACES OF LOVE project.  We proudly note, our FOREVER 5th production of the tune was chosen to play on-screen in introducing Marilyn & Billy as they accepted the prestigious Gordon Parks award.  Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5wCOLnn0F8

marilyn-mccoo“I Hope We Get to Love in Time, Live”–Ultra-rare, we remastered this from the beloved “Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Show.” The first African-American married couple to have their own variety series, this “live” version of the title tune from Marilyn & Billy’s first duet album is adored by fans, courtesy of JuneBug Productions.  And there’s a bonus…wait to the end and hear the show’s closing tune, “The Two of Us” (and try not to shed a sentimental tear!)  Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cp2TTx4wo4

Soul Soul Soul“Soul and Inspiration, Un-vaulted”–As lead singers of The Original 5th Dimension, by ’74 producer Bones Howe wanted to open the album of the same title not only with a Marilyn & Billy duet, but with a retro feel. The actual disc featured a different mix and solely Billy doing the “recitation”…we got the OK to release from the vaults a taste of the original…more horns, and more so, Marilyn complimenting Billy, beautifully in her spoken word response.  Approved by “MarBill” themselves, we’ll call this a gem!  Link:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-vRlvNUPzY

marBill 2“Praise Ye The Lord”–From Billy’s Gospel project, re-issued as “The Love of God,” Marilyn is “special guest” on a song that the duo performed for Pope John Paul II.  This inspirational recording has become an Easter perennial for fans, yet is a faith-based song for all seasons.  Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTRtdfjm4ng

RARE MARBILL ARMS“I’m So Glad I Found You”–Part Motown homage a la Marvin & Tammi, part Jazzy note-bending call & response with a tip of the hat to Marilyn’s roots with the Hi-Fi’s and Billy’s on the early eclectic club scene.  “I’m So Glad…” had previously only appeared as a flip-side to the single “I Hope We Get to Love In Time,” circa ’76 and resurfaced as a bonus to the expanded re-issue of Marilyn & Billy’s second duet album, “The Two of Us.”  By fan request, we produced this “goodie” for FOREVER 5th.  Link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q5iBOCsDg4

Here’s a montage…
of extraordinary on-stage shots…we were in the front row of Theater at Westbury to cheer on MarBill’s “Up-Up and Away–a musical fable” tour, something that should be destined for Broadway, itself.  My guest, “Pastor Martha” took these in June, we saved them just for you, the fans, for this anniversary edition, so enjoy!  And for our FOREVER 5th DIMENSION review of the show (“Marilyn & Billy Bring An Irresistible Musical Fable”), now also featured at www.mccoodavis.com, go here:  https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/marilyn-billy-bring-an-irresistible-musical-fable/
Here’s an array of greetings from special fans, friends & media pros, not only celebrating MarBill’s anniversary but noting some favorite tunes, especially from their seminal first duet recording–the “I Hope We Get to Love in Time” album:

John Van Camp Congratulations Marilyn and Billy! We’ll give you a shout-out Tuesday morning on BossBossRadio.com on the morning show between 6 & 9 am, PDT.

Dale Kocik Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing your talent and kindness with the world.  Love them all but if I absolutely had to pick a favorite it would be “Together Lets Find Love,”…and “Every Night.”  I had to throw a second favorite in there!

 William Q. Singleton (aka Bill Quinn, Metromedia Radio) Marilyn and Billy, congratulations on 47 years of wedded bliss, and thank you for your amazing gift of music to the world!

Susie Paige Sending Philly love your way

Susie Paige's photo.

Susan Aglio Happy Anniversary, Marilyn and Billy!! Blessings to both of you!
Hiromi Hirahata Congratulations to the most beautiful couple! I wish you two have a wonderful anniversary and many more happy years together.

Jim Handakas Your abiding respect and love for each other transcends your beautiful music. Thank you for sharing so freely with so many of us. It’s been a joyous ride.

Robyn Pippins Dear Marilyn & Billy, I want to wish you a Happy 47th Anniversary. I love your singing, but what I love most about you, is the love and respect you have for each other.  David Roberson Happy anniversary, Marilyn and Billy! Best wishes for many more.

