Marilyn McCoo (born September 30, 1943) is an American singer, actress, and television presenter, who is best known for being the lead female vocalist in the group The 5th Dimension, as well as hosting the 1980s music countdown series Solid Gold. Since 1969, she has been married to singer Billy Davis Jr., the founder and co-member of the 5th Dimension.
McCoo has a four-octave vocal range.
McCoo in 1996
|Born||September 30, 1943|
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Singer, actress, presenter|
|Associated acts||The 5th Dimension|
Marilyn McCoo was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Waymon and Mary McCoo, who were both physicians. At the age of seven, she moved with her parents, two sisters, and brother to Los Angeles, where she commenced singing, piano and dance lessons. (Note: on the October 23, 1976, episode of Soul Train, McCoo told host Don Cornelius that she spent her first seven years in Columbus, Georgia.) At the age of 15, she made her television debut on Art Linkletter's Talent Show and began modelling. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in UCLA, where she earned a degree in business administration. In 1962, McCoo entered the Miss Bronze California beauty pageant where she won "Miss Grand Talent".
In the early and mid-1960s, McCoo was a member of the Hi-Fi's, who often opened for Ray Charles. She had been invited to join the group by photographer Lamonte McLemore, who would himself join McCoo in the 5th Dimension. Other Hi-Fi members included Harry Elston and Floyd Butler, who would go on to form the Friends of Distinction. She met Billy Davis, Jr. in 1966 when he established the 5th Dimension, then called The Versatiles, which would also include Ron Townson and Florence LaRue. The group's first big hit was with 1967's "Up, Up and Away", written by Jimmy Webb. The song won four 1968 Grammy Awards and was the title track to 5th Dimension's first hit LP. A year later the group recorded Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic". A medley of "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" (from the musical Hair) reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April to May 1969 and won the Grammy for 'Record of the Year'. The group's recording of another Nyro composition, "Wedding Bell Blues", featuring McCoo's most prominent vocal of that period, topped the Hot 100 in November 1969.
In 1975, McCoo and Davis left the 5th Dimension and began performing as a duo. Landing a contract with ABC Records, they recorded their 1976 debut album, I Hope We Get to Love in Time. The first single was the title track, which was a mid-chart hit. Their follow up, "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)" was an even bigger hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1977. McCoo and Davis were awarded a gold single and a gold album as well as a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. They became the first African American married couple to host a network television series, The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Show, on CBS in summer 1977. They released one more album on ABC in 1978, produced by Frank Wilson and containing the popular ballad "My Reason To Be" by songwriters Judy Wieder and John Footman. The pair signed with CBS Records the following year and released their last album as a duo until October 2008 when the pair released The Many Faces of Love, a collection of hit songs from the 1960s and 1970s.
The pair decided to go solo professionally in the early 1980s with McCoo hosting the popular American syndicated television series Solid Gold from 1981 through 1984 and again from 1986 through 1988. She also created a successful nightclub and concert act, and went on to appear as Tamara Price on Days of Our Lives in 1986, as a friend of Marlena Evans who sang at her wedding. Price later became involved with James Reynolds' character Abe Carver. McCoo left the series in 1987.
Her 1991 album, The Me Nobody Knows, was nominated for a Grammy. She also released a Christmas album in 1996. McCoo won her eighth Grammy for her contributions to Quincy Jones' Handel's Messiah.
McCoo has acted in a number of movies, including Grizzly Adams and the Legend of Dark Mountain (1999), My Mom's a Werewolf (1989) and several television movies, often playing herself. She has appeared on stage in productions of Anything Goes, A...My Name is Alice, Man of La Mancha, and the Broadway production of Show Boat in 1995 through 1996. McCoo appeared together with Davis on The Jamie Foxx Show as Fancy's parents, the Monroes. McCoo also guest-starred on a Canadian game show in the 1990s, called Acting Crazy.
