Tag Archives: Robert-Allan Arno

Happy Birthday, LaMonte McLemore–An Eternal Visionary Who Cares…

MAC BDAY FINAL COLLAGE 17

As posted on LaMonte’s Facebook Page:

Fans & friends, this is LaMonte McLemore’s biographer, Robert-Allan Arno, taking a special moment to “curate” as we say these days, Mac’s page. Today, Sept 17 is his birthday. I have had the pleasure of growing up with The Original 5th Dimension as my personal heroes on many levels, and LaMonte is someone I have gotten to know intensively this past decade as we’ve worked on his inspiring, now hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” plus a wide array of social media endeavors and media appearances. The spirit of excellence “The 5th” always stood for was manifested by its founder, LaMonte. His keen “visionary eye” has so much to do with seeing the best in people, and not taking “no” until they see it for themselves and then realize their true potential. For all my accomplishments as an actor/announcer and teacher, it was Mac who stepped forward to edify my gifts in new ways. I’m sure, you too have a similar story. Right?

Whether you’ve sung on “parallel stages” to LaMonte’s harmonies, played baseball with him, been beautifully photographed by him, befriended by and inevitably made to laugh by him, whether you’re an eternal fan of “Champagne Soul”…his elemental kindness has changed lives.  It’s what his cherished Grandma Gertrude always taught him as a young boy, and it’s his lifetime motto: “We’re only in this world to help one another.” Please join me on this thread, on this page, to salute an artist, a singer, songwriter, photographer, an ultimate humanitarian on the occasion of his birthday. With Love, my big brother, and wishes for God’s continued abundant blessings, I say “Happy Birthday, LaMonte!”  –“Rev. Arno”

Fans & friends, go to CD Baby right now, to hear a sample of & purchase for download LaMonte’s new sweet-Soul, harmonic dance tune, I WISH I COULD FALL IN LOVE at this link:

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore2

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9th Anniversary Edition of Forever 5th Dimension

9th ANNIVERSARY COLLAGE TWO9 years ago, while sitting in Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.’s suite, post-show at the Cafe Carlyle, during our “cozy catch-up” visit I presented the concept of the “Forever 5th Dimension” blog-magazine.  It was met with immediate instinctual approval by “MarBill” with Billy smiling, “I like the title,” and Marilyn adding with a wink, “I’d read it!”  And that they both have, with such kind and astute validation & participation over these past 9 years where we first started on MySpace and migrated over to WordPress in recent years!

After decades of affiliation with my heroes, the members of The Original 5th Dimension, these past 9 years have been cherished for so many reasons, the adventures we’ve shared alone are thrilling: the St. Louis Walk of Fame Induction of The 5th Dimension, the Friar’s Club salute to Marilyn & Billy, the book launch in Vegas of LaMonte McLemore’s memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension” for which I am the co-author, helping promote Florence LaRue’s astounding one-woman “Jazz a LaRue!” show at NYC’s Metropolitan Room and our attending some Broadway shows together to toast it all!  PLAYLIST SCAN 001Compiling tunes with the group’s members and doing liners for “Playlist” for Sony just like we did with “Ultimate 5th Dimension” was “scholarly hip”…and of course, reporting on the countless sold-out, ovation inducing concert events of Marilyn & Billy (the First Couple of Pop n’ Soul) and the indomitable Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension (including Patrice Morris, Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker & Floyd Smith) is simply sensational!  And our worldwide fan participation for each of our star’s birthdays is always an awesome “sunshine” celebration!  Marilyn & Billy, Florence and LaMonte (plus Kyle Townson who is so supportive in repping his beloved dad, Ron)–each of them are not only cherished friends but mentoring colleagues who are a total pleasure to work with…their taste and faithful ethic are unparalleled. It just makes sense that the essence of The 5th Dimension brought our world together in harmony during the turbulent times of the late ’60’s/early 70’s…and it’s a blessing that these artists continue to enthrall us with such magic and energy, today.  Also the support of another personal mentor, renowned producer Bones Howe is never forgotten.