Estes John Happy Anniversary to our beloved musical couple, still going strong after all of these years. I love almost every track on this (your first duet) album but my all time favorite is the hit and Grammy winner “You Don’t Have To Be A Star” and “My Love For You…”
Alain Baptiste My wife and I loved Marilyn and Billy as teens and of course still do, their book is on our “best shelf” and LaMonte McLemore‘s memoir, as well! The song NOTHING CAN STOP ME is too beautiful for words. Happy Anniversary and God bless from Mariette and Alain
Janice Berte Happy Anniversary Billy and Marilyn. You both are INCREDIBLE!
Deniserose Torres God has blessed us with your music, may He continue to bless you with love and happiness. Happy Anniversary.  My favorites (from your first duet album) – “Never Gonna Let You Go, ” “My Love for You (Will Always be the Same),” “You Can’t Change My Heart,” and of course, “You Don’t Have to be a Star.”
Marilyn+McCoo+Billy+Davis+Jr+Wildlife+WayStation+SIoD42FOyjOxJohn Howton Congrats to Marilyn & Billy. And thank you for your timeless music & for being such a “class act” always! As a matter of fact, I was hiking today & listening to my tunes & had my tunes on “shuffle” when all of a sudden “Black Patch” came on!! I must have replayed it no less than 5 times – in AWE of those GORGEOUS harmonies!!! Luv u two!
Paul Corley Congratulations on your 47th anniversary, Marilyn and Billy! From your first duet with The Versatiles, “Bye, Bye Baby,” to your current “Up, Up, and Away–a musical fable” tour, you have generously shared your love and talent with rest of the world. Thank you for your grace and style, and for the joy that you have given to your numerous fans.
Martha E. Vink Happy Anniversary, Marilyn and Billy! Your love and faith shine from you, and you inspire us all. May God continue to bless you with love and laughter, and bless us with YOU, for years and years to come!
Renee T Armstead Hi Marilyn and Billy: Happy 47th wedding anniversary! You are a wonderful example for the institution of marriage. May you share many more years together. Love to you both.
Andy Gard Beyond your obvious musical gifts, you two are a (well-matched) pair of quality human beings, and the comments on here speak to that. Wishing you many more years of love and happiness.
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Dreams Come True
A Commentary by Robert-Allan Arno
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Marilyn and Billy have supported the FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog since its inception–when they literally encouraged my developing the concept, 8 years ago…yes, it’s our anniversary, too!  They’ve not only read each edition with relish, watched the YouTubes and given kudos, but on a personal level, they’ve watched out for my “other career” in acting, and voice-acting.  They’ve tuned in to every appearance I’ve made on national TV as a Bible reader on THE SUNDAY MASS broadcast, and so much more.  And LaMonte McLemore and I can never, ever forget their special attendance at our Las Vegas book launch of Mac’s memoir, something I had the honor to co-write, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION.

MCCOO DAVIS ARNO BLACK WHITE

As a kid growing up on Long Island, learning “The Declaration (of Independence)” with the rest of you based on The 5th Dimension’s recording, Marilyn, Billy, Florence, LaMonte and the beloved Ron were cool n’ classy heroes that represented a brighter day.  They were proof positive that talent and a work ethic could create beauty and unity. They were the catalyst for dreams that could come true. And this blog and their loyalty and encouragement is in many ways, part of their earliest promise, made in the lyrics of Jimmy Webb’s “Up-Up and Away”: “If you hold my hand, we’ll chase your dream across the sky…for we can fly.”  And did we fly!!  Here’s to more, wherever that beautiful balloon takes us, in God’s time and eternal wisdom. 

