Tag Archives: Florence LaRue

Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension In Concert: A “Funshine” Picnic!

The 5th Dimension featuring Florence LaRueThe Original 5th Dimension made a memorable appearance during 1967’s “Summer of Love” at the now historic Fantasy Fair & Magic Mountain Music Festival in Marin Country, California…and 50 years later, Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension brought their eternal sunshine to the Marin County Fair! Group member Patrice Morris described the exhilarating experience as “our best concert ever!”  And super-fan, our good friend Andy Gard shares with us his heartfelt review as an exclusive for FOREVER 5th DIMENSION…

BIRTHDAY “FUNSHINE” WITH FLORENCE LaRUE & THE 5th DIMENSION by Andy Gard

Marin County Fair, Sat. July 1st–Leading to my 56th birthday on July 3, I can honestly say this was one of the best days of my entire life! As usual, The 5th Dimension played a huge part in that. I’ll also add that this show was unequivocally the best concert I’ve seen by the current lineup of the group. Everyone (Florence, Patrice, Leonard, Floyd and Willie) was in top form from the get-go and every single song was given 110%. Even better was the fact that the group is doing more “5th material,” including “Workin’ On A Groovy Thing” and “California Soul” which I heard them perform for the first time that night, after the “Rain Medley” and before “One Less Bell To Answer.” The “electricity” exchanged between performers and audience made the evening into a real love fest.

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L to R: Willie, Florence, Leonard, Patrice and Floyd (courtesy John Estes)

The show began and it was immediately clear the group’s energy was turned all the way up. After “September” and “My Girl” came “Groovy Thing” which led into a selection of the group’s biggest songs performed in full, including “Wedding Bell Blues” “The Worst That Could Happen” “Never My Love” “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” and “MacArthur Park.” “Stoned Soul Picnic” followed and as usual, Florence ventured into the crowd to invite people to dance with her. The first person she picked happened to be a guy named Andy and after his turn Florence announced, “Speaking of Andys, I have a friend in the audience named Andy and it’s his birthday. Where are you, Andy?” I made my presence known and went down front to Ms. LaRue, who asked if I’d been practicing my dance moves. I said I’d done my best and evidently it was pretty good judging from the feedback I received!

ANDY AND FLORENCE

Andy dances with delightful diva Florence (courtesy Patrice Morris)

The rest of the show was fantastic and the crowd was so hyped up they were standing and dancing from the very beginning of “Aquarius” even before the transition into “Let The Sunshine In!” The group came back for an encore and at the very end led the audience in an accapella version of “God Bless America,” the perfect conclusion to a 4th of July weekend concert…as was the fire works display. Then, spending quality time with Florence backstage for a lovely post-concert visit was the “icing” on my birthday cake!

Check out more upcoming concerts…Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension continue their “Champagne Soul” magic:  https://www.pollstar.com/artist/the-5th-dimension-53228

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-2017, The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved)

A Heartfelt Tribute: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Honored by Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters

A Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive by Robert-Allan Arno
PIONEER DAIS

On the dias for McCoo & Davis, a gathering of friends & colleagues L to r bttm:  Lou Gossett., Florence LaRue, Marilyn & Billy, Joan van Ark; l to r top: President of PPB Alan Perris, Kathy Ireland, Harry Elston, Pat Boone, Wink Martindale (Photo by Roxanne Schorbach)

May 19, 2017–The prestigious Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters celebrity luncheon honored Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. for their achievements in radio & TV broadcasting with a heartfelt and fun-loving Friday afternoon tribute.  As reported to Forever 5th Dimension from key attendees, the duo of the hour– 7-time Grammy-winning musical legends McCoo & Davis (“Up-Up and Away,” “You Don’t Have to be a Star (To be in My Show),” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “One Less Bell to Answer”), were simply bowled over by such an affectionate array of reflections from those luminaries who appeared on the dais.Pioneer Placard

Pac JoanActress Joan van Ark recited a compelling compendium of lyrics from various hit songs by The 5th Dimension while Florence LaRue delivered an emotional homage to her fellow Original 5th Dimension trailblazers and friends.

pac FlorenceThe graceful LaRue cited Billy’s voice as one which still brings a tear to her eye.  Actor Lou Gossett, Jr. and Harry Elston of The Friends of Distinction were downright hysterical (Harry’s nickname for Billy is “Wilbur”…with Billy trading quick quips with Mr. Elston!)