DANCING

The Original 5th Dimension

So, in celebrating our 9th year, I want to conclude with a few links to some of my favorite editions…as we look forward to new horizons from our favorite stars…that’s what “Forever 5th” is all about!  In  gratitude, Robert-Allan Arno

–2 summers ago, Marilyn & Billy stopped by for this “super-sized” edition of FOREVER 5th called “Singing in the Light.” We had so much fun going deep into sentimental recordings, answering fan questions…we actually laughed and cried!  Take a look back, here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/marilyn-billy-singing-in-the-light/

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     If you’re reading FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, then you’re well-acquainted with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.:  the seven-time Grammy winning founding members and former lead singer…

–This past February’s special edition for Black History Month featured a charming segment on the timeless Florence’s milestone birthday soire with heartfelt thoughts from our “delightful diva,” herself and special photo ops.  We include The 5th’s recognition by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, too. Read “Celebrating A Legacy” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/celebrating-a-legacy/

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Honoring Black History Month ’17– a Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive Report by Robert-Allan Arno Museum Display– Here’s a lively backstage photo of The …

–It took 4 years to co-pen LaMonte’s now hit memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music,” and Mac & I would never trade the excavating experience for anything in the word, lol!  We celebrated the book’s launch in  early ’15, an “afternoon in Vegas” via “Mac & Arno’s onstage chat show” with special guests Marilyn & Billy (and proclamations from Florence and Bones)…and then we attended MarBill’s stellar Valentine’s show that evening! Read all about it here aka “Valentine’s in Vegas: Mac’s New Book, MarBill’s Sold-Out Show”: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/lamonte-marilyn-billy-macs-new-book-marbills-sold-out-show/

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LaMonte, Marilyn & Billy: a Valentine’s in Vegas Escapade! by Robert-Allan Arno Dateline Feb 14: “After all, The 5th Dimension stood for love,” is part of …

–Remembering Ron “Sweets” Townson’s birthday is always important at FOREVER 5th DIMENSION. But for our 9th anniversary, we also acknowledge the recent anniversary of his passing, Aug. 2, 2001.  Let’s put the spotlight on his lasting musical legacy with a look at our most comprehensive salute ever, experience “Sweet Memories of Sweets” here: https://forever5thdimension.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/celebrating-ron-townsons-birthday/

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SWEET MEMORIES OF “SWEETS” by Robert-Allan Arno As we honor his official birth date (it’s January 29 and not the 20th as so many sites state in inadvertent error) at “Foreve…

–We have some nifty interviews with Bones Howe in our archive (the old MySpace days!) and will bring you some excerpts–by popular request– in the near future!

Lovely Quotes from Lovely People:

“Robert, no one can weave all of those elements about our music together in a superb lyrical tapestry like you do. You have a way with words that is truly God’s gift to you.” —Marilyn McCoo

“I’m  so proud of the work Robert does for The 5th Dimension’s biography and my own, I’ve truly learned so much from him!”–LaMonte McLemore

“Robert is ‘The 6th Dimension!’”–Florence LaRue on Rewound Radio

“Robert, you never cease to amaze us! Know how much we appreciate you & your involvement in our life & career over the years. With so much knowledge to share, you bring a spirit of excellence to all that you do. We love you!”  —Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

“Robert brings his rare passion to The 5th Dimension legacy, he is wonderful in  keeping us fresh in his creativity.”–Bones Howe, The 5th Dimension Producer

Essential Links:

RARE FLOR WINGS

The Delightful Florence LaRue

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

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First Couple of Pop & Soul

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

book coverVisit LaMonte McLemore on: Facebook, Twitter @LaMonteMcLemore, and Linked-in

Purchase Mac’s 5-star hit memoir, FROM HOBO FLATS TO THE 5TH DIMENSION at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487528579&sr=8-1&keywords=hobo+flats+to+5th+dimension

Special thanks to Steve Rosenblum of Sterling Winters

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, copyright 2008-17, a production of The Soul of the Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved)

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.

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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

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Soar at Jimmy Webb Celebration — Carnegie Hall, May 3, 2017