Happy 47th Anniversary Marilyn & Billy, with much Love,

Robert

A Letter from Marilyn & Billy, July 2016

Dear Robert,

We want to thank you for all of the wonderful work you do on the Forever 5th Blog.  What a beautiful retrospective of our lives!  It’s so full of our memories and experiences, and you’ve laid it out in such a riveting way that certainly holds one’s attention.   There are unexpected moments, intermingled with special events that forever stand out in our minds.  You’ve found photos that we haven’t seen in years, many we’ve forgotten we’d taken, special times when the group enjoyed private laughs (and Lamonte’s jokes!) about what was happening at that very moment.  How you’ve found those photos and instinctively know their importance continues to amaze us.  The blog is a special revisiting of our lives, our appearances and interviews, our accomplishments.

Black White Columbus Day

Thank you again for the time, thought and energy you put into the chronicling of Florence’s, Lamonte’s, Ronald’s and our lives.  We don’t know how many times, or in how many ways, we can tell you what a blessing you are!  We continue to watch what you’re doing and the goals you’re striving toward so we can give you the encouragement and support you constantly give us.

With our love and appreciation always,

Billy & Marilyn

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Visit Marilyn & Billy at  www.mccoodavis.com or at their official Facebook page

Special thanks to Martha Vink, for photos from her exclusive collection

Many thanks to the fans for your comments & enthusiasm, and to Sterling/Winters–Kathy and  Steve–and to Randall, LaMonte and Florence, always.

(Forever 5th Dimension, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved, copyright 2008-16, Robert-Allan Arno)

Celebrating Billy’s Birthday with a Rare One!

It’s The 5th Dimension as The Versatiles!

Dateline June 26–We’re honoring the birthday of Billy Davis, Jr. with a rare landmark recording, as featured in this YouTube for FOREVER 5th DIMENSION.  According to group founder LaMonte McLemore, “Everyone thinks we started in ’67 because of ‘Up-Up and Away,’ but I formed the group in late ’65.” LaMonte, Billy, along with Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue, and Ron Townson were known as The Versatiles then, before manager Marc Gordon convinced them to go find a hipper moniker. This tune, “You’re Good Enough for Me” was the A-side of The Versatile’s only single on Bronco Records (produced and co-written in ’65 by Gordon). And it’s notable that the quintet had initial interest in recording for Motown, for surely this production had that company’s flavor. McLemore adds, “It’s good we didn’t go with Motown and that Marc got us connected with Johnny Rivers’s Soul City Records and the music of Jimmy Webb…our eventual sound wound up un-matched!” True, yet this single side is quite unique, too, as it brings us the roots of The 5th Dimension and one of Mr. Billy Davis, Jr.’s earliest leads.

RARE ED SULLIVAN

For his birthday, the fans at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION have been celebrating Billy’s many memorable solos with “The 5th”: The still-timely tour-de-force, “A Change is Gonna Come,” the sweet-Soul of “Summer’s Daughter” and “Misty Roses,” the inspirational “Leave A Little Room,” and the raucous romp of recovery in “Feelin’ Alright.” Along with the passion of “Requiem: 820 Latham,” “Let It Be Me,” and “The Worst that Could Happen,” Billy Davis Jr’s musical exploits bring out equally-impassioned sentiments from fans old and new. It’s no wonder luminaries like the aforementioned Webb, the late Maurice White and Gerald Levert of Earth, Wind & Fire and The O’Jay’s, respectively, and former band-mates McLemore and LaRue have labeled him one of our greatest Soul singers. Most certainly, his wife of soon-to-be 47 years, the ever-lovely Ms. McCoo warmly and pridefully concurs.

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Gentleman of Soul

As The Original 5th Dimension’s biographer, I dub Billy Davis, Jr. our Gentleman of Soul. As we wish him a blessed birthday with this early gem, it’s remarkable that this may not have exactly foreshadowed the perfect jewels to come, but was a charming start, one The 5th eventually would have fun “spoofing” in concert and on TV (The Flip Wilson Show). Today, on the occasion of Mr. Davis’s birthday, we can look back on “You’re Good Enough for Me” with a smile, a finger-snap and a strut in our step. —Robert-Allan Arno

Special thanks to Paul Corley–this rare single is from his exclusive collection.

More thanks to the special fans, and to the stars: Billy, Marilyn, Florence and LaMonte. Also to Sterling Winters.