Pac HARRY

Harry Elston of The Friends of Distinction brought humor to the event.

pacific ireland done

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. are joined by Kathy Ireland

The lovely Kathy Ireland as well as the perennially wholesome Pat Boone and TV host Wink Martindale brought faith-based thoughts to the proceedings, acknowledging Marilyn & Billy’s own hallmark of goodness, integrity and commitment to charitable causes.

PIONEER COLLAGE TWO

Saluting the first African American married couple to have their own network TV variety series, the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters put together a masterfully entertaining video montage of McCoo & Davis’s numerous artistic achievements.

Pac Gilmore

Marilyn & Billy receiving the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award from PPB President Alan Perris

Tony Orlando and LaMonte McLemore sent video and written testimonials to their lifelong friends and colleagues. Orlando (with Dawn counterparts) opened for The Original 5th Dimension, “back in the day” at Westbury Music Fair and credits that “gig” as getting his trio discovered for their iconic TV series. McLemore literally brought former beauty contest winner Marilyn and St. Louis buddy Billy together in LA, upon forming The 5th Dimension in ’65.  McCoo & Davis will celebrate 48 years of marriage this coming July.

Pacific Steve Retouch

Having good fun at the McCoo/Davis Tribute L to r bttm: Florence LaRue, Marilyn & Billy, Pat Boone, Wink Martindale; l to r top: President Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, Alan Perris, Harry Elston, Joan van Ark, Kathy Ireland

Visit Marilyn & Billy at their Official Facebook page,

on Twitter @mccoodavis

See their website for latest concert schedule; McCoo & Davis tour with their acclaimed Broadway-like autobiographical musical, “Up-Up & Away–a musical fable”:  www.mccoodavis.com

Special Thanks to Steve Rosenblum, Sterling/Winters,

and the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters (http://www.ppbwebsite.org)

From-the-dais photos courtesy of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters FB page

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., copyright 2008-17, Intellectual Property, All Rights Reserved)

Celebrating a Legacy

Honoring Black History Month ’17–

a Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive Report by Robert-Allan Arno

arnie

Museum Display—  Here’s a lively backstage photo of The Original 5th Dimension: Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., LaMonte McLemore, Florence LaRue & Ron “Sweets” Townson circa ’70.  It’s from photographer Arnie Lee‘s famed shoot of the quintet (onstage & off, at Eastern Michigan University) and we’re so proud to note that select pics from this session–including this one!–are currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

florence-fringe-now

Florence’s Milestone, A Gathering of Forever Friends—  Our delightful diva, Ms. Florence LaRue just toasted a milestone birthday. She shares with us:

“WOW!! I haven’t the words or the time to individually thank the many people all over the world who sent wonderful birthday wishes to me! I thank God for all of you taking the time to do so; and I thank Him for allowing me to live 75 healthy years!~~~Yes 75!! I understand that some had my years much younger, but I am grateful for the years of learning, experiencing and growing closer to God! My heart is so full~~~THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!! I feel SO loved! 🙂 and I send love to you!”  —Florence

floyd

Current & founding members of The 5th Dimension join Ms. LaRue at her birthday soiree.  L to R: Floyd Smith, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence, Leonard Tucker & Patrice Morris

On Feb. 18, Florence had a sumptuous house party attended by friends, family, fans and musical colleagues, including Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. who sang, individually at the intimate gathering.  Also attending were current members of The 5th Dimension:  Patrice Morris, Leonard Tucker and Floyd Smith. Here’s a lovely photo commemorating the event.

book cover

Memoir Available on Amazon*

LaMonte Celebrates–  And throughout this meaningful month, founder of The 5th Dimension, LaMonte McLemore is making select media appearances discussing the harmonious, unifying legacy of The 5th Dimension, his hit memoir “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” and featuring his exciting new song, a call for global peace: CEASE FIRE.

