Monthly Archives: January 2014

Celebrating Ron Townson (2017)

SWEET MEMORIES OF “SWEETS”
by Robert-Allan Arno

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As we honor his official birth date (it’s January 29 and not the 20th as so many sites state in inadvertent error) at “Forever 5th Dimension,” we reflect on the aura of the beloved Ronald “Sweets” Townson–the robust dignity of his classically-infused blend, “the visual image” of The Original 5th Dimension as Florence (LaRue) so warmly called him.  She commented about her fellow Aquarian on REWOUND RADIO, “You never realize how much you care about someone until they’re gone.” LaMonte (McLemore) who grew up with Ron in St. Louis, recalls with a smile, “The Sweet Man’s” other nickname: “Danny Boy.” According to Mac in his popular memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION, “It never failed, Ron would always croon that emotional standard at any special event and he’d blow the crowd away each and every time!”

TAKE BACK RONHis early mentoring by the renowned likes of Nat King Cole and Dorothy Dandridge provided Ron with confidence and panache plus a penchant for “giving back,” developing talent later on including managing the mid-late ’70’s singing group Creative Source and his own back-up trio of the time, Wild Honey, when he embarked on a solo career for a few years. W H member Freddie Pool, now with The Three Degrees, expresses, “Ron had an eye for the best…he always wanted perfection in our shows. His precious soul endures.” When Ron came back to The 5th Dimension, he re-joined Florence and LaMonte and got to work with new talents including Joyce Wright Pierce who states with emotion, “‘Sweets’ was indeed one of the sweetest, most generous and talented human beings I ever had the privilege to perform with…not only a music man but a gentleman.”

ImageRon Townson:  his indelible recorded as well as spine-tingling in-concert legacy, from his heart to ours: “MacArthur Park,” “Sailboat Song,” “What Do I Need to Be Me,” “Love Story,” “One Hell of a Woman,” “Not Again,” “Band of Gold”…and who can’t still be charmed by his playfully mischievous turn on “Eli’s Coming” from the classic LIVE album?  Ron’s son, Kyle Townson notes another fan favorite, the virtuosity of his father’s tour-de-force aria as Canio in”Pagliacci,” featured on the Vegas stage and as part of The 5th Dimension’s second TV special, “Traveling Sunshine Show.” Kyle reveals, “At first I think the audience thought my dad being in front of a mirror, in clown make-up was going to be a comedic performance.  I could hear them laughing a bit…but then when Dad started singing, there was a hush.  They certainly got it…and I’d hear them sobbing along with those tears of the clown from ‘Pagliacci!'”

JET RON ENLARGED

Ron, wife Bobette and sons Kim & Kyle grace the cover of JET

Marilyn & Billy (McCoo & Davis, Jr.) recall Ron’s gentle smile. The duo declares, “Ron embodied the authentic sound of The 5th Dimension.” Producer Bones Howe adds, “Ron had this unique tenor that could go all over the place. He blended seamlessly with the guys, but could sing falsetto with Marilyn and Florence.” The fans get misty at the thought of this endearing, respected role model who soared like an eagle with The 5th Dimension. Think of his high notes on “Aquarius,” and “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing;” on the latter, listen for his rejoinder phrase, “Next to me!”  Then there’s his flowing intro phrase to the obscure fave “On the Beach (In the Summertime).”

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Personally, I’ll never forget the quality interview time Susan Aglio and I had with Ron the day after the debut of The Original 5th Dimension reunion tour, circa ’91. He was brought to tears when discussing his “MacArthur Park” moment: “My father always wanted me to record the song’s complete version; I’m so glad I got to perform the extended song onstage last night.” Ron was a humble man–this standing ovation garnering, literal stop-the-show solo turn with his group-mates in syncopated back-up is unforgettable.  Ron also shared thoughtfully, “I’m proud that the ‘Earthbound’ album (one of his favorites) was sent up to space in a time capsule.  And that school kids have learned to recite The Declaration of Independence because of our song, ‘The Declaration.'”  Ronald SweetsLaMonte, in his memoir, concurs: “It was abundantly clear that Ron, along with being an exemplary family man, took the utmost pride in his contribution to The 5th Dimension, and to music history as a whole.  Fans would flock to Ron because they’d recognize his authoritative yet adorable one-of-a-kind look more than the rest of us put together.”