Photos: The Arno 5th Legacy Collection, DeniseRose Torres and Getty Images

LaMonte McLemore’s hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” is available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692307362

Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. at http://www.mccoodavis.com

Visit Florence LaRue and The 5th Dimension, today at: http://the5thdimensionlive.com/

Robert-Allan Arno is at: http://www.about.me/robertallanarno

WESTBURY DAVIS A, M CROPP FB

Billy, Robert, Marilyn, June 2016

(FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, copyright 2016, The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved)

Marilyn & Billy Bring An Irresistible Musical Fable

Unforgettable two Gen Bob Photog

Review–Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. in “Up, Up and Away, a Musical Fable,” Theater at Westbury, Long Island, June 9, 2016

by Robert-Allan Arno

This is the type of “review” which can be deemed as subjective and objective.  Not only am I the biographer of The Original 5th Dimension and its founder, LaMonte McLemore, but the Theater at Westbury, once known as Westbury Music Fair, was sacred home for the many times I had seen the original quintet perform while I grew up on Long Island. And so as the evening’s overture played, I sighed, “Now, this is full-circle!” then wondered quickly, “Has the beautiful balloon finally landed?” About the latter, no possible way.  If anything, it soars higher than ever. Marilyn McCoo remains as gorgeous as her legendary octaves do; Billy Davis, Jr. is our true Gentleman of Soul.  Their Broadway-like presentation, “Up, Up and Away, A Musical Fable” (which I keep accidentally calling “a musical fantasy!”) is a revelation even for someone like myself.  And by the way, “fantasy” fits this bill–you have to keep pinching yourself that what you’re seeing and hearing is a reality. That McCoo-Davis individually collective sound, the moves, the back-up singers, the top-flight band (led by Darrell Alston) are all so exquisitely pristine yet astute that we get to see the movies of our minds…live!  unforgettable nine gen bob

From the first strains of their signature “Up-Up and Away” to the last of “Let the Sunshine In” and its “Aquarius” mash-up mate, we’re taken on one heart-tugging, joyful and exhilarating ride.  Marilyn and Billy commence with a “Where or When” sampler through everything from Billy’s Blues roots, Marilyn’s torch inclinations, “Solid Gold” days, “Showboat” and “Dreamgirls,” in a way that’s seamlessly autobiographical.  It’s clear that both McCoo and Davis were virtual child prodigies who made their dreams including Broadway stints and TV series, come true.  “You Don’t Have to be a Star,” baby, but MarBill make us feel like special revelers invited to their party as they keep intensifying their show, bringing us in with their scripted and seemingly off-the-cuff patter.  The hits just keep coming, and many in the audience were singing along, hooting n’ hollering, and getting down with “Stoned Soul/Sweet Blindness” unadulterated fun, “Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep” smooth grooves, “Wedding Bell Blues” flirty moves, and “Save the Country” verve.

Unforgettable three Gen Bob

How can Marilyn’s “Never My Love” surpass that famed moment from “The 5th Dimension–Live” album?  She made it happen and it stopped the show with a protracted standing O.  How can Billy’s “The Worst that Could Happen” redefine what was already so full-throttle?  He sure did, stopping the show again with another grand ovation. And then there’s “MacArthur Park.” As we immediately recall the beloved Ron Townson’s in-concert lead, Billy graciously does so too, singing in his deeper tones, diction emphatic…we behold the measure of a man who gives homage by inhabiting a song, finding its richest subtext.  Of course, so does La McCoo who offers the Jimmy Webb masterpiece her intricately syncopated back-ups in solidarity, along with three talented singers (Cydney Davis, Cynthia Bass and choreographer as well, Andre Carthen).  Breathtaking is their take on the cake…in the rain, as a “fade to black” gives us a chance to catch our breath during intermission.