McCoo is married to fellow 5th Dimension bandmate Billy Davis Jr. On July 26, 2009, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. The couple shared their story of love and faith in the 2004 book, Up, Up and Away. They continue to perform together in venues around the country. McCoo is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority. As of January 2010 she is Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Mission.
The 23rd Annual GMA Dove Awards were held on April 9, 1992, recognizing accomplishments of musicians for the year 1991. The show was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Marilyn McCoo and Glen Campbell.Ad Lib (TV series)
"Ad Lib" was a TV program hosted by composer and pianist Phil Moore and produced by Cinema Arts Productions Inc. that aired in 1981. Ad Lib featured noted jazz artists performing for the video camera while recording their musical albums at various recording studios. The series was repeated in 1982 and in 1984.
Season 1, Episode 1: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
Season 1, Episode 2: Kenny Burrell & Ernie Andrews
Season 1, Episode 3: Jimmy Smith
Season 1, Episode 4: Jon Hendricks
Season 1, Episode 5: Dianne Reeves & Snooky Young*
Season 1, Episode 6: Jeanne Moore & Marshall Royal
Season 1, Episode 7: Dorothy Donegan/Mary Davis/The Tonight Show All-Stars
Season 1, Episode 8: O.C. Smith & Scatman Crothers
Season 1, Episode 9: Freda Payne & Stanley Turrentine
Season 1, Episode 10: Red Norvo/Clora Bryant/Rozelle Gayle
Season 1, Episode 11: Legends of Jazz: Dixieland
Season 1, Episode 12: Jimmy Witherspoon/John Collins
Season 1, Episode 13: Linda Hopkins/Paul Smith
Season 1, Episode 14: Dianne Reeves/James Newton/Allan Iwohara
Season 1, Episode 15: Jimmy Witherspoon/Marshall Royal
Season 1, Episode 16: Maxine Weldon/Greg Poree
Season 1, Episode 17: Freda Payne/Jerome Richardson
Season 1, Episode 18: O.C. Smith/Judy Carmichael
Season 1, Episode 19: Willie Bobo: 1
Season 1, Episode 20: Linda Hopkins/Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis
Season 1, Episode 21: Ester Phillips/Red Holloway
Season 1, Episode 22: Spanky Wilson/Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson
Season 1, Episode 23: Dorothy Donegan/Spanky Wilson
Season 1, Episode 24: Dorothy Donegan/Buster Cooper
Season 1, Episode 25: Billy Daniels/Eddie Harris
Season 1, Episode 26: Billy Daniels/Blossom Dearie
Season 1, Episode 27: Michael Rogers Band/Dee Dee Gray
Season 1, Episode 28: Michael Rogers Band/Kiki Francisco
Season 1, Episode 29: Willie Bobo: 2
Season 1, Episode 30: Willie Bobo: 3
Season 1, Episode 31: Maxine Weldon/Pee Wee Crayton: 1
Season 1, Episode 32: Maxine Weldon/Pee Wee Crayton: 2
Season 1, Episode 33: Damita Jo/Papa John Creach
Season 1, Episode 34: Damita Jo/Papa John Creach 2
Season 1, Episode 35: Bill Henderson/Joyce Collins/Dave Mackay
Season 1, Episode 36: Sam Fletcher/Pee Wee Crayton
Season 1, Episode 37: Kenny Rankin/Terry Gibbs
Season 1, Episode 38: Dianne Reeves/Billy Childs
Season 1, Episode 39: Dianne Reeves/Ronald Powell
Season 1, Episode 40: Freddie Hubbard: 1
Season 1, Episode 41: Freddie Hubbard: 2
Season 1, Episode 42: Tanya Maria/Laurindo Almeida (#1)
Season 1, Episode 43: Tanya Maria/Laurindo Almeida (#2)
Season 1, Episode 44: Charles Brown/Mundell Lowe
Season 1, Episode 45: Mark Murphy/Pete & Conte Condoli 1
Season 1, Episode 46: Mark Murphy/Pete & Conte Condoli 2Billy Davis Jr.