We lost Ronald in 2001, but our Sweet Man’s light sings in the corners of our mind as he graces the angels’ celestial choir, eternally.

RON !Kyle Townson, Ron’s son, kindly shares his thoughts in 2017:  

My dear brother Robert, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. Every year you out-do yourself with the tributes for ‘Ron’/The 5th Dimension on his upcoming birthday, such a wonderful thing you do with keeping his spirit alive.”

Special thanks to Kyle, Marilyn & Billy, Florence, LaMonte, Joyce, Freddie and Bones for their contributions to this piece.

–Robert-Allan Arno
Biographer, The Original 5th Dimension & LaMonte McLemore
(copyright 2014-17, The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.)

the-great-mr-ronald-sweets-townson-circa-74HIS TOP 5:  The Best of Ronald “Sweets” Townson

–“Band of Gold”  From The 5th Dimension’s INDIVIDUALLY & COLLECTIVELY album…Ron’s falsetto brings a 50’s retro effect (shadowing some of his earlier Doo-Wop singles with The Intervals) to the romantic “Band of Gold.”

The fans say:

Susie Paige My favorite Ron solo!

Alain Baptiste Soothing and agreed Robert-Allan, found it nodding to the fifties feel that came up at the time in some of seventies pop and R & B. Mariette and I will always love the sound of Ron.

Blake Morant His “Band of Gold” remains one of my favorite and harkens back to an era when falsetto was more de rigueur in pop music. At the risk of sounding old fashion, I hope this brand reemerges. One can only hope.

Brian Medoro Very timely when groups like The Stylistics all had falsetto singers during that 70’s era. Loved the 50’s throw back and of course the backgrounds added a warmth to the overall song.

Hear “Band of Gold” at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmcfrJ1DU20

“The Sailboat Song” remains an enigma to this day, (if you peek in on YouTube) many still don’t know it’s Ron Townson’s gentle pop-croon in the lead…but we do! Ron told Susan Aglio & myself in a post-5th Reunion Tour opening night interview circa ‘90/91: “It’s one of my personal favorites, in fact, my son thinks it could be re-done…it could work today.” And it still does…with its meditative mood from the classic STONED SOUL PICNIC album…and who doesn’t love a tune that contains the term “phosphorescent light!”

The fans say…

Brian Medoro I loved this one. It was a unique cut from a new lead at the time. A sort of break from the group vocals. Echoey, dreamy, contemporary and very 60’s but could play in any era.

Joe Peltonovich  And how about Joe Osborn’s amazing bass lines. Love this song!

Rich Wilson A beautiful song; I love Marilyn and Florence’s haunting background harmonies!

Susan Aglio Thank you, Robert, for a wonderful memory of talking to Ron…  Yes, I do remember “where and when”!

Joel Jordan Thank You!! I haven’t heard the song in SO long…

Loretta Sorensen: “The Sailboat Song” was always one of my favorite songs, too.

Blake Morant The words, “smooth, subtle, and contemplative” come to mind as I hear this track… it’s “neo-champagne soul!”

Take that “Sailboat” ride at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqbd_b10R2o

“Eli’s Coming” from “Live!!” Oh, that “mustache twirling,” delicious delivery by “Sweets” in the lead (not to mention his mischievous laugh) showcases his theatrical side and makes for another jewel in Ron’s versatile crown. Certainly worth a fresh 5th-listen for that “live” excitement!

The fans say…

Carlene Schultz Owen I love this one! Marilyn and Florence’s intro is absolutely haunting.

Michael John Kitner This is a great performance by Ron!  Love Marilyn and Florence’s intro! Great song by Laura Nyro!

