9 years ago, while sitting in Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.’s suite, post-show at the Cafe Carlyle, during our “cozy catch-up” visit I presented the concept of the “Forever 5th Dimension” blog-magazine. It was met with immediate instinctual approval by “MarBill” with Billy smiling, “I like the title,” and Marilyn adding with a wink, “I’d read it!” And that they both have, with such kind and astute validation & participation over these past 9 years where we first started on MySpace and migrated over to WordPress in recent years!
After decades of affiliation with my heroes, the members of The Original 5th Dimension, these past 9 years have been cherished for so many reasons, the adventures we’ve shared alone are thrilling: the St. Louis Walk of Fame Induction of The 5th Dimension, the Friar’s Club salute to Marilyn & Billy, the book launch in Vegas of LaMonte McLemore’s memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” for which I am the co-author, helping promote Florence LaRue’s astounding one-woman “Jazz a LaRue!” show at NYC’s Metropolitan Room and our attending some Broadway shows together to toast it all! Compiling tunes with the group’s members and doing liners for “Playlist” for Sony just like we did with “Ultimate 5th Dimension” was “scholarly hip”…and of course, reporting on the countless sold-out, ovation inducing concert events of Marilyn & Billy (the First Couple of Pop n’ Soul) and the indomitable Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension (including Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker & Floyd Smith) is simply sensational! And our worldwide fan participation for each of our star’s birthdays is always an awesome “sunshine” celebration! Marilyn & Billy, Florence and LaMonte (plus Kyle Townson who is so supportive in repping his beloved dad, Ron)–each of them are not only cherished friends but mentoring colleagues who are a total pleasure to work with…their taste and faithful ethic are unparalleled. It just makes sense that the essence of The 5th Dimension brought our world together in harmony during the turbulent times of the late ’60’s/early 70’s…and it’s a blessing that these artists continue to enthrall us with such magic and energy, today. Also the support of another personal mentor, renowned producer Bones Howe is never forgotten.
The Original 5th Dimension
So, in celebrating our 9th year, I want to conclude with a few links to some of my favorite editions…as we look forward to new horizons from our favorite stars…that’s what “Forever 5th” is all about! In gratitude, Robert-Allan Arno
–2 summers ago, Marilyn & Billy stopped by for this “super-sized” edition of FOREVER 5th called “Singing in the Light.” We had so much fun going deep into sentimental recordings, answering fan questions…we actually laughed and cried! Take a look back, here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/marilyn-billy-singing-in-the-light/
If you’re reading FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, then you’re well-acquainted with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.: the seven-time Grammy winning founding members and former lead singer…
–This past February’s special edition for Black History Month featured a charming segment on the timeless Florence’s milestone birthday soire with heartfelt thoughts from our “delightful diva,” herself and special photo ops. We include The 5th’s recognition by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, too. Read “Celebrating A Legacy” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/celebrating-a-legacy/
Honoring Black History Month ’17– a Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive Report by Robert-Allan Arno Museum Display– Here’s a lively backstage photo of The …
–It took 4 years to co-pen LaMonte’s now hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music,” and Mac & I would never trade the excavating experience for anything in the word, lol! We celebrated the book’s launch in early ’15, an “afternoon in Vegas” via “Mac & Arno’s onstage chat show” with special guests Marilyn & Billy (and proclamations from Florence and Bones)…and then we attended MarBill’s stellar Valentine’s show that evening! Read all about it here aka “Valentine’s in Vegas: Mac’s New Book, MarBill’s Sold-Out Show”: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/lamonte-marilyn-billy-macs-new-book-marbills-sold-out-show/
–Remembering Ron “Sweets” Townson’s birthday is always important at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION. But for our 9th anniversary, we also acknowledge the recent anniversary of his passing, Aug. 2, 2001. Let’s put the spotlight on his lasting musical legacy with a look at our most comprehensive salute ever, experience “Sweet Memories of Sweets” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/celebrating-ron-townsons-birthday/
SWEET MEMORIES OF “SWEETS” by Robert-Allan Arno As we honor his official birth date (it’s January 29 and not the 20th as so many sites state in inadvertent error) at “Foreve…
–We have some nifty interviews with Bones Howe in our archive (the old MySpace days!) and will bring you some excerpts–by popular request– in the near future!
Lovely Quotes from Lovely People:
“Robert, no one can weave all of those elements about our music together in a superb lyrical tapestry like you do. You have a way with words that is truly God’s gift to you.” —Marilyn McCoo
“I’m so proud of the work Robert does for The 5th Dimension’s biography and my own, I’ve truly learned so much from him!”–LaMonte McLemore
“Robert is ‘The 6th Dimension!’”–Florence LaRue on Rewound Radio
“Robert, you never cease to amaze us! Know how much we appreciate you & your involvement in our life & career over the years. With so much knowledge to share, you bring a spirit of excellence to all that you do. We love you!” —Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
“Robert brings his rare passion to The 5th Dimension legacy, he is wonderful in keeping us fresh in his creativity.”–Bones Howe, The 5th Dimension Producer
The Delightful Florence LaRue
Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for concert schedule & more at: http://florencelarure.com or http://5thdimensionlive.com
First Couple of Pop & Soul
Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. for appearances & more at: Facebook Official, on Twitter @mccoodavis or at: http://www.mccoodavis.com
Visit LaMonte McLemore on: Facebook, Twitter @LaMonteMcLemore, and Linked-in
Purchase Mac’s 5-star hit memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5TH DIMENSION at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487528579&sr=8-1&keywords=hobo+flats+to+5th+dimension
Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum of Sterling Winters
Congratulations to FLORENCE LaRUE for receiving THE PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SERVICE AWARD from The Corporation for National and Community Service. The award is “In recognition and appreciation of commitment to strengthening our Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.” A well-deserved honor for Florence.
(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-17, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved)