Tag Archives: FOREVER 5th DIMENSION

“Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room”

LIVING ROOM BIRTHDAY TWO

Curated by Robert-Allan Arno

September 30, 2017–I’m so proud to present a very special edition of FOREVER 5th DIMENSION. Not only is it the birthday of our revered and stellar songbird, Ms. Marilyn McCoo, but today, Marilyn and her legendary hubby of 48 years, our Gentleman of Soul, Mr. Billy Davis, Jr. graciously welcome you into their “living room!”  Over the past 9 years, each time our globally-acclaimed FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog has had the pleasure of interviewing the 7-time Grammy award-winning “First Couple of Pop & Soul,” hands-down your consistent feedback has been: “It’s like I’m in their living room, being part of the conversation with Marilyn and Billy!” Indeed, in my warm chats with the endearing duo, we’ve laughed and cried, talked the music of a lifetime including ‘going deep’ with rarities, we’ve even done mini-Master Classes in singing interpretation! And we’ve never excluded keeping it faith-based while weaving in all the burning questions fans have wanted to hear! Now it’s your chance to ask those questions directly to “MarBill,” here within based on our polling you, the special fans over the past month.
RARE palm beachSo put on some hazelnut-flavored coffee, put up a pot of spicy herbal tea, grab some delectable cookies, too…and let’s get cozy with our very gracious, favorite couple, who’ll make YOU “a star in their show”…
Iconic Recordings, Hits to Fan Favorites…
Douglas C. Charles poses, “One of the things I really loved about The Original 5th Dimension was their unique harmonies. There are parts in songs that to this day give me chills like the ‘let the airwaves flow” extended segment in ‘Moonlight Mile’ (from EARTHBOUND). What I’m wondering is if there were special times for you guys, where you heard this beautiful 5th sound in-studio and really “knew” that it was special…perhaps gave you chills, too.”
MARILYN:  Yes, I heard those special harmonies and knew they were great.  I loved singing them in rehearsal, especially “Moonlight Mile,” and knew the result would be incredible.  Jimmy always came up with sounds I felt defined The 5th Dimension.  Other moments like that:  a) the prologue and epilogue of EARTHBOUND; b) “Orange Air;”  c) “Sky & Sea;”  d) “Dimension 5ive;”  e) “Black Patch;”  f)  “One Less Bell to Answer”–the background vocals.
BILLY:   I’ve always enjoyed Jimmy’s arrangements of his songs.  I didn’t think he could top the MAGIC GARDEN album until EARTHBOUND!  Because of circumstances we were dealing with which ultimately led to me and Marilyn leaving The 5th Dimension, I wasn’t able to really hear the magic of the group’s sounds and Jimmy’s brilliant arrangements.  In fact, we didn’t seriously listen to the project until years later, when our personal feelings and emotions had long since faded.EARTHBOUND ALBUM
Doug continues, “For Marilyn: I have always thought that ‘When Did I Lose Your Love’ (also from EARTHBOUND) was one of your most heart-touching performances. There is also that amazing acoustic guitar (by Larry Coryell) blending throughout. Could you share any thoughts on the process of that song?”
MARILYN:  When I recorded that song, my goal was to make it like a reflective moment, perhaps looking out of the window on a rainy day wondering how things fell apart.  Larry Coryell’s beautiful guitar really enhanced the emotion.
Our friend Andy Gard inquires, “Since the release of the Real Gone Music singles collection by The 5th Dimension last year, I’ve been thinking about ‘Diggin’ for a Livin,’ (the rare flip-side to ‘Flashback’). My question for Billy is do any other members of the group sing on that, or is it purely your solo? I certainly don’t hear the ladies or Ron, but there’s a section where there’s a harmony vocal and I’m wondering if that’s your voice doubled or possibly LaMonte’s?”
BILLY:  Andy, that’s me singing harmony with myself, and it’s one of very few of the group’s recordings that contained no background vocals.BILLY BILLY

Wilse Chappel expresses,  “First, I’d like to mention I love the work you two are doing with your ‘Soldiers for the Second Coming’ ministry. Marilyn and Billy, can you think back on the times you recorded the vocals for ‘One Less Bell To Answer’ and ‘You Don’t Have To Be A Star.’ Could you share what those moments were like in the studio? Those are two of my favorites from the earlier days.”

MARILYN:  “Star” was a fun song to sing.  The lyrics were catchy, and Don Davis had produced a really hip, danceable track.  He always believed it would be a hit.  “One Less Bell” was the quintessential torch song by Bacharach and David, a dream for someone like me who loves torch songs.  I never thought it would a single or a hit.mar-six-8
BILLY:  I had really wanted the group to have a danceable hit record.  The closest thing to it was “Stoned Soul Picnic.”  With “Star,” me and Marilyn were recording a song that just might be that hit!
Jim Handakas asks Billy, “Did you try to get ‘The Worst That Could Happen’ released as a single? I preferred your solo over the version that ultimately was a hit (by The Brooklyn Bridge).”
BILLY:  We didn’t have any say-so about the singles chosen at that time.  The powers that be at Liberty/Soul City Records said they didn’t want a single released that focused on a soloist; they wanted the group sound which was selling at that time.
Renee Armstead has a more general question about your recordings.  She asks, “What are some of your favorites with The 5th Dimension, and then as a duet.”