Blake Morant “Eli’s Coming” remains a 5D classic in my book. One of the few cover songs that rivals the original. Ron had the best sinister laugh in the business, save maybe the late great Vincent Price (remember “Thriller”?)

Experience “Eli’s Coming” at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRi7JPf3Iko

“Where Do I Begin” Previously in the vaults for 3 decades, Ron’s version of “Where Do I Begin” (Theme from “Love Story”) was arranged for recording by Rene DeKnight to provide “Sweets” with an equally expansive platform to the one where he delivered the soaring, heart-tugging goods in-concert. Akin to other memorable Ron-lead “live” gems like “Not Again” (which was a prospective theme for “The Godfather,” by the way), “Love Story” stands as one of Ron’s very best “vocal solos” and I was never so proud in getting it released with the Collectors’ Choice expanded re-issue of SOUL & INSPIRATION (in conjunction with Bones Howe & Sony’s Rob Santos.)

The fans say…

Wilma L. Mott “Absotively posolutely” beautiful voice and song.  Robert, thank you for honoring Ron with these memories.

Alain Baptiste Astounding.

Paulette Morant No one can sing it better than Ron! Beautiful harmonies and chords, especially at the end.

Estes John Beautiful and Stirring

Blake Morant Ron’s classical training comes through gloriously in this version of the song. One can understand why it didn’t make it on to the “Soul and Inspiration” LP. The company sought a more R&B feel for the group at that time. That said, I would have argued that “soul” means poignancy, which this song demonstrates admirably. Thank goodness it has been resurrected and we can enjoy it for many years to come. Here’s to the benched “Soul and Inspiration” track.

Renee T Armstead A very haunting song.

Kyle Townson I remember as a child going to see The 5th Dimension in Las Vegas, and after my father’s solo, I looked around and the ENTIRE audience was on their feet for an “extended” standing ovation. Thanks for posting this Robert

“Love Story,” our FOREVER 5th Tribute to Ron is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb_CaMJkOr4

“Pagliacci”   Ron shows his stunning operatic virtuosity. “The show must go on…like the clown in Pagliacci,” Marilyn & Florence would wistfully sing, prefacing Ron’s tour-de-force during The Original 5th Dimension’s concerts of the early ‘70’s. Here, the breathtaking aria is staged for the group’s second network television special, “Traveling Sunshine Show.”

See “Pagliacci” (Recitar Vesti La Giubba) at this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdAHgbAThp8

–Honorable mention:  “What Do I Need To Be Me” from the LIVING TOGETHER, GROWING TOGETHER album. A song of self-actualization, many fans like Martha Vink found Ron’s solo an important, empowering tune.

Hear “What Do I Need To Be Me” athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1YPoePzS1Q

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More Thoughts from Special Fans…

Renee Armstead: I love so many of the Sweet Man’s solos. One friend of mine still remembers how clearly he hears him singing on “Good News” off of the “Stoned Soul Picnic” album. I think my faves would have to be “MacArthur Park” and “Eli’s Coming” from the “Live” album.

Dale Kocik: He was a major part of the 5th Dimension sound. Love his rendition of  “MacArthur Park” on the “Live” album!

Alain Baptiste: Every “Ron solo” was different from the other, all too wonderful!

Douglas C. Charles: He was a gem. Helped me get all the group’s autographs one year. A wonderful man, gone too soon.

John Estes: Ron was not only an amazing song stylist, a one-of-a-kind singer like Nat King Cole, but he was an amazing person as well. I had the chance to meet him once and he was so welcoming and gracious to me. I will never forget his humbleness when I told him how it was such an honor to meet him.