A Forever 5th Dimension Exclusive by Robert-Allan Arno

CARNEGIE COLLAGE


It seems like New York City, itself and everyone who’s excitedly peeking in from all over today’s social media is making “the world a nicer place” while still abuzz about this past Wednesday’s Jimmy Webb Celebration!JimmyWebbHeader_3 The star-studded extravaganza at the “venue of venues,” Carnegie Hall, heralded the tunesmith extraordinaire, composer of such classics as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “MacArthur Park” and of course, the multi-Grammy winning “Up-Up and Away.”  At Forever 5th Dimension, we bring you exclusive coverage with that one-on-one, “MarBill touch”…
Our very own Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. immediately took the show to exemplary heights with their quintessential rendering of The Original 5th Dimension’s signature about that “beautiful balloon,” one that launched Jimmy’s career circa ’67, too. Defying the anthem’s 50th anniversary, the original lead singers of The 5th Dimension wowed the crowd exhibiting voices that were as pristine as ever while looking eternally glamorous and youthful. Marilyn’s stratospheric note at the end of “Up-Up and Away” would be metaphoric for the night’s entire uplifting affair.CARNEGIE UP UP

See the dynamic duo’s Carnegie Hall performance of “Up-Up and Away” here:  https://youtu.be/LH5Yhp2mYUM

Then Billy stepped forward to deliver a languidly poignant version of “Magic Garden” mainstay “The Worst That Could Happen” (you know, the original which inspired the Johnny Maestro/Brooklyn Bridge hit). magic gardenYou want some “Forever 5th” tid-bits?  Let’s shoot to the after-party at the trendy City Winery where Jimmy sighed about every original 5th-D member’s all-time fave album as we chatted: “Ah, ‘The Magic Garden,’ there was nothing like it…it was our very own ‘Sgt. Pepper.'” Billy confided to me about his Carnegie Hall rendition of TWTCH which received a well-deserved standing O, “I wanted to do the song for the fans and especially for Jimmy a bit more slowed down, to draw attention to his words…as it should be.”  Marilyn shared while we exchanged vocal preservation tips, “Billy avoided sweets the week before, so his delivery would be extra-crystal clear.”  Then we all bit into the celebratory luscious brownie triangles at the post-show soiree!

Savor Billy’s Carnegie Hall performance of “The Worst That Could Happen” here:  https://youtu.be/unsy1CxtWFQ

BIG GROUPBack to the stage, performances by other legends including Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, BJ Thomas, Johnny Rivers, Dwight Yoakam, Catherine Zeta-Jones, surprise guest Michael Feinstein, Amy Grant and Graham Nash (both in duet with Jimmy), Broadway’s Liz Callaway, stunning newcomer currently touring with Stevie Wonder–Shelea and more, displayed the versatility of genre inherent in Webb’s unparalleled songwriting style.  The tribute, hosted by Jimmy’s old friend, actor Michael Douglas–with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Foundation with regard to Jimmy’s friend and colleague Glen Campbell–also helped to usher in Webb’s new memoir, “The Cake and the Rain.” Ashley Campbell, Glen’s daughter made a touchingly memorable musical appearance while Toby Keith made a mighty one with his interpretation of “MacArthur Park.” We’re pleased to bring you the show’s complete song list, here:

LIZ CALLAWAY

The entire cast assembled “under the twilight canopy” for the big finale, with Marilyn & Billy leading their star compatriots to a soaring finish…

James Gavin

Finale in a “Beautiful Balloon” (photo courtesy James Gavin)

I mentioned to Marilyn how fitting it was that she and Billy virtually got to bookend the show with “Up-Up and Away.” The graceful lady thoughtfully reflected, “The night was so special for us, and so well-executed for Jimmy.”  I also noted that although they’ve toured all over the world since then, the twosome had last appeared at Carnegie Hall with The 5th Dimension in ’72…in fact, “If I Could Reach You” was the current hit Marilyn soloed with that night. Marilyn and Billy took it in like two kids listening to a favorite bedtime story–these are legacy artists who are non-jaded and define gracious.  I recalled, “I remember you guys were wearing those formal-looking black one-piece outfits with the silver embellishments.” Billy exclaimed, “That is correct! I remember those jumpsuits so well!”

JUMPSUIT

Here they are, The 5th Dimension in those “back in the day” black & silver jumpsuits!

I added, “When I co-wrote LaMonte’s (McLemore) memoir, he cited that particular sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall as the one the State Department took notice of. It essentially prompted them to make The 5th Dimension musical ambassadors, organizing your historic tour behind the ‘Iron Curtain.'” Marilyn responded with an endearingly wholesome, “Oh my gosh!” Billy capped things off with a heartfelt observation of the current night’s proceedings: “Robert, please tell the fans…to have all of us come together for Jimmy Webb, people like Johnny Rivers who really helped start it for us–The 5th Dimension as well as Jimmy…where we haven’t been in the same place at the same time for years, was truly astounding!”