BOTH:  In addition to the obvious “Up-Up and Away,” “Aquarius/Sunshine,” and “One Less Bell,” here are some of our additional favorites:  Group:  1) “Requiem: 820 Latham;” 2) “Sky & Sea;” 3) “Leave A Little Room;” 4) “Black Patch;” 5) “Stoned Soul Picnic;” 6) “Dimension 5ive;” 7) “Love’s, Lines, Angles & Rhymes;”  8) “Moonlight Mile.”  Duets:  1) “Star;” 2) “Easy Way Out;” 3) “My Love For You Will Always Be the Same;” 4) “My Reason To Be is You;” 5) “The Two Of Us.”

Deniserose Torres shares, “I have found that over the years, I hear many of your songs differently than when first encountered–whether it’s the vocal/musical arrangements or in the meaning of the words. Are there any songs you sing that have changed in feeling or meaning for you?”
BOTH:  Some of our songs that we listen to today, we hear with different ears:  1) “The Declaration” Medley (featuring “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “People Gotta Be Free”) has changed as the country has changed, giving us a more updated reference, we’re sorry to say;  2) “Those Were the Days”—as we have advanced in years, some of those lyrics are harder to hear or sing now without getting a lump in our throats;  3) “Ashes to Ashes”—Lambert & Potter’s lyrics had a greater depth than what we connected to in our earlier years.
About Laura…

Both Ed Clay Grant and Gregory Hall ask, “What was your relationship like with Laura Nyro?”  Gregory inquires, “Did you ever meet her?” Ed explains, “She was a favorite lost too soon. It seems utterly amazing that The 5th Dimension had hits with five of her songs — that must be a record! ” (Editor’s Note:  “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Sweet Blindness,” “Blown’ Away,” “Save the Country.”)


BILLY:  We “formally” met Laura when we were working on her songs, but our paths crossed earlier when the group was working in San Francisco, one of our first major gigs.  She was staying in an apartment hotel in a room below LaMonte, Ron & me.  She was out on her balcony one day singing with her background singers.  She and I said “hello” and chit-chatted for a few minutes, having no idea of our future that lay ahead or that her music and our group sound would work so well together.
Dimension 5ive: This n’ That!
Here’s a fun one from Jungle Room on Twitter:  “Did you ever meet Elvis?”

BOTH:  We met Elvis in Lake Tahoe at the Sahara Tahoe.  We were closing that night and he was opening the next night.  They had a tunnel we’d use going back and forth to the backstage.  He had just finished rehearsing; we were going backstage to get ready for our show.  He was very nice and said he was coming to the show.  We were thrilled!!  The backstage manager informed us when he arrived at the show.  Elvis’ rep asked what was our second to the last song in the show so they could slip out right afterward.  They also asked us to please not introduce him.  We said, “Don’t worry. We don’t want to cause a riot and ruin the rest of our show!”

Our friend  Loretta Sorensen has a couple of thoughtful inquires of each of you: “If you were not in the entertainment business, what other career would you see yourself in?  She continues with: “What was your favorite song growing up?”
BILLY:  Although I loved baseball and think I could’ve played professionally, all I ever really wanted to do was sing.  One of my favorite songs growing up was “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole.
MARILYN:  I might have gone into law.  I had taken a business law class in college and really enjoyed it.  But music was always my first desire.  One of my favorite songs growing up was, of course, a torch song, “The Man That Got Away.”
Marilyn and Billy, here’s a pair of questions from loyal fans who happen to be a husband and wife too, Mariette and Alain Baptiste.  I particularly love the “yin and yang” of their inquiry: “My wife Mariette wonders if Miss McCoo uses one specific designer as (she says:) ‘Marilyn always looks so elegant and fresh.’ My question is for Mr. Davis: I can bet you were a great singer even as a child, like Marilyn, but when did the lyrics become so important to you? My guess is during the MAGIC GARDEN sessions! We think both Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. put huge meaning behind their renderings!”
BILLY:  When I began listening to music, I always realized there was a story being told with the melody.  I understood that I needed to interpret that story for the listeners so they could feel it like I felt it.

MARILYN:  I know lines that work for my body (and those that don’t!).  I pick my clothes with that in mind.  I don’t always buy the same designer since their tastes change and don’t always work for me.  But for my performance clothes, I like Linda Stokes.  She understands a woman’s body, she makes her clothes fit for me in the most flattering way, and she’ll change a look if needed.

Robert:  Many of the radio jingles and TV commercials The Original 5th Dimension participated in, “back in the day” (e.g. Chevrolet, Coca Cola) are as well-remembered as your hit tunes. Then there’s the adorable ’70’s classic with The 5th dancing on the Jello box singing: “…It never gets too heavy, It’s gossamer, it never holds you down.”JELLO  In this regard, Duane Edwards submitted a reflection: “Does a second commercial for Jello exist? I either dreamed it or saw it once on afternoon TV during the soaps. It went something like this: hands are seen carrying a tray with bowls of Jello into a recording studio to a receptive group. The members of The 5th Dimension are then seen enjoying the treat while listening to their Jello jingle!”