Paulette Morant: Even after all of this time, I’m still adjusting to his being with us in spirit instead of in person. Thank you Robert, for reminding everyone of Ron’s incredible gifts.  His performance of the aria from “Pagliacci” was stratospheric…who can top that

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book cover“From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” LaMonte McLemore’s memoir as told to Robert-Allan Arno features  warm stories about “Sweets,” available at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692307362

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CD REVIEW: “Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. LIVE”

The Many Faces of “Live:” 
McCoo & Davis at the Top of their Show
by Robert-Allan Arno
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     First, let’s not mistake this review’s pun-in-the-title (“The Many Faces of ‘Live'”) for the recent treatise our two romantic stars issued a few years back, “The Many Faces of Love;” that outing was a recording studio wonder, featuring the great Pop/Soul love songs as a testament to 40-plus years of marriage.  This latest double-volume ambitious effort from Marilyn & Billy’s own label is so breathtakingly “live,” it’s like seeing the two on Broadway, yet in an intimate cabaret setting, that’s how these pros make it happen, juxtaposing sensibilities all over their “nicer place.”  Yep, the mega hits they made as former lead singers of Grammy legends, The 5th Dimension like “Up-Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” and “Wedding Bell Blues,” are all here and have an authentic patina that simply shimmers…we still wait for McCoo’s gossamer highs at the conclusions of both “that balloon ride” and the “Bill, I love you so” jaunty saga, and man (girl), the lady delivers!  Later, their all-time biggest, “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” rivals the original in execution which is a feat in and of itself, as that medley from “Hair” was the year’s top number one in ’69!  These lovebirds never rest on their craftily blended laurels, their notes are dexterously bright yet tastily seasoned, their selections are often unexpected as the festivities unfold.
     Billy Davis, Jr., one of music’s greatest Soul singers, is the king of effortlessness.  And he knows how to tell a story.  Ever the engaging showman, he quotes a Bible verse from Ephesians before further tugging at the heartstrings with his bluesy interpretation of the classic, “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby.”  Marilyn McCoo, whose eternal beauty seemingly reflects the incandescent soul of her silky voice, does something uncanny here.  She’s found a tune from a recent Clint Eastwood movie that’s “pure Marilyn,” it seamlessly fits as an extension of her body of solos that are her fans’ cherished gems. There’s a soupcon of “Never My Love,” “If I Could Reach You,” “Open Your Window,” and more, in her spectacularly delicate yet empowered treatment of the jazzy ballad, “Why Should I Care.”  Yes, La McCoo should sing every theme song of every movie out there, I just bet you’ll be thinking!
     In their charming patter, Marilyn and Billy state, “The old songs let us do the new songs.  (We all tend to say) they don’t make ’em like they used to…but then along comes a song…”  And so we get a haunting medley of a fan fave from MarBill’s first duet album (35 years ago!), the pensively languid “Easy Way Out,” melded with a current chart topper by Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now.”  Later the duo digs into Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You.”  A touch of Country on the former, neo-Soul on the latter, they’re emoted with such deep finesse, you can see and hear how this pair could be hit makers themselves in any decade.  Further addictive romps like the Earth, Wind and Fire version of “Gotta Get You Into My Life” prove why McCoo, Davis and their 5th cohorts influenced not only EWF, but an entire musical generation.  The generous duo is never afraid to give homage back.  They salute the late Nick Ashford with a Funk-ily ingenious revision of a 5th Dimension Top 20, Ashford & Simpson’s “California Soul,” that sounds more like it’s from a Marvin & Tammi album than The 5th’s.  Much fun ensues, too when Billy gets all good-natured raucous on “Steppin’ In,” the twosome also brings the Disco-tinged goods to their Grammy winning duet signature, “You Don’t Have to Be A Star (To Be in My Show).”  Then Marilyn stops everything with the quintessential torch that is the jewel in her crown, “One Less Bell to Answer.”  And this ain’t your Mama’s “Bell,” this is all “new year,” the culmination of show biz perfect meets life experience gut-wrench.  Billy in turn, goes from poignant to “true grit” in the finale, “Lean on Me”/”Love Train” while Marilyn, the gifted back-up vocalists and the audience hop aboard with joy.
     Co-Producers Davis and Laythan Armor make sure “Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Live” packs such a soul-thrilling “picnic” of delights, you’ll want to listen again, and again…then go see them perform in 2014…then go home and listen again!  With a special nod to Music Director Darrell Alston and stand-out guitarist Major Black amid a stellar band, the project is a testimony to artistic integrity, creative verve and enduring love.  It just doesn’t get any better from Marilyn & Billy, two icons who clearly adore one another, their work and the continued opportunity to bring such diverse magic to their equally diverse, dedicated fans.
“Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. LIVE” is available now at:  http://www.mccoodavis.com
(Review by Robert-Allan Arno for FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, copyright 2014, The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.)
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Bonus!  Our Facebook friends share thoughts about the new MarBill CD…