J100

Available at CD Baby:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore

“Mac” has appeared with Jimmy Howes on WGHT, Freddie Bell and Chantel on “The People’s Station”–KMOJ, Teddy Bear on LOTL Radio and just taped a podcast for world-wide distribution with the engaging Chris Yandeck at “CY Interview”:

You can listen to LaMonte’s heartfelt, in-depth chat with Chris at this easy link:  http://www.cyinterview.com/2017/02/up-up-and-away-the-5th-dimension-founder-lamonte-mclemore-talks-his-life-and-his-book-from-hobo-flats-to-the-5th-dimension-a-life-fulfilled-in-baseball-photography-and-music/

Essential Links:

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

Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for concert schedule & more at:  http://5thdimensionlive.com

Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. for appearances & more at: Facebook Official, on Twitter @mccoodavis  or at:  http://www.mccoodavis.com

Photo Credits: Arnie Lee, all rights reserved; the Thalians; Patrice Morris…

mac and mccoo

Bonus shot! Marilyn & Mac, circa ’70, by Arnie Lee

  Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright ’17, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved

Happy Birthday to the Delightful Florence LaRue

flor-village

Dateline Feb 4–I just spoke with the indefatigable, sunshiny, ever-inspiring,  not to mention always glamorous Florence LaRue…up in Niagara Falls as she was not only anticipating a birthday but a sold-out series of concerts with The 5th Dimension.

Our FOREVER 5th DIMENSION 2017 birthday tribute to our “Delightful Diva” is fresh–chock full o’ photos, a “historic homage” and special commentary from the fans as we explore Florence’s best-loved vocal solos. 

Simply tune in at the link below & join us for the “Florence Celebration!”:

–Robert-Allan Arno

https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/the-delightful-divas-birthday/

Forever 5th Dimension–Greatest Hits of ’16!

year-end-collage-16-revisedI was on the radio with LaMonte McLemore this past spring talking with broadcasting great Jimmy Howes of WGHT and we all came to a simultaneous revelation–not that “The Declaration” somehow foreshadowed “Hamilton” (although we did and it did!), but that “Mac,” Florence (and The current 5th Dimension) and Marilyn & Billy are still here, as vibrant as ever, doing their “groovy thing”…spreading “sunshine”…with “love lines” in every note sung, every interview they do. To the special fans–we who are considered friends, and part of “The 5th Family”–that reality is a true blessing to celebrate. And so we bring you our annual “Greatest Hits” review of ’16 (in no particular order) as we look forward to a new year in grace, with “balloons, picnics and bells” ringing us in! And we also toast the dawning of our 9th year of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, you’ve made us a global success and we are grateful. —Robert-Allan Arno, Biographer The Original 5th Dimension & LaMonte McLemore

COOL 5th BODY NOW THREEFlorence LaRue & The 5th Dimension continue to present their family-friendly, sophisticated n’ smokin’ evenings of “Champagne Soul” all over the country and the world. This past year, a concert in the Philippines was a highlight for the quintet which features Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker & Floyd Smith.  Our “delightful diva” is age-proof as she celebrates 50 years with the group and appears with today’s 5th on the top morning TV info-tainment shows, often.  Florence also did a mini-tour with Maureen McGovern and Freda Payne bringing joy this Christmas season. Ms. LaRue tells me with classy sass, “We have some catching up to do!”…you know our lovely lady and her abounding energies have lotsa’ sweet plans for ’17…of course, look for The 5th Dimension lead by Florence on tour…their authentic harmonies, all your favorite hits, are fresher than ever!  Just in–A sold-out concert in St. Petersburg started the new year on the perfect note; a Las Vegas evening on Sat. Feb 21 at the Cannery Casino Hotel continues the onstage “5th fab fun”!

Visit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension for concert schedule and more at:  http://5thdimensionlive.com

Unforgettable Seven Gen BobMarilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., those eternal sweethearts of Rock n’ Soul, celebrated 47 years of marriage this past July.  They have been busy doing what they love best, touring with their contemporary concert presentation of Blues, Torch and Pop-Soul plus an all-new Broadway-like extravaganza, in many ways their musical autobiography titled:  “Up-Up and Away: A Musical Fable.”  Our “MarBill” appear frequently on radio and TV (a highlight was a visit to “Sandyland” on Sirius hosted by Sandra Bernhard this past spring) and are regular contributors to FOREVER 5th DIMENSION with their touching thoughts and astute commentary peppered all throughout our Blog entries.  I thank them wholeheartedly for their continued enthusiasm, care and wise mentoring!  Our favorite duo is already gearing up for their winter residency at the Colony in Palm Beach, Florida (Jan. 17-28), and for their 3rd Valentine’s weekend appearance in a row (Feb. 11-12) at the Orleans Casino Hotel in Las Vegas!