BOTH:  We don’t remember a second version of the Jello commercial. Too bad Ronald’s (Townson) no longer with us; he was the unofficial group historian.
John Holt has a question about artwork on one of Johnny River’s record covers:  “Is it The 5th Dimension in a hot air balloon on one of Johnny’s albums?
BOTH:  Johnny Rivers certainly had access to the hot air balloon artwork of the UP-UP AND AWAY album cover since he owned the Soul City label.  But we don’t remember one of our photos being used on an album of his.
Master Class a la MarBill

Dave Maze expresses, “I saw you in Atlantic City last summer and spoke to your Music Director, Darrell Alston who told me you still sing everything in the original keys. What do you do to keep so youthful overall, and your voices so strong in order to be able to do that? Then when I had the pleasure of meeting you both, Billy said upon learning I was a singer, ‘Never stop singing!’ What other vocal tricks do you guys have up your sleeve?”

BOTH:  We have to keep vocalizing, doing exercises we learned from vocal teachers that really work for our voices, and keep challenging ourselves.  We also try to eat healthy and maintain some form of exercise.

And here’s an artistic “love letter” to Marilyn, so appropriate as “Living Room” debuts on her birthday. Jim Handakas is back to share, “Your voice has always spoken directly to my soul. The phrasing, the pitch, how the richness of your belt voice effortlessly floats up to your pristine soprano…all of it comes together in your remarkable performances. I have been in the audience to hear you sing your signature hits many times and you always deliver. How much has training figured into your longevity? Your range is still amazing!”

MARILYN:  First, thank you for that lovely description of how you feel my voice operates!  I have my father to thank for making sure I studied voice with a wonderful teacher while in college.  He used to say, “I don’t want your voice to cloud up from over-use like singers who never studied.”  I also learned invaluable technique from Seth Riggs, a renowned teacher who worked with Michael Jackson, Billy and a number of other well-known singers.
Deniserose adds, “Do you have any pre-concert rituals and/or vocal warm- ups?
BILLY:  I have an allergy to wheat and sugar, so a week before we work, I eliminate them totally from my diet (and then I pig-out afterward!)  Also, both of us intensify our vocal exercises at least two weeks before we sing.  One more thing: we chew sugar-free gum for an hour before the show to lubricate our vocal cords.
McCoo & Davis, Coming to a Town Near You!
Marilyn and Billy, two special fans are quite fervent in their hopes to have you appear in their areas. Robyn Pippins wonders, often “will you be performing in Atlanta anytime soon?” And  Hiromi Hirahata asks, “Do you have a plan to come to Japan in the near future? 47 years passed since The 5th Dimension came to Japan for the very first time. We Japanese fans eagerly hope you will come again and sing for us!”  

Robert:  And may I add to this, because you have fans from Chicago, Boston, New York City and many more places, clamoring for your return engagements. Does management take note of this, and does it help for fans to suggest to you a specific venue or to even request “McCoo and Davis,” specifically at their home town venues?
BOTH:   Robyn, thanks for your enthusiasm for us to return to Atlanta.  We love Atlanta and want to play there again.  We just need the offer to return.
BOTH:   Hiromi, we are very frustrated that we haven’t been back to Japan.  Our experience at Expo ’70 is one we treasure, and winning the Tokyo Music Festival has been a highlight of our careers.

BOTH:   We believe, and have seen evidence, that if enough people express to the right venues an interest in seeing an artist perform in their area, it can encourage the buyers to investigate the possibilities.  So, that being said, we love Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Cleveland, San Diego, Pittsburgh (and many more; the list gets long!).

Speaking of touring, Luann Scribani wonders,  “Over the years, what was your favorite venue to perform in? Is there a particular concert that stands out in your minds?”
MARILYN:  Favorite concert: at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, The Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe opened for The 5th Dimension.  This was a special program where we were able to present to our fans an exciting evening of music and dance  They loved it and the concert was very favorably reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.  (Billy & I got married a week after we closed.)  My favorite place: the Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland; they were always awesome audiences.Appreciation 43
BILLY:   My favorite venue is The Cerritos Performing Arts Center in California because the sound is always incredible.  My most memorable concert was in Saratoga, NY.  The house was filled to capacity, and the audience was waiting for us to come out into the house at the end of “Aquarius” to bring one person each on stage.   We got back on stage and it looked like the entire audience was trying to join us.  They swarmed the stage and the group left…with me still out there singing!  Marilyn came back and got me, grabbed my arm and I left my mic on the floor.  A scary experience!
“Solid Gold” Memories
solid gold
Kon Koroneos says all the way from Melbourne, Australia, “Marilyn, I loved your hair and I loved your style! To Billy, from one bloke to another, you are all style!  To Marilyn, on ‘Sold Gold,’ which of the duets you performed (for example, with Ronnie Milsap, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.) was your favorite? My fav ‘Solid Gold’ duet of yours (with someone other than Billy whose voice I love) is with Paul Williams!”
MARILYN:   I’d never thought about which of the duets I sang was my favorite.  So I had to go to YouTube to jar my memory (Thank God for YouTube!).  There were three that stood out for me:  Cliff Richard and me singing “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” the performance with B.J. Thomas singing his hits medley, and the duet with Carl Wilson singing “God Only Knows.”
Jeff Lahr echoes the thought,”Marilyn, you sang with many wonderful performers on ‘Solid Gold’ over the years. Who were some of your favorites?”

MARILYN:  I’d forgotten how many songs I sang with Cliff Richard; he was always a pleasure to work with (so musical; Billy and I enjoyed the tour we did with him in England a few years ago.)  Singing with the Commodores was so much fun (and a reach for me!).  Paul Williams, in addition to being an incredible songwriter, was also a riot to work with. He toured with The 5th Dimension, so we got to know him well, and he and Billy really hit it off!  Donna Summer and I sang a Christmas duet together. Her voice was so powerful that when she came to my dressing room to rehearse, she almost blew me out of the room!  (And I thought Billy had a powerful voice!)

