Dateline Sept. 30: Fans & friends, this particular Sunday is a very special one as we celebrate Marilyn McCoo‘s birthday, today. On Facebook & Twitter, you’ve joined us this past week as we’ve counted down her greatest vocal solos accompanied by celebrity accolades. And your thoughtful reactions–the world over–on each thread, were magnificent. Just take a view of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Official on Facebook, or review the @mccoodavis Twitter feed!
Personally, like many of you, the eternal grace of Marilyn McCoo has made my life all the brighter. Each shining “Marilyn song”…every TV appearance…all the “live” concerts with The Original 5th Dimension, solo, or with hubby Billy…from Carnegie Hall to Atlantic City to Las Vegas…remain unforgettable. Working with Marilyn & Billy daily, presenting their social media, and on special projects like liner notes and Forever 5th Dimension exclusives, is a magnificent experience. The “chemistry” simply gels, with always something new & exciting to learn as we share much joy in creating! Fans & friends, as we all extend our appreciation, best wishes and blessings to Marilyn on the occasion of her birthday, Forever 5th Dimension presents the following “retrospective” of this week’s festivities as a heartfelt compendium of her stellar artistry. –Robert-Allan Arno
“If I Could Reach You”: We savor another “McCoo classic” as its composer, Randy McNeil weighs in with this compelling quote: “Marilyn made me feel like the most blessed songwriter on earth when she delivered her unmatchable vocal performance of ‘If I Could Reach You.’ With a voice so warm and mellow it could melt our hearts, yet possessing an electrifying energy that could give us chills and shake the rafters, God’s gift to her has been her gift to us. And the words and music of ‘If I Could Reach You’ were in need of Marilyn’s gift.” Listen here: https://youtu.be/QFTZrB-7d3I
“Wedding Bell Blues”: “It’s a Laura Nyro tune I always loved…and saved! When I found out Marilyn and Billy were dating, I knew it was the right time for Marilyn to record the lead…we surprised Billy and the group with it when they added their back-ups.” That’s producer Bones Howe talking about the Number 1 classic hit for The Original 5th Dimension, “Wedding Bell Blues.” Fun fact: It’s one of the top jukebox tunes of all time! Laura herself commented, “I LOVE what The 5th Dimension brought to my songs. They were like delicious ice cream sodas on a hot summer’s day!” Listen to Marilyn’s “scrumptious” vocal solo on “Wedding Bell Blues” here: https://youtu.be/7q21Bky7r2A
Bonus “McCoo tunes”…
The original version of “Saving All My Love for You” from the “Marilyn & Billy” album was envisioned in the genres of “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” Did you know it was a hit in the Philippines? Enjoy Marilyn’s sincere, bluesy interpretation here: https://youtu.be/EJtgtaRZm5M
Visit Marilyn & Billy, touring to the best reviews of their careers (like their recent sold-out Labor Day weekend at Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz Club*), at www.mccoodavis.com, follow them on Twitter @mccoodavis, and “like” Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Official) on Facebook!
*Enjoy exclusive photos of the “Catalina experience” in this collage, courtesy of Deniserose Torres
Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum, Blake Van Leer, and all the songwriters, singers and other luminaries who contributed their unique quotes for this edition!
(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., copyright 2008-18, Intellectual Property, All Rights Reserved)