I 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
—Florence 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
—Marilyn 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
–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!”
Order “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
Download “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! But 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!!
(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.)