Brad Katzman shares, “I have followed you two over the years…love your music and wonderful marriage (and reading your autobiography made me feel connected to your lives). Would you consider doing a ‘Solid Gold’ type revival or similar show.
MARILYN:  I’ve learned to always keep my mind open to new ideas.  Who knows?
Scott Lakefield commented on Twitter: “Loved when you hosted ‘Solid Gold,’ Marilyn. Do you think it’ll ever be made available on DVD?
MARILYN:   Sorry, Scott, I don’t have an answer on that one.
Marc Stoc asks, “Hi Marilyn, what are your thoughts on your SOLID GOLD album? Do you wish you had released more solo projects?”
MARILYN:  It was a concept project meant to capitalize on the TV exposure.  I’m sorry it didn’t do better but we all have those experiences in our lives.  One of my favorite songs on that album was “Every Breath You Take.”  I was very pleased with my contemporary Christian CD that was nominated for a Grammy, THE ME NOBODY KNOWS.   I enjoy looking for new project ideas for Billy and me to do together.
Future Recordings, Mar-Bill style!

Robert:  Which leads to Robyn‘s inquiry about you two hopefully “blessing us with potential new recordings.” Marilyn and Billy, we have a number of questions in this regard.

Jungle Room also asks, “Would Billy consider doing a follow-up to his Gospel CD?”  Faithful fan Susan Aglio enthuses, “Marilyn’s Christmas CD is an all-time favorite. I’m hoping Marilyn and Billy might record a new Christmas project!”

BILLY:  Yes, I have thought about doing another Gospel project.
MARILYN:   Billy and I have talked about the possibility of a Christmas project together.  We would enjoy that.
Andy returns with: “With your 50th wedding anniversary on the horizon, have you given any thought to going back into the studio and recording a follow-up to ‘The Many Faces of Love?’ Since your voices are still in such excellent shape, I know we’d all love to hear fresh material from you!”MANY FACES
BOTH:  We haven’t really considered doing a 50th Anniversary project at this point, but we still have a couple of years…
Brian Medoro offers this recording “twist”: “I’ve noticed some artists, in lieu of recording full albums, are releasing songs one-at-a-time. It takes the pressure off especially if the artist is on a tour…and of course, there’s nothing better than seeing you live! Would that concept be something you would consider for yourselves?”

BOTH:   Brian, thanks for the suggestion; today’s market is very different from our original record-making time.  It’s worth considering…
Good for the Soul…marbill CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
Robert:  Marilyn and Billy, some faith-based questions are so lovely as we now light candles in our “Living Room” environment for fellowship…
Nita Durham:  “Do you think being Christians enhanced your spirit to perform ALL kinds of music to the world in order to spread the Gospel? God Bless you and keep on singing!”
BOTH:  We think it’s our duty to spread the good news of God’s love wherever we go.  Sometimes it’s reflected in the songs we sing; sometimes His light is seen through our relationship.  Many people have commented on how moved they are by how we carry ourselves, on stage and off.
And our friend, Pastor Martha Vink poses this touching “twofer”: “Your faith is an integral part of your lives. What do you do to ‘nurture and grow’ your spirituality, especially with such a busy schedule?” She goes on, “What is one of the qualities you love most in one another?”
BOTH:  We start our day with prayer and devotions together, thanking God for each day and counting our blessings, which are many.
MARILYN:  Billy is very kind to everyone and has a very giving spirit.

BILLY:  Marilyn is honest and generous, and very firm in her beliefs.

What a perfect visit, thanks to special fans, and of course “our MarBill”…

Robert: Marilyn and Billy, we can’t thank you enough for welcoming us into your “Living Room” and personally, for having FOREVER 5th DIMENSION host the event. And how timely that we get to unveil it so festively on Marilyn’s birthday which is always a precious date of celebration for your many, many worldwide fans! You still have so many artistic journeys in store for us, and you make it all seem so effortless, we never wish to take your spirit of excellence for granted.  I know in particular, your participation in the Colors of Christmas Tour ’17 and then in the new year, on The Soul Train Cruise will delight many.WESTBURY Davis, Arno, McCooMARILYN & BILLY:  Robert, thank you for coming up with this incredible “Living Room” concept…it’s ingenious! And how beautiful that so many have been wondering about so many things regarding our careers! There were very interesting questions, some we’ve never been asked before, and others that allowed us to take some fun trips down memory lane and share with our “Living Room” friends.


For information about the Colors of Christmas Tour:   https://www.thecolorsofchristmas.com/

PIONEER COLLAGE TWO
Here are 10 specially selected songs, performances, & commercial links:

Moonlight Mile:  https://youtu.be/SET2ebDJmEc

When Did I Lose Your Love:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpNO0uq8xyg

Black Patch:  https://youtu.be/DvBMU3P4ISY

Dimension 5ive:  https://youtu.be/nxNYjtXxwVM

The Worst that Could Happen (live):  https://youtu.be/unsy1CxtWFQ

My Love For You Will Always Be the Same: https://youtu.be/_LFav-4Td6A

The Two of Us (live):  https://youtu.be/B-8KjPv8-5s

JELLO commercial:   https://youtu.be/pS7Z4ygOLbs

Marilyn sings with BJ Thomas:  https://youtu.be/_Z5PTs6e-sY

Marilyn sings with Paul Williams:  https://youtu.be/iwBWsS874_4

    Marilyn+McCoo+Billy+Davis+Jr+Wildlife+WayStation+SIoD42FOyjOxFollow Marilyn & Billy at their Official Facebook page, on Twitter @McCooDavis or visit their website at www.mccoodavis.com

Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum, Sterling Winters
Photo Credits: The Arno 5th Dimension McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection, LaMonte McLemore, Captain Bob, Music in the Mountains, Deniserose Torres, Martha Vink

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room,” copyright 2008-2017, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd.,
intellectual property, all rights reserved)
Advertisements

Happy 48th Anniversary: A Salute to Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.’s Greatest Duet Hits

MARBILL 48 Collage

Summer is always a sentimental time for fans of Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., for July 26 is the date of their wedding anniversary, this year marks 48 years!  The seven-time Grammy winning founding members and former lead singers of legends The 5th Dimension, the scintillating “You Don’t Have to be a Star” duo who have shone brightly on “TV and stage” for decades are a timeless pair.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

McCoo & Davis: Timeless

Indeed, the beauteous McCoo and the distinguished Davis continue to perform to the best reviews of their career.  Just recently they honored Jimmy Webb at Carnegie Hall, stopping the show with their 50th anniversary rendition of “Up-Up and Away.”  And coming up next month, as part of the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love,” the twosome will present their own love songs, hits, torch and blues at Feinstein’s at the Nikko, August 17-19 in San Francisco. But enough with “the 50th” because for our “MarBill” it’s merely their 48th! In celebration, a sampling of special fans have participated in the following survey to honor their Greatest Duet Hits. And when it’s all been said, in making such artistic choices an extension of  our affection for the “Sweethearts of Pop n’ Soul,” we’d like to express our heartfelt congratulations and blessings on the occasion of your 48th anniversary, Marilyn & Billy.  With Love, Robert & The Special Fans

I HOPE ALBUMThe Question:  If there would be an ULTIMATE McCOO & DAVIS GREATEST HITS CD featuring your favorites of their recorded DUETS, what personal top 5 (in no necessary order) would you choose? Pick singles and/or album tracks from their 4 primary duet projects (“I Hope We Get to Love in Time,” “The Two of Us,” “Marilyn & Billy,” “The Many Faces of Love,”)…or from their select Original 5th Dimension duets….or perhaps inspirational tunes like “Praise Ye the Lord” or “Keep the Lovelight Burning”…then there’s “I Believe in You and Me,” a duet featured on Marilyn’s solo album…etc., and THANK YOU for your participation!

The Fans Respond:

Brian Medoro Your Love, Together Let’s Find Love, Look What You’ve Done To My Heart, My Very Special Darling, What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)RARE YOUR LOVE

Robyn Pippins Hi Robert, my top 5 would be You Don’t Have To Be A Star, In My Lifetime, You Are So Beautiful, Your Love, and The Two of Us.STAR SINGLE

Alain Baptiste My Love For You Will Always Be The Same, Nightsong, I Got Love For You, Just Once and our fifth is every other one they recorded! Happy Anniversary, Mariette and Alain

Paul Corley Perfect Dancer, Bye Bye Baby (w/ The Versatiles), There’s Got To Be a Happy Ending, We’ve Got To Get It On Again, The Times

RARE 8 TRACK

Remember 8 Tracks?!

Jim Handakas I Believe In You and Me, The Two of Us, Carry Me, So Many Things for Free, You Don’t Have to Be a StarI believe in you and me

Deniserose Torres How Do You Keep the Music Playing, Look What You’ve Done to My Heart, I Thought It Took A Little (But Today I Fell In Love), Keep The Lovelight Burning…. there is about a 7 way tie for a 5th song…but I will go with The Two of Us.MANY FACES

Loretta Sorensen I always had poor decision making skills causing me anxiety! But this is a nice and gentle anxiety ’cause it involves Marilyn & Billy – ha ha! My favs are Bobbie’s Blues, What Does It Take, Your Love, We Can Work It Out and You Don’t Have to Be A Star!

Estes John My Reason to Be is You, Keep the Lovelight Burning, How Do You Keep the Music Playing, Love all the Hurt Away, Look What You’ve Done to My Heart

SHINE ON DISCORARE SILVER MOONSusie Paige Shine on Silver Moon, You Don’t Have to Be a Star, What Does it Take, The Two of Us, Praise Ye the Lord

BILLY DREAM

“Praise Ye” appears on “The Love of God”

Douglas C. Charles Wishing these two Lovebirds the best of Anniversaries – and many more joyous ones to come. My “top 5” – Look What You’ve Done To My Heart, Your Love, Bobbie’s Blues, Every Night and My Very Special DarlingRARE LWYD HEART

Renee T Armstead I have to say for the first one What Does It Take. Then Bobbie’s Blues, and Your Precious Love. Also, Soul and Inspiration, Together Let’s Find Love5th-dimension-together-lets-find-love-bellSusan Aglio Every Night, What Does it Take, Soul and Inspiration, I Believe in You and Me, and I Hope We Get to Love in Time. And I just have to add one more…Keep the Lovelight Burning!

the me nobody

“Lovelight” appears on “The Me Nobody Knows”

Dale Kocik You Don’t Have To Be A Star, Your Love, Every Night, Together Let’s Find Love, Soul and Inspiration.