LaMonte McLemore of The 5th Dimension to Release Autobiographical Memoir as told to Robert-Allan Arno

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Founder of Grammy Legends The 5th Dimension to Release Autobiographical Memoir for  Feb. 2015–

“From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension:  A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music”

Las Vegas, Sept. 17, 2014–LaMonte McLemore, the dapper original member of Grammy legends, The 5th Dimension enthuses, “People have been asking me to write my book for years!”  McLemore’s been described as the music industry’s “bronze Clark Gable,” a 6 time Grammy award-winning visionary who literally founded Rock n’ Soul royalty, The 5th Dimension, a vocal group whose numerous, anthemic mega-hits like UP-UP & AWAY, AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN, STONED SOUL PICNIC and love songs like WEDDING BELL BLUES and ONE LESS BELL TO ANSWER are strongly woven into America’s pop cultural tapestry.  Along with Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue and Ron Townson, “Mac” (as he’s warmly known) and his signature mellow bass helped to provide racial and generational unity, “bringing people together” through the quintet’s uplifting, harmonious sound and hiply elegant image during our nation’s tumultuous times of the late ’60’s – early ’70’s. As such, The 5th Dimension were one of the most popular groups of the Rock n’ Roll Era, their countless hits stand the test of time.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri as one of four children, his beginnings were so impoverished, Mac literally slept in a dresser drawer as a baby.  LaMonte recounts, “As a kid, playing cowboys and Indians, I’d have a cap pistol in one holster, a camera in the other.”  While he believed pitching for the Cardinals was the fastest way to escape the poverty, he was also fascinated by the art of photography.  After serving amid the prejudicial climate of the US Navy, LaMonte’s “field of dreams” moment–being signed to a minor league contract with the LA Dodgers–was truncated by an unfortunate happening.  Embarking on his next dream journey, Mac reflects through the lens, “I was lucky enough early on to photograph models for Harper’s Bazaar, to shoot for Johnson Publications (Ebony and Jet Magazines, where Mac remained a premier photographer for the latter for over 5 decades), and Playboy.”  It was while covering The Miss Bronze California Pageant for two consecutive years that LaMonte invited winner Florence LaRue to join the previous winner, Marilyn McCoo along with his talented St. Louis buddies, Davis, Jr. and Townson to form The 5th Dimension.  “Each member had a sound and a look, but I honestly didn’t know what I was doing,” LaMonte bemusedly recounts in describing the accolade “Masters of Champagne Soul” with which critics crowned The 5th’s innovative melding of Gospel, Pop, R & B, Jazz, Light Opera, Broadway and Torch styles.  The first African-American to be asked to be a full-time photographer at Harper’s Bazaar, LaMonte chuckles, “I would have taken the position, but I was already committed to The 5th Dimension and my fellow group members, I mean they quit their day jobs!”

When asked why he consistently speaks through a gentle smile and a subtle laugh in his storytelling, without a trace of gravitas about the racial climate of the times he had to overcome, the trailblazer states, “My grandmother, Gertrude Whiteside was a Cherokee Indian.  She would say, ‘The sun rises and sets for everyone, we’re the only ones who screw it up in between!’  If I wake up each day, I’m grateful.”  But there’s a deeper reason McLemore forever keeps his “eyes on the prize,” without a trace of bitterness.  It underpins his life’s story and comes from a shocking tragedy.  “It’s something my beloved grandmother taught me to forgive,” LaMonte quietly states, still with a smile in his voice, the saddest one of all.   It’s the secret to LaMonte’s “glass half full” outlook and multi-successes.  It’s behind every outrageously happy-go-lucky anecdote Mac is noted for.  It summons his muse for shooting the wonders of the world, the beauty and mysteries of women portrayed in his globally renowned photos, which are proudly part of varied American art gallery exhibits today.  And it’s what makes thousands upon thousands of worldwide fans pay homage to LaMonte to this day…as a role model…a trendsetter…an arbiter of taste…a big brother to us all.  The outpouring of love Mr. McLemore receives on the net alone via YouTube postings with The 5th Dimension, at his website and even on Facebook is nothing short of transcendent.