Read our FOREVER 5th DIMENSION Review of MarBill’s “Up-Up & Away:  A Musical Fable” at: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/marilyn-billy-bring-an-irresistible-musical-fable/

For up-to-the-minute concert news, visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. at their official FB page or at their website:  http://www.mccoodavis.com

mac-by-kenny–I probably talk to “Mac,” LaMonte McLemore who has nicknamed me “Rev. Arno,” nearly every day. We are bonded for life, my always suave “brother like no other” because of his hit memoir which I had the pleasure to co-author, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music,” still doing well, now in its 2nd edition.  Mac and I are always coming up with something to confer on, for instance his new song, a powerful anthem of peace, brilliantly produced by Lloyd Tolbert with sweet-soul vocal by Julio Hanson, is called “Cease Fire.” We’ve had much fun promoting this tune (its title is also a chapter name in the memoir), getting the message out to the media & the masses.  If you liked “A Love Like Ours” and “The Singer” (both penned by LaMonte), you’ll love his concept of “Cease Fire”–and guess what, Mac even does the spoken-word narration on the recording!  LaMonte has appeared on numerous radio /TV shows & podcasts this past year, a highlight was being featured in Kelly Wright’s uplifting “Beyond the Dream” series on Fox news.  About the new year, LaMonte says with his mischievously visionary smile, “Let’s do it bigger and better in 2017!”

book coverOrder “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

J100Download “Cease Fire” at CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore

Join LaMonte McLemore on his lively Facebook page; Mac is on Twitter @lamontemclemore

–This concluding “greatest hits” entry is for you! complete-singlesBut first, a hurrah that just in time for the holidays, our friends at Real Gone Music released the comprehensive 3-CD box set:  “The 5th Dimension, The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles–’66-’75” available for order at:  http://shop.realgonemusic.com/collections/upcoming/products/the-5th-dimension-the-complete-soul-city-bell-singles-3cd-set  MeTV issued a very popular article, too this past year, perhaps the opposite of “completest” with “The Story of The 5th Dimension in 5 Glorious Songs” at:  http://www.metv.com/lists/the-story-of-the-5th-dimension-in-five-glorious-songs  And our pals at Rewound Radio have The 5th prominently on their annual year-end Top 77 Hits of All-Time survey with “One Less Bell” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” still riding high.  (Listen to Rewound on the net at:  www.rewoundradio.com)

And now, what’s on your personal “5th wish list” for the new year? Taking in some concerts with some post-show photo ops with Florence & crew or Marilyn & Billy…or wanting some more CD re-issues?  (We have a few things still in the vaults by the way, but that’s another story!) And for you left-fielders, we’re working to get some “unexpected” surprises on the horizon, too!  Stay tuned, friends & fans and immeasurable thanks to each & every one of you for your continued support. And to our stars…Florence, Marilyn & Billy and LaMonte…may you shine more brightly than ever!!no-jive3-men-try-this-3

year-end-personal(Photos: The Arno 5th McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection and courtesy General Bob, Andy Gard, DeniseRose Torres, Getty Images, “LaMonte art” by Kenneth Green; Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno is a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd, copyright 2008-17, intellectual property, all rights reserved.)

Autograph Offer: The 5th Dimension–The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles 3CD Set

complete-singlesBreaking News:  The 5th Dimension–The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles 3CD Set!

In celebration of The 5th Dimension legacy’s 50 year anniversary, REAL GONE MUSIC proudly presents the most comprehensive 5th Dimension collection ever assembled!  And here’s a special autograph offer*…

autographsAll four living members (Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr.  and LaMonte McLemore) of The 5th Dimension have signed 28 copies of this set. REAL GONE MUSIC is going to take orders until 12:00 pm PST this Monday December 19, 2016 and then select the winners randomly. If you do not receive an autographed version you will get a $5 coupon good for your next order from Real Gone Music!

