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


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.


***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!

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

  1. Looking forward to reading this book.

  2. “is it soup yet?” I can’t wait to get TEN copies of it to share with friends and family!

  3. LaMonte and I thank you for your support Dwight, we are so proud of this memoir, equal parts historic, inspirational and pure fun! It will be out for Christmas/New Year season ’14! Blessings.

  4. Lamonte – can’t wait to read it. Ray and I have always said your life story would make a best seller! You have an amazing story to tell and I am so pleased you have finally put it in words for all to share.

  5. Phyllis Ellis

    Big Brother! ‘Can’t wait to read your life story, and for everyone to know what an amazing friend and brother you are, Love Ya Always!

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