Tag Archives: Up-Up and Away

Happy New Year: Forever 5th-style!

NEW YEAR FOREVER LETTERINGHappy New Year from FOREVER 5th DIMENSION!

This holiday season, The 5th Dimension made #7 on Rewound Radio‘s Top 20 survey of all-time favorite artists, representing the station’s own 20th anniversary in bringing you the greatest songs of the Rock n’ Roll n’ Soul era.  Mega hits like “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Up-Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “One Less Bell,” and “Wedding Bell Blues” remain indelible as we thank our friends & fans at Rewound, including Program Director Allan Sniffen, for their support of The 5th Dimension legacy!

Rather than do a year-in-review, may I simply ask you to scroll down and/or check our “Recent Posts” located at right to re-visit a wide array of thrilling activities in ’17 for our fave stars–the plethora of sold-out shows including Christmas fare, media appearances, special events and features (like “Marilyn & Billy’s Living Room” for which YOU contributed!) have not failed to show why Florence LaRue & The 5th Dimension, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., and LaMonte McLemore have continued to shine in new ways. Dear friends for life, it was heartening, too to see Florence give testimonial honor at Marilyn & Billy’s tribute at the Pacific Pioneer Broadcaster’s luncheon, or in turn for “MarBill” to attend Florence’s birthday soiree. “Mac” (whose song “Cease Fire” went viral this year!) shares he is often on the phone with either Florence or MarBill to offer a joke, a holiday or birthday wish, as I’m in consultation on a regular basis with our stars as both biographer and social media coordinator…they so graciously and enthusiastically endorse our current events- oriented, uplifting format and contribute in ways that make our collective hearts sing!

This year marked the 50th anniversary of “Up-Up and Away” and Marilyn & Billy feted Jimmy Webb at Carnegie Hall in March, while Florence joined Jimmy onstage on the west coast for his acoustic concert in Pasadena in June. Our featured photo: We’ve seen many an incarnation of this backstage photo shoot at the 10th Annual Grammy Awards where The 5th and Jimmy received their multi-awards for that transcendent song about a “beautiful balloon,” but here’s a rather rare one featuring not only Webb (center) with our “Fab 5,” but the group’s beloved manager Marc Gordon (far right). Enjoy as we, fans & friends, look toward a new year, holding hands with our stars…continuing to chase our dream across the sky!  —Robert-Allan Arno

RARE GRAMMY BIG

Marilyn & Billy’s holiday message:

MarBill New Year 18Dear Robert, Fans & Friends:

We appreciate so much the ideas and creative energy you’ve brought to our social media; we’ve received so many beautiful comments about your coverage of the “Colors of Christmas” tour and the year, in general. We met a number of fans after the shows who were so happy to let us know they were friends of yours who were encouraged to introduce themselves! We look forward to what the New Year will bring.

We’re praying that all of you have a Merry Christmas with your families and loved ones as we await God’s plans for us in 2018. He is truly a God of miracles! Stay healthy and keep the faith!

Love,

Billy & Marilyn

Visit Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Official on FB, at http://www.mccoodavis.com or go to @mccoodavis on Twitter

Florence and GroupVisit Florence LaRue’s lovely updated website at: https://www.florencelarue.com/ And check in with Florence & The 5th Dimension’s 2018 schedule at: http://5thdimensionlive.com/

Visit LaMonte McLemore on FB or go to @LamonteMcLemore on Twitter

book coverMac’s hit memoir “From Hobo Flats to The 5th Dimension,” co-written by Robert-Allan Arno, 2nd edition, is available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Hobo-Flats-5th-Dimension-Photography/dp/0692307362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505846340&sr=8-1&keywords=hobo+flats+5th+dimension+mclemore

Tune into Rewound Radio on the ‘net at:  http://www.rewoundradio.com

(Forever 5th Dimension by Robert-Allan Arno, a production of The Soul of The Voice, Ltd., intellectual property, all rights reserved, copyright 2008-2018)

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Summer Highlight: Florence LaRue joins Jimmy Webb!

Flor and JimmySummer ’17 Highlight! In late July, the vibrant Florence LaRue joined Jimmy Webb onstage at his acoustic concert, Levitt Pavilion Pasadena. The two celebrated the 50th anniversary of UP-UP AND AWAY, performing a delightfully rousing version of the multi-Grammy award winner penned by Webb, a signature hit for The 5th Dimension. Ms. LaRue also celebrates 5 decades with the quintet, today she leads the current 5th Dimension to sold-out shows, globally.  Special note: Two fan-favorite “Florence solos”: THIS IS YOUR LIFE and MAGIC IN MY LIFE from the “Portrait” and “Earthbound” albums, respectively were written (and the latter produced) by Webb.  –Robert-Allan Arno

RARE ALTERN 5th

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

 

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)