Unforgettable Seven Gen Bob

A Beatles medley opens the second act with so many twists and turns to “musically stretch out,” I will leave it as a surprise when you get to see this production.  And speaking of “The Fab 4,” did you know The 5th Dimension was sometimes known as “The Black Beatles?”  According to group founder McLemore, “Like the Beatles, all our fans–regardless of race–knew both the first and last names of each of the original members of The 5th Dimension.”  Furthermore, this McCoo-Davis 2016 retrospective on “The Fab 5,” in no way diminishes Ms. LaRue and The current 5th Dimension, for Florence as well as LaMonte and Ron are mentioned warmly and seen on-screen via select photos, throughout the show.  Indeed, The 5th Dimension remains family. It should be noted that Ms. McCoo, Mr. Davis and their seminal quintet became leading pop cultural figures by example. As such, their harmonious sound and image united diverse people during the turbulent times of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.  Just like The Mills Brothers, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis before them, they did it with class yet were in a class by themselves.  And when The 5th had to make a stand-out political point, they did it with the same spirit of finesse we always expected. Case in point, The Independence Medley from the historic “Portrait” album. Guess what?  Marilyn and Billy re-purpose it today, in a way that gives thought to our country’s still-troubling Civil Rights condition and revisits their own recorded glory.

Marilyn Unforgettable

Ms. McCoo sings “Blackbird” (photo courtesy Miguel de Leon)

When Ms. McCoo steps forward to emote “Blackbird,” it seems no longer part of the aforementioned Beatles medley, in fact, once she concludes, it becomes indelible as a prelude to the “on the record” Independence Medley.  Moreover, Marilyn makes “Blackbird” a soulmate to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.”  Just thinking of McCoo’s watershed interpretation brings tears as it did to many in attendance.  Then there’s the familiar “The Declaration,” a tune so many school children utilized to learn the “We hold these truths…that all men are created equal” words to such a revolutionary document.  While unfolding, I began experiencing it as foreshadowing Broadway’s current hit “Hamilton”–yes, it’s 5th scholarship at its most hip, as well as the perfect lead-in to Billy’s tour-de-force: “A Change is Gonna Come.” 

Unforgettable 4 Gen Bob

Here Davis takes us to church as we are powerfully yet poignantly reminded of struggles, losses, gains and the renewing promise of eternal hope.  We soon thank God for “People Gotta Be Free” as we clap with Marilyn, Billy and singers in cathartic jubilation…what artistic transference! 

Unforgettable Six Gen BobNext, Marilyn’s solo signature, “One Less Bell to Answer” becomes a diva aria of Pop-Jazz that raises the roof as only an angel of song can.  By the show’s conclusion, we see “The Way We Were” with newfound gratitude, for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.–soon to celebrate a 47th wedding anniversary–have brought us our “fountain of youth” while sharing their very own, timeless musical fable.

WESTBURY Davis, Arno, McCoo

Billy Davis, Jr., Robert-Allan Arno, Marilyn McCoo

Visit http://www.mccoodavis.com or the Official Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. page on FB

Primary Photo Credit and Very Special Thanks to: (C) 2016 Bob Felderman, General Bob Photography

Please “Like” General Bob Photography on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/GeneralBobPhotography/ or visit Bob’s website: http://www.GeneralBobPhotography.com

“Marilyn & Billy…an Irresistible Musical Fable,” copyright 2016 by Robert-Allan Arno for FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.

 

Dimension 5ive!

Spring 2016 is here and our favorite stars are as busy as ever with “today’s projects!”  MB 1Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. who by the way, will be celebrating 47 years of marriage this coming July, are happily touring with both their acclaimed concerts plus special Broadway-like retrospective, “Up, Up and Away–a Musical Fable.”  By fan request, East coast appearance dates this spring!

COOL 5th BODY NOW THREEFlorence LaRue & The 5th Dimension (Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker and Floyd Smith) sell out vast crowds wherever they take the stage with their exciting evening of harmonious n’ hip “Champagne Soul.”  The timeless Florence is celebrating 50 years with The 5th! And just in–they’ll be performing in the Philippines this May!

Vegas Mac Glover TwoLaMonte McLemore has added to the accomplishment of his hit memoir which I had to pleasure and honor to co-author (“From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music”) with a fun joke book and a new inspiring tune, “If I Could Fly.”

