FOREVER 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
Take a MarBill Listen:
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
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!
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.
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,
A Letter from Marilyn & Billy, July 2016
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.
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
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)