YOUR LOVE SINGLEAndy Gard Your Love, Your Precious Love, Soul and Inspiration, My Reason To Be Is You, Carry MeMarilyn and Billy Album

Elston Harry (of The Friends of Distinction) We Can Work it Out, Love all the Hurt Away

TOGETHER LETS FINDRobert-Allan Arno Gonna take a crack at this myself. I find the following 1st duet album sequence miraculously indelible:  I Still Will Be With You, Never Gonna Let You Go, Nothing Can Stop Me. Then, Praise Ye the Lord. Finally, I will “cheat” by combining Together Let’s Find Love in “mash-up” with You Are So Beautiful!

 

Sweet Tweets!  Marilyn & Billy Tweeted @mccoodavis their own day-by-day Anniversary Countdown with links to these musical gems….

Special Thanks to Steve Rosenblum at Sterling-Winters

Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-2017, 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.)

Happy Birthday: Celebrating “The Ultimate Marilyn”

marilyn-collage-top-5
 
Dateline: September 30— It’s that memorable date we get to celebrate the birthday of an artist whose legacy of musical integrity defies categorization. Ms. Marilyn McCoo is not only a transcendent voice of our lives but the personification of beauty and class.  For 2016 at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, we asked select fans to contribute their thoughts with the following request:
Let’s have some fun creating the “Ultimate Marilyn McCoo” CD! We want you to select your Top 5 (recorded) choices of what you think should be included. Be creative, for now this is solely a “dream” project..but who knows where it may go?! Select from classic Marilyn “Vocal Solos” from The 5th Dimension recordings, from the Marilyn & Billy sessions, from newer things like “The Many Faces of Love” and “MarBill Live” or inspirational work like her Christmas CD or “The Me Nobody Knows.”  Or how ’bout the “Solid Gold” album or maybe better yet, re-mastering some of her other stellar covers as seen on YouTube, many performed as host of “Solid Gold.” Ready-ready?! And now YOUR Top 5 recorded tunes for the “Ultimate Marilyn…as we wish Ms. McCoo her most wonderfully “ultimate” birthday ever, with our love, blessings and admiration. Go, friends n’ fans! 
–Robert-Allan Arno
_____
Jim Handakas Tough one, but …”One Less Bell,” If Could Reach You,” “Never My Love.” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” “Always On My Mind” (the latter 2 from “Solid Gold,” the TV show and the album, respectively.)  Happy Birthday and thank you, Marilyn! Always stellar. ❤️
Andre Wayne MaloyHmm, this is hard, of course “One Less Bell To Answer” and “Wedding Bell Blues.” Also, “My Tribute (To God Be The Glory)” (on YouTube), “I Dreamed A Dream” (PBS), “Always On My Mind” (the “Solid Gold” album). Happy, Happy Birthday, Marilyn!
Blake Morant (with PauletteMorant)Love your bid for us to salute Marilyn, Robert-Allan Arno, my brother. Many of Marilyn’s solos rank among the best of the mezzo sopranos. While it may be difficult to isolate which of her songs are favorites, we’d like to submit three very special ones: 1. “The Me Nobody Knows” (inspirational, it has uplifted us at low-feeling times); 2. “Heart Stop Beating in Time” (written by the Bee Gees; haunting and soulful); and 3. “Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes” (mysterious with lyrics that are deep and somewhat enigmatic).
Dave MazeThat’s easy for me being her biggest fan and finally getting the chance to meet her in AC after 40 years! “One Less Bell,” “If I Could Reach You,” “Never My Love.” “For Your Eyes Only,” (from “Solid Gold”).  Happy Birthday, Marilyn. ❤️
Eric RogersHappy Birthday, Marilyn. I guess “Aquarius” would have to be my favorite. what a voice! She sings like she is smiling!
Douglas C. CharlesHappy Birthday, Marilyn! I’d have to choose “When Did I Lose Your Love,” “If I Could Reach You,” “Open Your Window,” “Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes” (which I got to hear “live” several years ago at the Cerritos Center!) and “Never Gonna Be the Same.”  (I’ll also say that I remember well, Marilyn singing a song called “Loneliness” on a daytime TV show–written by Paul Williams. Maybe it could be a bonus cut on my fantasy Marilyn album!)

Dale Kocik“Love’s Lines,” “Open Your Window,” “Never My Love.” I listen to your beautiful voice frequently. Have a great birthday!

Susie PaigeHere’s mine: “One Less Bell” and “Wedding Bell Blues,” of course. Plus, “The Me Nobody Knows,” “Away in a Manger” (for Christmas), and “Everything’s Been Changed.”🎶🎂

Brian MedoroMy #1 is always “Never My Love,” the rest, in no particular order, would be “Love’s Lines,” “If I Could Reach You,” “House For Sale,” “Solid Gold,”…oh, I could go on and on!  Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

Ronald Lange TOUGH TASK!!  “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,” “If I Could Reach You,” “Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes,” “Never My Love,” and “One Less Bell to Answer.”

Don ThomasI’m fortunate to have met you, Marilyn. I traveled with you and Billy to Israel in ’92. “Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes” is a masterpiece, “If I Could Reach You” brings tears to my eyes. Many others of course! Happy Birthday, Marilyn!