Now, here’s a little more “Dimension 5ive” news (before I give you links to all the above)…from a classic golden jingle to thoughts from Patrice and Toni, to celebrating Bones and remembering Frank, Jr….and thank YOU, fans & friends, for being part of “Forever 5th Dimension!”  —Robert-Allan

RARE 101 closeupIt’s a “Great Golden Day!”  New, from the FOREVER 5th DIMENSION YouTube page, our production of the retro Coca Cola jingle circa ’68…very much in the genre of the “Stoned Soul Picnic” album, The 5th’s unmatched style, shining even in commercial form with a Bossa Nova feel, is addictive all these years later!  Take a listen & look at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7IziFzZCvU&feature=youtu.be

Forever 5th Dimension is proud to present The Original 5th Dimension with this classic jingle basked in their quintessential “5th style,” circa ’68 for Coca …

patrice birthday 14 Patrice says!:  Here’s a lovely reflection from soprano Patrice Morris about being a member of The 5th Dimension, today and working with the legendary Florence LaRue:  “I’m so blessed to work with some of the most talented, spirit-filled people. The beautiful Ms. Florence LaRue is every bit the master teacher of elegance, poise, and stage presence. I’ve learned so much just being in her company and watching her. Willie Williams, Leonard A Tucker Jr and Floyd A Smith are absolutely charming. I love singing with them and just hanging out with them. The 5th Dimension is such a classy group that still packs out venues almost everywhere we go. I’m still amazed by the response we receive from our loyal, faithful fans. It’s incredibly awesome and I’m honored to be a member of this ongoing, long lasting, talented group.” —Patrice Morris

Love from Toni! Toni Tennille of Captain & Tennille fame shared this about working with Marilyn & Billy last month, for “International Woman’s Day”:  “Marilyn and Billy are two lovely people, and SHE is such a terrific singer! I haven’t seen them in quite a few years, but every time I think of them it is with great fondness.”  Here’s Marilyn & Billy joining Toni & Daryl for a mighty “You’re All I Need to Get By,” as performed on “The Captain & Tennille Show,” ’77: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJv-bxIMz20 

Bones howe 5th

Up-Up & Away album recording session:  l to r–Florence, Ron, Marilyn, Billy, LaMonte,.Bones Howe, and Jimmy Webb

Mr. Bones! Recently we celebrated the birthday of 5th producer extraordinaire, Grammy-winning (“Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”) Bones Howe.  On behalf of myself and The 5th Dimension, I wrote this to Sir Bones:  “3/18–Happy Birthday to a genius producer who has made all our lives brighter in the music, and personally, in knowing you, Bones. Thank you for your friendship and mentor-ship…we honor you today at ‘Forever 5th Dimension.’ Many continued blessings to a great man!”

Sinatra Jr.Remembering Frank, Jr.: And sadly, we mourned the untimely passing of Frank Sinatra, Jr.  Marilyn & Billy stated, “The Sinatra family was always so kind to The 5th Dimension, and we enjoyed working with Frank, Jr. on a number of occasions. His incredible musical gift will be missed along with his special sense of humor.”  Plus, LaMonte and myself extended our condolences to our kind friend, Nancy Sinatra.  Recently, Florence & The 5th Dimension guest-starred at the the Frank Sinatra 100th Year Gala, signifying the group’s ongoing connection to the Sinatra legacy…as we all continue to pray for the family.

FRANK SILVER

The Original 5th Dimension appear on Frank, Sr.’s TV special, ’68:  “Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing”

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Visit Marilyn & Billy for concert news, more at:  http://www.mccoodavis.com You’ll find their 2-volume latest Live CD there!

marbill CHRISTMAS CONCERTS

Or “Like” their official Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Facebook page!

Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for tour schedule and more at:  http://www.5thdimensionlive.com/RARE ALTERN 5th

Or Florence‘s website at:  http://www.florencelarue.com

Here are LaMonte McLemore‘s latest projects, and don’t forget to friend him on Facebook!