*PRE-ORDER NOW AT THIS LINK: 

http://shop.realgonemusic.com/collections/upcoming/products/the-5th-dimension-the-complete-soul-city-bell-singles-3cd-set

About “The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles”:

  • Back in 1966, Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., LaMonte McLemore, and Ron Townson Began Making Beautiful Music Together, and Pop-Soul Music Has Never Been the Same
  • The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles 1966-1975 Presents All the Singles the Group Recorded for the Soul City and Bell Labels, Plus Their First Single (as The Versatiles) for the Bronco Label and Their Lone Single Release for Arista
  • Three Compact Discs and 61 Tracks of Swinging, Soulful Harmonies, Brilliant Arrangements, Groundbreaking Production, and Some of the Best Songwriting to Come Out of the ‘60s and ‘70s
  • Includes 30 Pop and 15 R&B Hits, All in Their Hard-to-Find Mono Single Mixes Including Some Rare Non-LP Sides and Single Edits
  • Features Such Legendary Recordings as “Up—Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,” and “If I Could Reach You”
  • Features Production by the Great Bones Howe, Vocal Arrangements by Industry Legend Bob Alcivar, and Instrumental Accompaniment by the Famed Wrecking Crew
  • Includes the Songs (e.g. “Up—Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic”) That Brought the Songwriting Brilliance of Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro to the Masses
  • Exquisitely Remastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios
  • Exclusive Liner Quotes from Florence LaRue, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, LaMonte McLemore
  • Housed Inside a Beautiful 8-Panel Digipak Festooned with Rare Photos
  • The Summit of Sunshine Pop-Soul!

This Collection features these songs: 

Disc : 1
1. You’re Good Enough for Me
2. Bye Bye Baby
3. I’ll Be Lovin’ You Forever
4. Train Keep On Movin’
5. Go Where You Wanna Go
6. Too Poor to Die
7. Another Day, Another Heartache
8. Rosecrans Blvd.
9. Up Up & Away
10. Which Way to Nowhere
11. Paper Cup
12. Poor Side of Town
13. Carpet Man
14. The Magic Garden
15. Stoned Soul Picnic
16. The Sailboat Song
17. Sweet Blindness
18. Bobbie’s Blues (Who Do You Think Of?)
19. California Soul
20. It’ll Never Be the Same Again

Disc : 2
1. Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures)
2. Don’t Cha Hear Me Callin’ to Ya
3. Workin’ on a Groovy Thing
4. Broken Wing Bird
5. Wedding Bell Blues
6. Lovin’ Stew
7. Blowing Away
8. Skinny Man
9. The Declaration
10. A Change Is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free
11. The Girls’ Song
12. Puppet Man
13. A Love Like Ours
14. Save the Country
15. Dimension 5ive
16. On the Beach (In the Summertime)
17. This Is Your Life
18. One Less Bell to Answer
19. Feelin’ Alright?
20. Love’s Lines Angles & Rhymes
21. The Singer

Disc : 3
1. Light Sings
2. Viva Tirado
3. Never My Love
4. Together Let’s Find Love
5. I Just Wanna Be Your Friend
6. (Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All
7. The River Witch
8. If I Could Reach You

9. Tomorrow Belongs to the Children
10. Living Together Growing Together
11. What Do I Need to Be Me
12. Everything’s Been Changed
13. There Never Was a Day
14. Ashes to Ashes
15. Flashback
16. Diggin’ for a Livin’
17. Harlem
18. My Song
19. No Love in the Room
20. I Don’t Know How to Look for Love

Special thanks to Gordon Anderson, president of Real Gone. 

Please note:  FOREVER 5th DIMENSION will have an exclusive Q & A with Gordon, coming soon, this holiday season!

–Robert-Allan Arno

(Forever 5th Dimension, A production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved, copyright ’08-2016)

Vote: Rewound Radio’s Top 77

VOTE—Our friends at Rewound Radio are always so kind to the legacy of The 5th Dimension/McCoo-Davis featuring the hits, rarities, birthday salutes to the stars and fresh interviews & ID’s with Marilyn & Billy, Florence LaRue and LaMonte McLemore. Show your appreciation and VOTE in this year’s TOP 77 OF ALL TIME, it’s a festive, exciting tradition as the results are unveiled & played on Rewound  between Christmas & New Year, starting Dec. 26. This year, pick your TEN all-time favorite songs from the 50’s thru the 80’s…it’s fun & easy to vote at:

http://www.musicradio77.com/voting2016.html

the-5th-dimension AWESOME

Hear Classics by The 5th Dimension and your other fave all-time artists of the Rock n’ Roll Era at Rewound Radio on the ‘net at

http://www.rewoundradio.com

And don’t forget to visit the stars for latest concert, appearance & project news!

RARE ALTERN 5thVisit Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension at: www.http://5thdimensionlive.com

Black White Columbus DayVisit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. at their official FB page or at http://www.mccoodavis.com

HOBO Lamonte photogVisit LaMonte McLemore on FB, Twitter or Linked-In