Susie Howard “One Less Bell to Answer” (my fave!), “Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,” “Never My Love.” Happy Birthday, Beautiful Marilyn!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Joan TrueloveHappy Birthday, Marilyn (from LaMonte’s sister)!…Susan Aglio:  Robert, I’m on vacation right now but certainly wanted to stop by to wish Marilyn special birthday blessings with love!Robyn Pippins:  Hi Marilyn, I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. I love your singing, but what I admire most about you and your husband, Billy is how you give all the praise to God.
Alain BaptisteWe agree with many choices already stated and think “Saving All My Love For You” has a place in Marilyn’s recorded history. Our top personal choice is “Warrior For The Lord.” We wish Miss McCoo a very happy birthday, God bless a true lady, Mariette and Alain Baptiste
Deniserose TorresAt first I was thinking, “Thank goodness we get to pick five!”… but after going over my list, I could add so many more…but I will pick!! “One Less Bell,” “If I Could Reach You,” “Heart Stop Beating in Time,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” (from “Showboat”), “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.”

Renee T ArmsteadHappy Birthday, Marilyn! My favorite Marilyn songs are “Never My Love,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “Love’s Lines, Angles, and Rhymes,” “Open Your Window,” and “The Girls’ Song (with Florence). Have a great day on your birthday and may you have many more!!!


Hiromi HirahataIt’s very hard for me to choose my Top 5, Robert!😊
“One Less Bell To Answer,” “Love’s Lines, Angels and Rhymes,” “The Me Nobody Knows” and “You Don’t Have To Be A Star”–this song is very special to me. I have this record where they are singing in Japanese on Side B. I brought it to Los Angeles this past July and showed it to Marilyn and Billy after their concert.  Marilyn sang it for me in Japanese…I was so impressed and was almost crying!!
Robert-Allan ArnoI’m gonna put my “five cents” in for this one, too. The overwhelming response to our YouTube production of “I’m On Your Side” (Theme from “Chapter Two”) puts that on my list as well as a beguiling song from the recent “MarBill Live” double-CD, Marilyn’s interpretation of another movie theme song, “Why Should I Care”–it’s quintessential McCoo! “O Holy Night” from the Christmas album is only surpassed today by Marilyn’s in-concert performances of it. From the earlier sessions, besides the hits everyone’s astutely noted, I agree, there’s that “big sigh” gem “Open Your Window.” Lastly, Marilyn gave me the intriguing name of the solo that Don Davis produced for her before they went with the MarBill duet concept—“Time is a Restless Old Man.” She said, “It could have been a hit!”  I hope to locate it and have it released from the vaults one day in the near future for something like “Ultimate Marilyn.”
Paul CorleyHappy Birthday, Marilyn! It is so hard to choose five favorite songs (even ten favorites would have been difficult!), but I must include, “Warrior for the Lord”, “If I Could Reach You”, “Saving All My Love for You”, “One Less Bell to Answer”, and “Wedding Bell Blues.” (Honorable mention: “Flashback”)

Michael John KitnerHappy Birthday Marilyn!  Here’s some artwork I did with my choices–“Open Your Window,” “One Less Bell,” “House for Sale,” “If I Could Reach You,” “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep”…
A Dozen Special Links–enjoy these “Ultimate Marilyn” rarities:

“I’m On Your Side” (Theme From “Chapter Two”):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiv6zYgyS-8

“Loneliness” (with Paul Williams):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP4HrJmkPNc

“Heart Stop Beating In Time”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZejisCTY-4

“I Dreamed a Dream”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHUjTeAtGoA

“Always on My Mind”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUTc9I8SRGA

“One Less Bell to Answer” (Live):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9qsjobEHvw

“If I Could Reach You” (Live): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RC3PKl9_FA

“For Your Eyes Only”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lyae_dG0OH8

Songs of inspiration…
“My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8w-2skZp-Q
“The Me Nobody Knows”:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM1r9mJL4jo

StarMcCoo-and-Davis-hugging-from-The-Brokaw-Co_WEBTouring to the best reviews of their 7-time Grammy-winning legendary careers, visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. for their latest concert schedule, to shop and much more at:  www.mccoodavis.com or check out their Official Facebook page!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robert-Allan Arno with Marilyn McCoo

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno is a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., copyright 2008-2016, intellectual property, all rights reserved)

Sept 17: It’s LaMonte Day!

lamonte-birthday-collage-2015

Dateline Sept 17:  Today is “LaMonte McLemore Day!” as we celebrate the birthday of a great man– the founder & legendary mellow bass of the multi-Grammy winning The 5th Dimension, world-famous photographer, inspirational author & humorist…and so much more. As Mac’s biographer, I’m toasting a man whose creative vision & caring friendship is an indelibly fortunate part of my life. Please join me in honoring LaMonte with your own wishes, special memories and/or sweet stories here, at his Twitter or Linked-In, and especially on his lively Facebook page! “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension”…to many more magical journeys– we love ya, LaMonte, God bless! —Robert-Allan Arno
#LaMonteMcLemoreDay

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mac Links!:

book coverGet the exciting (2nd edition) hit memoir, by McLemore & Arno, FROM HOBO FLATS to THE 5TH DIMENSION, recommended by McCoo/Davis, Sedaka, Mathis and Nancy Sinatra at: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

TV Awesomeness! View LaMonte with host Kelly Wright on the “Beyond the Dream” series:  http://video.foxnews.com/v/5065597260001/beyond-the-dream-lamonte-mclemores-life-journey/?#sp=show-clips

