A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,500 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. There were nearly 50 pictures uploaded in ‘15, that’s about 4 pictures per month. The busiest day of the year was September 30th with 210 views. The most popular post that day was HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISS McCOO!
While we flashback on the “greatest 2015 hits” of our fave stars, we are blessed to look forward to a bright year ahead. The duet of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr…Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension…and LaMonte McLemore each had a strong year…and continue going strong! The ethereal “sunshine” of the original members of The 5th Dimension prevails!…
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. celebrated 46 years of marriage in ‘15 and continue to tour to the best reviews of their career–from Vegas to symphony concerts to cabaret venues and music cruises. The engaging duo joined me here at FOREVER 5th in July to honor their anniversary and the blog’s 7th year with an in-depth interview—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/
Marilyn & Billy say: “To all our special friends who stay in touch with us throughout the year, you are our motivation for continuing to do the things we do. Your messages asking us to come to your area mean so much. You don’t know how much we want to perform in every one of those cities and towns…you are truly the wind beneath our wings!”
Join Marilyn & Billy at their lively official Facebook page, and for latest tour info at: www.mccoodavis.com
Florence LaRue , the sole original member and lead singer of The 5th Dimension today, toasted a milestone this past October, her 50th year with the group! Along with Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker and Floyd A Smith, she plays to sold-out crowds–including an outdoor concert this past summer of over 20 thousand fans in attendance! She also presents her one-woman show, “Just As I Am.” Florence is completing her book on beauty “from the inside out,” she told me with her trademark enthusiasm. Bringing her effervescence to the new year, the “delightful diva” just appeared on the Mayor’s Discover LA float at the Rose Parade and offers this to fans: “I pray for you a year (and LIFE ) blessed with good health, peace, prosperity (in ALL things), wonderful music, joy, and love!”
Visit Florence & The 5th Dimension for latest concert info at: www.thefifthdimension.org
Or check out Florence’s website at: www.florencelarue.com
It was a banner year for founder of The 5th Dimension and renowned photographer, LaMonte McLemore. The long-anticipated memoir I had the pleasure of co-authoring with “Mac,” “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music” was released this year to 5-star raves including stellar reviews from colleagues Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Marilyn & Billy, Johnny Mathis, Nancy Sinatra, Neil Sedaka, and JD Nicholas of The Commodores. A book that’s equal parts historic, heartwarming and downright hysterical, Mac and I toured with our on-stage chat & autograph signing events from Vegas to NYC, in fact, Marilyn & Billy joined us as special guests for our book launch on Valentine’s Day. Then later, LaMonte joined the duo on their own concert stage at The Orleans Casino Hotel for a chorus of “Let the Sunshine In.” LaMonte appeared on countless radio formats and morning TV shows nationwide and plans more promotion of the book in 2016…as they say, the juicy but inspiring memoir including 50 photos, his Grandma’s wisdom, and even a recipe “has legs.” A songwriter from back in the day (remember “A Love Like Ours”?), LaMonte also debuted a new tune this year , the soulfully uplifting “If I Could Fly.” LaMonte smiles: “‘From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension’…to a new year! How can I thank each of you–friends, fans & family, for your support & enthusiasm this past year as I launched a dream-come true memoir…and got to see so many of you on tour! Wishing you peace, love, blessings & good health in 2016… see ya “on the road” for more adventures! “If I Could Fly”…that’s just what I did…let’s continue doing it together.”
Find LaMonte on Facebook and Linked-In
Order “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692307362
Order “If I Could Fly” at CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/juliohanson
Read a BroadwayWorld interview with LaMonte and myself in salute of Sinatra’s 100th birthday, also discussing The 5th Dimension’s Broadway connections at: http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/LaMonte-McLemore-of-The-5th-Dimension-Shares-Memories-of-Broadway-Sinatra-and-More-in-HOBO-FLATS-Memoir-20151213#
We Remember Natalie Cole
At the dawning of this new year, we have lost an incomparable artist and entertainer. LaMonte just reminisced with me, “The 5th Dimension and Natalie Cole worked together on stage in St. Louis in the ’80’s. One night, a gust of wind came from nowhere, knocking every bit of sheet music off the stands, but we still had a great time! She was a very kind person. Back in the day, I not only took her dad, Nat King Cole’s photograph for JET magazine, but daughter and Natalie’s sister, Carole “Cookie” Cole’s, for her cotillion. And who should show up for that event, to pay respects, but President Kennedy! I look back on the Cole family with the fondest of memories.” Marilyn & Billy shared on Twitter: “Another Great Talent gone from us. RIP Natalie in the arms of our Lord, Love you, Billy & Marilyn.” I want to personally share that it was Natalie Cole’s self-penned liner notes for the “Unforgettable with Love” project and the tone of her first memoir, “Angel on My Shoulder” that greatly inspired both the style of my liners for “The Ultimate 5th Dimension” CD and my co-authorship of LaMonte’s memoir. Like with her singing, Natalie’s writing was elegant yet down to earth–real, witty, and even “cozy”…she talked to “one person at a time,” truly bringing people in. And I want to remember these beautifully transcendent attributes here, not only her musical influence but the literary muse she was for me. Her spirit of excellence is eternal, forever in our hearts…as we close this edition of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, looking “Up-Up and Away” to the future, and to heaven itself.
Blessings to all,
Biographer–The Original 5th Dimension and LaMonte McLemore
Special thanks to you, the special fans and to my shining stars for your continued, committed support of the FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog—Marilyn & Billy, Florence and LaMonte. Also to Randall Jeffries, Steve Rosenblum, Patrice Morris and Mieko McLemore. Photo credits: DeniseRose Torres, Christoper Troy, Andy Gard, The Arno 5th McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection, The LaMonte McLemore Collection.
(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-2016, all rights reserved, intellectual property, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.)