cropped-countdown-yearend.jpgLaMonte beams, “Like the Beatles, the fans knew the first and last names of The 5th Dimension’s members…our black fans, our white fans, didn’t matter.” On stages performing at The White House, headlining at Carnegie Hall to Royal Albert Hall, as a personal favorite opening act of Frank Sinatra, on TV’s top shows from Ed Sullivan to Flip Wilson, from Soul Train to Johnny Carson, Mac emerged a star of The 5th Dimension who dreamed big but stayed grounded and grateful.  “My mother said there were only two choices: right or wrong.  I always wanted to make her and my grandmother proud, to do something I was respected for and would be remembered for, that made a difference.”  That said, with all the achievements and accolades, Mac can never forget what he dubbed as “Hobo Flats.”  He shares,  “In the early days, I would invite all the ‘refugees’ to come and stay there–The Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Richard Roundtree of ‘Shaft’ fame…we didn’t have money, we’d pool all of ours together and the girls would come around on the weekend and we’d have more fun than anyone…everyone knew of us!”

McLemore’s forthcoming autobiographical memoir as told to Robert-Allan Arno, titled “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension:  A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music” is a book that will edify that feeling of resourcefulness and optimism as well as innovation,  It will illuminate panoramic success in both the music industry and the field of photography.  Through the hard times to the Gold and Platinum days, the story of LaMonte McLemore brings one in touch with music history, African-American history and the biography of a singer, a photographer, a sportsman, a wise and charmingly humorous raconteur, who tells his story with unbridled joy, touching pathos and familial and fan reverence in every sentence.

The 12 chapter memoir’s narrative will contain anecdotes about countless celebrities, personal friends of Mac or those whom Mr. McLemore has photographed or performed with as part of The 5th Dimension including Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis, Jr., more.  Lamonte’s trademark photos, many rare and never published provide a magnificent centerfold. The recorded music of The 5th Dimension, its discography, will be addressed in-depth from LaMonte’s unique perspective.

LaMonte states, “I can’t think of a better as-told-to-author as actor/announcer Robert-Allan Arno, he’s been covering The 5th Dimension in the media for years, with an authentic flavor like no one else, he truly is ‘The 6th Dimension.’   The concepts we’ve been working on to present in the book are as uplifting and exhilarating as any project I’ve been involved with.  I wanted to release this news as a celebration of my birthday today, September 17th…with a toast to the fans. too!”

“From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension:  A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music” has met its completion deadline with plans for release in early 2015.  According to Arno, “We’ll provide more details about the publisher, our book signing and media tour, etc. shortly.  It would not be a stretch to think LaMonte will win his 7th Grammy by the time we get to do the audio version of the book…no one tells a story better–from the heart and the funny bone–than ‘Mac’…we’ve shared many tears and laughs in our process.”  McLemore adds with a wink, “As I always say, ‘Right on!”

Today, LaMonte McLemore resides in Las Vegas with his lovely wife Mieko.  He may have retired from The 5th Dimension a few years ago (after 40 years with the group) but hasn’t slowed down a bit.  He gets to play his beloved baseball virtually daily, never stops taking photos, and travels with an exhibit of his famed photographs. Recently celebrating 50 years as a premier freelance photographer for JET Magazine’s “Beauty of the Week,” LaMonte, along with his fellow original 5th Dimension members received a star on the prestigious St. Louis Walk of Fame in a town where he was born and raised.

Contact :

The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.