CARNEGIE THREESOME DONE

L to R: Billy Davis, Jr., Robert-Allan Arno, Marilyn McCoo…embarking on a cozy chat at the Carnegie Hall after-party, City Winery, NYC

 Very special thanks to Steve Rosenblum, Sterling/Winters,

and Marilyn & Billy

Touring in their acclaimed autobiographical show, “Up-Up and Away–A Musical Fable,” for concert dates & more visit:  Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Official) on Facebook, their website: http://www.mccoodavis.com or Twitter @mccoodavis

JIMMY MARBILL

Courtesy Jimmy Webb Facebook page

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd. copyright 2008-2017, intellectual property, all rights reserved. Photo credits:  Arno 5th McCoo/Davis Legacy Collection, Jimmy Webb Facebook page, James Gavin)

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.)

LaMonte McLemore, Grammy-winning Legend of The 5th Dimension Releases New Song: “Cease Fire”

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The 6-time Grammy winning founder of Pop-Soul legendary singing group, The 5th Dimension is keeping it fresh these days, celebrating a hit memoir and now releasing a new song he wrote titled, “Cease Fire.”  There’s a reason LaMonte McLemore was always known as “the visionary Dimension.”  “Cease Fire” is actually a chapter in “Mac’s” memoir, “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension: A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography and Music.”  It concerns a heinous act  witnessed by his maternal grandmother Gertrude (the lynching of her brother), and how her reaction of unconditional forgiveness literally shaped the winning trajectory of LaMonte’s life.  McLemore’s biographer Robert-Allan Arno explains, “I thought it important to include the lyrics of ‘Cease Fire’ at the beginning of the chapter…they’re like a prayer.”  Vegas Mac Glover TwoMcLemore adds,”It’s definitely the right time to present ‘Cease Fire’ as a fully-actualized song and in fact, my producer/arranger Lloyd Tolbert encouraged me to bookend the recording with my spoken-word narration.”  The beloved star continues, “Years ago when the term ‘weapons of mass destruction’ was heavily in the news and it turned out they really didn’t exist, it became a light bulb moment for me.  I thought, perhaps they did…as in ‘look in the mirror, friends!'”  McLemore feels, “More than ever, ‘Cease Fire’ is what the world needs today.” He’s quick to stress his song’s concept is a “global call for world peace,” envisioning it as kind of nouveau “We Are the World.”  Performed on the CD single by the sweet-soul vocalist Julio Hanson, along with McLemore’s spoken narrative, “Cease Fire” is a mighty anthem.

docu-75No stranger to anthems of a generation, McLemore and The 5th Dimension are responsible for mega hits like the uplifting “Up-Up and Away” and the unifying “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” the latter, a medley from Broadway’s HAIR.  Spending 6-straight weeks at #1 in the spring of ‘69, the Platinum “mash-up” is known as one of the biggest hits of the Rock n’ Roll era.  “Cease Fire” isn’t McLemore’s first foray into songwriting.  Fan favorites, “A Love Like Ours” and “The Singer” were penned by LaMonte and appeared on the quintet’s seminal albums PORTRAIT and LOVE’S LINES, ANGLES AND RHYMES, respectively. Besides The 5th Dimension, the latter tune was also recorded by Gladys Knight and the Pips and was a serious recording consideration for Frank Sinatra. More recently, another McLemore composition, “If I Could Fly” was a contender for a major airline’s ad campaign.  Mr. McLemore, also a world renowned photographer of 5 decades for JET magazine’s history-shaping “Beauty of the Week” feature, expressed to his biographer, “With my photos, I just see things. With songwriting, I just feel things.”

The official release date for “Cease Fire” with accompanying video is December 9, 2016.  It will be available for download purchase at CD Baby. McLemore smiles thoughtfully, “I’ve had a blessed career.  My dreams have come true as my prophetic grandma always predicted. Today, my wish is that my dream of ‘Cease Fire’ will resonate in the hearts and souls of my fans and friends, old and new.”  –The Soul of The Voice, Ltd.

J100“Cease Fire” is available for download at:  http://cdbaby.com/cd/lamontemclemore

Mr. McLemore is on Twitter @lamontemclemore

Happy Birthday: Celebrating “The Ultimate Marilyn”

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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
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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!

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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!

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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)