Enjoy this mega-fan fave, penned by LaMonte, from the seminal PORTRAIT album:  “Wanting to be together, yet wanting to be free,” it’s A LOVE LIKE OURS at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsnZ6GC9dh8

vogue-large

The Original 5th Dimension, 1969, Vogue Magazine

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-2016 is a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., all rights reserved)

Happy 47th, Marilyn & Billy–Sweethearts of Pop n’ Soul

new marbill don' likeFOREVER 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

Singing in the Light CollageFave Q & A:
Among the many interviews we’ve done over the years, this is a true fan-fave. The engaging duo joined me here at FOREVER 5th a year ago to have some “coffee talk” as 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/

 

Take a MarBill Listen:

Researching“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

marilyn-mccoo“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 Soul Soul“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

marBill 2“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

RARE MARBILL ARMS“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

Here’s a montage…
of extraordinary on-stage shots…we were in the front row of Theater at Westbury to cheer on MarBill’s “Up-Up and Away–a musical fable” tour, something that should be destined for Broadway, itself.  My guest, “Pastor Martha” took these in June, we saved them just for you, the fans, for this anniversary edition, so enjoy!  And for our FOREVER 5th DIMENSION review of the show (“Marilyn & Billy Bring An Irresistible Musical Fable”), now also featured at www.mccoodavis.com, go here:  https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/marilyn-billy-bring-an-irresistible-musical-fable/
Here’s an array of greetings from special fans, friends & media pros, not only celebrating MarBill’s anniversary but noting some favorite tunes, especially from their seminal first duet recording–the “I Hope We Get to Love in Time” album:

John Van Camp Congratulations Marilyn and Billy! We’ll give you a shout-out Tuesday morning on BossBossRadio.com on the morning show between 6 & 9 am, PDT.

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!

 William Q. Singleton (aka Bill Quinn, Metromedia Radio) Marilyn and Billy, congratulations on 47 years of wedded bliss, and thank you for your amazing gift of music to the world!

Susie Paige Sending Philly love your way

Susie Paige's photo.

Susan Aglio Happy Anniversary, Marilyn and Billy!! Blessings to both of you!
Hiromi Hirahata Congratulations to the most beautiful couple! I wish you two have a wonderful anniversary and many more happy years together.

Jim Handakas Your abiding respect and love for each other transcends your beautiful music. Thank you for sharing so freely with so many of us. It’s been a joyous ride.

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.

Estes John Happy Anniversary to our beloved musical couple, still going strong after all of these years. I love almost every track on this (your first duet) album but my all time favorite is the hit and Grammy winner “You Don’t Have To Be A Star” and “My Love For You…”
Alain Baptiste My wife and I loved Marilyn and Billy as teens and of course still do, their book is on our “best shelf” and LaMonte McLemore‘s memoir, as well! The song NOTHING CAN STOP ME is too beautiful for words. Happy Anniversary and God bless from Mariette and Alain
Janice Berte Happy Anniversary Billy and Marilyn. You both are INCREDIBLE!
Deniserose Torres God has blessed us with your music, may He continue to bless you with love and happiness. Happy Anniversary.  My favorites (from your first duet album) – “Never Gonna Let You Go, ” “My Love for You (Will Always be the Same),” “You Can’t Change My Heart,” and of course, “You Don’t Have to be a Star.”
Marilyn+McCoo+Billy+Davis+Jr+Wildlife+WayStation+SIoD42FOyjOxJohn Howton Congrats to Marilyn & Billy. And thank you for your timeless music & for being such a “class act” always! As a matter of fact, I was hiking today & listening to my tunes & had my tunes on “shuffle” when all of a sudden “Black Patch” came on!! I must have replayed it no less than 5 times – in AWE of those GORGEOUS harmonies!!! Luv u two!
Paul Corley Congratulations on your 47th anniversary, Marilyn and Billy! From your first duet with The Versatiles, “Bye, Bye Baby,” to your current “Up, Up, and Away–a musical fable” tour, you have generously shared your love and talent with rest of the world. Thank you for your grace and style, and for the joy that you have given to your numerous fans.
Martha E. Vink Happy Anniversary, Marilyn and Billy! Your love and faith shine from you, and you inspire us all. May God continue to bless you with love and laughter, and bless us with YOU, for years and years to come!
Renee T Armstead Hi Marilyn and Billy: Happy 47th wedding anniversary! You are a wonderful example for the institution of marriage. May you share many more years together. Love to you both.
Andy Gard Beyond your obvious musical gifts, you two are a (well-matched) pair of quality human beings, and the comments on here speak to that. Wishing you many more years of love and happiness.
***
Dreams Come True
A Commentary by Robert-Allan Arno
AL-McCoo-Davis2-374x252
Marilyn and Billy have supported the FOREVER 5th DIMENSION blog since its inception–when they literally encouraged my developing the concept, 8 years ago…yes, it’s our anniversary, too!  They’ve not only read each edition with relish, watched the YouTubes and given kudos, but on a personal level, they’ve watched out for my “other career” in acting, and voice-acting.  They’ve tuned in to every appearance I’ve made on national TV as a Bible reader on THE SUNDAY MASS broadcast, and so much more.  And LaMonte McLemore and I can never, ever forget their special attendance at our Las Vegas book launch of Mac’s memoir, something I had the honor to co-write, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5th DIMENSION.

MCCOO DAVIS ARNO BLACK WHITE

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,

Robert

A Letter from Marilyn & Billy, July 2016

Dear Robert,

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.

Black White Columbus Day

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

marwest9marwest3 COVERmarwest 1

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)