Here at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION

***Bonus!  Our Facebook friends share their thoughts on Mac’s upcoming memoir:

  • Kim Savage Thanks Robert-Allan! I am looking forward to the book. Consider me a presale customer and Lamonte Mclemore still looks 35 to me!
  • Renee T Armstead I will be on pins and needles to see and get this book! Can’t wait for the Holiday Season!
  • Robert-Allan Arno Thank you both Kim and Renee…remember the book  is designated for release in mid 2014! Your enthusiasm is a gift, sending love with blessings.
  • Ed Toney wonderful!!!
  • Joyce Wright Pierce Anxiously awaiting for the release. My mind is thirsty fora good read! Robert-Allan Arno & Lamonte Mclemore= a *HIT* out of the ball park…No pun intended!!
  • Antonio Pereira Robert, your timing is just right. Will be looking for this book!
  • Elziroy ‘Sonny’ Porter I think it’s great for Lamonte to tell his story. I know Robert that with your assistance the book will be fabulous.
  • Robert-Allan Arno Joyce, Syren, Ed, Antonio and “Sonny,” your kind affirmations are most appreciated!
  • Alain Baptiste This Press Release alone is incredible, like everyone, Mariette and I can’t wait to read the book! Robert, like Mr. McLemore says, is the perfect author. Big WOW! Also, Happy Birthday Lamonte.
  • Charlo Crossley Fortier Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?
  • Ro Keller What a friend you are to LaMonte. Thank you so much Robert-Allan for sharing this story about my friend and fellow softball player.
  • Robert-Allan Arno Thanks for your kind words Ro, I fondly remember meeting you. God’s blessings.
  • Susan Aglio That is so exciting! Can’t wait to read it. I am sure the collaboration will be amazing!
  • Renie Quan AWESOMENESS!!!!!!
  • Robert-Allan Arno Thanks sweet Sue, always! And dear Renie, too!
  • Robert-Allan Arno Friends, I just spoke to LaMonte before his special day winds down, he’s taking an out of town respite with lovely Mieko and is sounding like a kid, full of joy! He wanted me to thank all of you for your wonderful birthday wishes and your enthusiasm about the upcoming book, he sends love to family, friends & fans with God’s blessings and a classic “Right On!” — Robert-Allan Arno
  • Martha E. Vink Alas, I see my comment didn’t post (rats, lost the signal, I guess…). I too wish a very Happy Birthday to LaMonte, and add my congrats to you both and excitement for this new birth! Very much looking forward to it, and know it, like both you and LaMonte, will be a blessing.
  • Robert-Allan Arno Much appreciated, dear Martha.
  • Martha E. Vink Ah, I stand corrected- it is in fact on the main page. Just goes to show that I should be asleep!
  • Sharon Gordon Congrats Dear Friend. When is the book tour?
  • Robert-Allan Arno Thanks Shar, all is aimed for mid ’14!
  • Louis McKinney Sr This should be a fantastic book on a fantastic, man!  BIG CONGRATS to both of you for the collaboration.
  • Robert-Allan Arno Thank you Louis, like Mac himself, what a class act you are. Blessings.
  • George Harpes

    “RIGHT ON” !!!
  • Robert-Allan Arno Linda, thanks for your vibrant wishes, bless you much!!
  • Sharon Gordon Does that mean you’ll be making the rounds on all the cable news shows? I see a Stephen Colbert and John Stewart in your future. 😊
  • Robert-Allan Arno Hoping for Tavis Smiley AND MUCH MORE!
  • Robert-Allan Arno Right now we’re “manifesting!” Thank you again, everyone for such lovely wishes, all of you are truly with LaMonte and I, in spirit, every step on this creative journey, blessings to all.
  • Barbara Klys

    How awesome !! Congrats and I can’t wait !!!
  • Tom Flammia Just wonderful Bobby……proud of you man!
Video

A Change Is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free

The 5th Dimension Family honors the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, his committed spirit of hope, freedom and unconditional love. We present our FOREVER 5th DIMENSION production of “A Change Is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free,” a classic from the group’s songbook of excellence…