The hit memoir—FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5TH DIMENSION with raves from Johnny Mathis, Mary Wilson & Nancy Sinatra, 50 photos, even a recipe…New! The joke book—500+ “naughty but nice” jokes to tickle your funny bone…The song—Uplifting in that 5th tradition, Mac’s lyrics make “If I Could Fly” an inspiring musical mantra!

Pick up each, at these easy links:
book cover–The Memoir on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692307362
–The Joke Book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Everyone-loves-dirty-ti…/…/ref=sr_1_1…
–The Song at CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/juliohanson

Appreciation 51aquarius single

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PRINCEBreaking News:  Forever 5th Dimension is saddened by the untimely passing of music legend, Prince. Our prayers for his family and sympathies to his legions of fans. Marilyn & Billy state: “Prince’s impact on music will long be felt. He opened new doors, created new sounds. As well, the world has been seeing so many amazing stories about Prince–the person. What a beautiful heart he had. Long live his influence!” And fans Brian Medoro and Andy Gard remind that Florence & The 5th Dimension joyfully covered a Prince tune called “Strollin'” a few years back, in-concert.  Perhaps they’ll now add “Purple Rain” to their memorable “Rain Medley,” in homage.

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., 2008-16, all rights reserved.  Photo credits:  David Costa, Getty Images, Nancy Sinatra, The Arno 5th Dimension McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection, Ray Glover)

Marilyn & Billy: Valentines in Vegas!

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To think that exactly a year ago, Valentine’s Day–for after all, The 5th Dimension always stands for love!– LaMonte and  I launched his now-hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with our afternoon on-stage chat and fan meet n’ greet…and who were our special guests?  None other than Marilyn & Billy.  How Mac & I enjoyed their concert in the Orleans showroom later that evening!  And in 2016…

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Yes, it’s a year later–I am here tending to biz in chilly NYC–and our “MarBill” are back at the Orleans with their all-new Broadway-like show:  “Up-Up & Away:  A Musical Fable!”  They’ll be bringing it with sizzling story & song & dance & romance along with their troupe, this Sat & Sun, the 13th & 14th…truly defining the iconic phrase: “Love is waiting there!”

And look for “Up-Up & Away: A Musical Fable!” coming to a city near you!  Tune into McCoo & Davis’s lively official Facebook page for the latest news on the dynamic duo…and “forever lovebirds!”

–Robert-Allan Arno

BONUS…JUST IN!  Exclusive photos from the Valentine’s evening performance…not only smooth & romantic, but powerfully historic, including: “One Less Bell,” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Never My Love,” “MacArthur Park,” “Blackbird,” “The Declaration,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “The Man that Got Away,” “In the Midnight Hour,” “Where or When,” “Up-Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic/Sweet Blindness,”  and much more…

Watch Marilyn & Billy on Fox News 5’s Morning Show, Las Vegas: http://www.fox5vegas.com/clip/12210154/more-interviews-marilyn-mccoo-billy-davis

book coverOrder the 5-star reviewed memoir recommended by MarBill, Mary Wilson, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Neil Sedaka…”From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” by McLemore & Arno at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692307362

(Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum of Sterling Winters and exclusive photos courtesy of the DeniseRose Torres Collection, all rights reserved)

Remembering Maurice White

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FOREVER 5th DIMENSION expresses prayerful sympathies on the loss of Maurice White, founder of legends Earth, Wind & Fire. In his memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION, LaMonte McLemore noted how all the up & coming artists, from The Temptations, to The 5th Dimension, to Earth, Wind & Fire, would pool their monies and their dreams, staying at “Hobo Flats” as a supportive launch pad to their mutual successes. Moreover, in my liner notes to The Ultimate 5th Dimension CD, producer Bones Howe shared this about the hit, “Stoned Soul Picnic”: “Maurice White confessed to me that when he heard ‘Stoned Soul,’ it quote, did it for him! It inspired him to form Earth, Wind & Fire!”

Maurice White, his unparalleled vision and artistry are eternal.

Robert-Allan Arno