Monthly Archives: May 2014

PLAYLIST: THE VERY BEST of THE 5TH DIMENSION DEBUTS! The inside scoop from Robert-Allan Arno…


Dateline 5/27: It’s a Champagne Soul Celebration!

Yes, it’s the formal release date of “Playlist: The Very Best of The 5th Dimension” on Sony Legacy CD’s.  And here’s the scoop.  This project is a labor of love from the stars of The original 5th Dimension–Marilyn & Billy, Florence and Lamonte–and myself, we all compiled the 14 songs that fit the “Playlist prototype” and we decided to make this package hit-driven.  Why?  Because there needs to be a fresh product readily available in stores as well as on the net, for the thousands of dedicated fans and the many new young ones who are now discovering “The 5th” via YouTube, etc.  The classic “Champagne Soul” hits you love have been re-mastered by the Sony pros in a superlative manner, it’s as if our beloved 5 are in the room with you!  You’ve never heard “California Soul,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Save the Country” and many more sound so “layered, direct and present!”  Furthermore, I got to sequence the songs, they unfold luxuriously and joyfully.  I also penned some nifty liners, and Marilyn, Billy, Florence, LaMonte and Ron (to whom we dedicate the project) get well-deserved homage from Neil “Puppet Man” Sedaka, Valerie “California Soul” Simpson, Dick “Never My Love” Addrisi, Felix “People Gotta Be Free” Cavaliere, and Bill Cosby plus producer extraordinaire Bones Howe is illustrious in the comments he shares.

Lastly, in keeping the “spice it up with rarities” vibe of Playlist’s “mission statement,” I was sure to bring you some extra goodies: the radio release, Stereo intermediate length of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” has not been heard in over 40 years (it only appeared on the original “Greatest Hits” album) and it dazzles; as well, the Mono singles of “Never My Love” with the “edit to Marilyn’s high note” and extra applause, plus the B side Mono single of the astounding “A Change is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free” take their bows amid the celebration.  Mr. Bones did something extra special to radio and single mixes to make them “pop” and you’ll get that thrilling feeling with these 3 without the “snap and crackle” of our bygone 45’s.  Oh, don’t worry, there are other CD projects in the air, and more to come, and that’s when some from-the-vaults “stuff” will emerge.  Right now, please support this very reasonably priced package, the pretty artwork and photos alone are worth it being in your collection, but seriously, this one is a jewel in The 5th’s crown.

(scroll down for songs)

Robert-Allan Arno,
Biographer–The original 5th Dimension


Back Cover Description & Song List:
Think The 5th Dimension and a kaleidoscope of hiply elegant sounds and images so readily dance in the mind’s eye, that we still breathe a collective sigh of unadulterated joy.  Their uniquely eclectic brand of “Champagne Soul” garnered chart-toppers galore as Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, LaMonte McLemore and Ron Townson united people with their uplifting, harmonious sound during the turbulent times of the late 60’s-early 70’s.  With timeless hits and love songs, this Playlist is a celebration of a multi-Grammy award-winning quintet, that stands in a class by itself.  –Robert-Allan Arno

California Soul
Up-Up and Away
Stoned Soul Picnic
Save the Country
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (Radio release, intermediate length, Stereo )
Wedding Bell Blues
One Less Bell to Answer
The Worst that Could Happen
(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All
Sweet Blindness
Puppet Man
A Change is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free (Single release, Mono)
Never My Love (Single release, Mono)
Blowing Away

“Playlist: The Very Best of The 5th Dimension” is now available at Amazon, Walmart (on-line and in-store) and CD Universe.


The Gentlemen of The 5th Dimension– Billy, Ron & LaMonte

sinatra and guysThe Gentlemen of The 5th Dimension– Billy, Ron & LaMonte*

(*press title above to enter our special YouTube “playlist!”)

“The guys are my brothers, we laughed, loved, fought, cried and made beautiful music together,” says LaMonte “Mac” McLemore, founder of Grammy-winning legends, The 5th Dimension in his upcoming for Christmas ’14 memoir FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION. Billy Davis, Jr. seconds the emotion, “Our fans are like family, but we, the original members of The 5th Dimension are truly family…the men all hail from Saint Louis.” Classically-trained, the beloved late Ron “Sweets” Townson finally got his gem un-vaulted a few years back with the theme from LOVE STORY, featured in this playlist. Mac penned the fan fave A LOVE LIKE OURS and talks extensively about it in his book. Billy’s emotional interpretation of Sam Cooke’s A CHANGE IS GONNA COME is the gold standard. As we salute the gentlemen of The 5th Dimension with our select YouTube playlist, don’t forget Sony Legacy’s freshly mastered CD, “Playlist:The Very Best of The 5th Dimension” due May 27th, I was honored to pen its liners and compile the 14 tunes with Marilyn & Billy, Florence and Mac.

–Robert-Allan Arno, Biographer–The original 5th Dimension & LaMonte McLemore

Photo:  Sweets, Billy & Mac singin’ & swingin’ with Sinatra, press to enlarge


MARILYN & BILLY’S WORLD: The hits n’ rarities of McCoo & Davis


MARILYN & BILLY’S WORLD: The hits n’ rarities of McCoo & Davis


The silky voice of the beautiful Marilyn McCoo, the soulful stylings of the dapper Billy Davis, Jr., as a duet they keep their individuality yet can sound as one, from smooth moves to easy-funky grooves, always with “champagne soul” and lotsa’ inspiration! “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart,” says Sir Davis, “You gotta tell the story!” smiles La McCoo. Celebrating 45 years of marriage in July ’14, FOREVER 5th DIMENSION toasts the Grammy-winning dynamic duo and leading alum of The 5th Dimension with the best of our productions, their rarities and beloved hits from television, recordings, select solos, more. Marilyn & Billy say, “Robert, we appreciate you and the role you’ve played in our career, in our lives.”  –Robert-Allan Arno

(Biographer of The original 5th Dimension and group founder LaMonte McLemore, Arno writes the popular FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog on WordPress, penned liners for ’14’s new “Playlist: The Best of The 5th Dimension” on Sony Legacy and ULTIMATE 5th DIMENSION on Sony-BMG Legacy. He’s the as-told-to author of McLemore’s autobiographical memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION due for holiday season ’14.)