Billy Davis Jr. (born June 26, 1938 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American musician, best known as a member of the 5th Dimension. Along with his wife, Marilyn McCoo, he had hit records during 1976 and 1977 with "I Hope We Get to Love in Time", "Your Love", and "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)". Davis and McCoo were married in 1969. They became the first African American married couple to host a network television series, The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Show, on CBS in the summer of 1977. That same year, "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)" won a Grammy Award.Chris Christian
Chris Christian (born February 7, 1955 as Lon Christian Smith is an American songwriter, record producer, and a record label executive. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John, Hall and Oates, Natalie Cole, Sheena Easton, The Pointer Sisters, Al Jarreau, The Carpenters, Amy Grant, Patti Austin, Dionne Warwick, America, The Imperials, B.J. Thomas, B W Stevenson, Marilyn McCoo, Dan Peek, Cheryl Ladd, Jane Olivor, Sandi Patti, Pat Boone, Ali Lohan, Donnie Osmond, and others.
As a member of the trio of Cotton, Lloyd & Christian (put together by Mike Curb) in the early 1970s, he enjoyed two hits on the Billboard adult contemporary chart on 20th Century Records. The group performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and Midnight Special. As a solo artist he performed on The Merv Griffin Show, Solid Gold, and was a judge on Star Search. Christian also played guitar with Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, and the Wayne Newton band.
As a record producer, he is best known for starting Amy Grant's music career by signing her at age 16 to his production company and calling Myrrh Records executive Stan Moser to advise he was making an album on Amy as part of a long term production agreement Christian had signed with Myrrh Records. Christian produced her first album and acted as executive producer for her second, handing over production duties to his college friend Brown Bannister. He owned her songs until 1997 when they were sold to Gaylord Entertainment.
He has produced The Pointer Sisters, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Amy Grant, Dallas Cowboys, B J Thomas, Dan Peek, B W Stevenson, Debby Boone, Steve Archer, Bill Gaither, Marilyn McCoo, Eric Champion, Ali Lohan, Pat Boone, and over 100 other albums.
As the first artist signed to Boardwalk Records owned by Neil Bogart, with Bob Gaudio (Four Seasons) producing, he recorded "I Want You, I Need You," which peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981 and reached the No. 8 on Billboards Adult Contemporary Chart. "I Want You, I Need You" was a number one song in some countries outside the USA. Cheryl Ladd sings back-up on the song along with many other artists on the album including Christopher Cross, Nigel Olsson, Frankie Valli, Dann Huff, Tommy Funderburk, Bill Champlin, Paul Jackson, Amy Holland, and Robbie Patton. Other artists on Boardwalk were Ringo Starr, Joan Jett, Mike Love (Beach Boys), and Night Ranger. Robert Kardashian (the Kardashians' father) was his best friend, manager and was responsible for Chris signing with Boardwalk Records. A second hit, a medley of the 1968 Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell Motown classics "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "You're All I Need to Get By" sung with Amy Holland, hit No. 21 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 88 on the Hot 100 in 1982.
Christian has produced albums that have been nominated for nine and won four Grammy Awards. He has also been nominated for seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards as an artist, songwriter, and producer, winning five. He has also released sixteen other albums as a solo artist.
Throughout his career, he has written music for many major TV sports events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA finals, The Masters, Olympics, NFL Today, US Open, and many more.
In 1981, Chris launched his own label Home Sweet Home Records. On that label he signed and produced albums for White Heart, Steve Archer, Mark Heard, Dan Peek, B J Thomas, Eric Champion, Rick Riso, Luke Garrett, Marilyn McCoo and others.
In 1992, he founded HSH Educational Media and executive produced and wrote the music for the popular children's series "Gerbert" which aired on PBS and what is now ABC Family for over 10 years. His company continues to own and license the Gerbert shows and music. The "Gerbert" TV series won an ACE award for best Pre-School Show.
Chris purchased The Studios at Las Colinas in 1992 with partner Steve Jarchow. Ross Perot Jr. bought Jarchows interest in 1993. Chris and Ross purchased the acreage around the Studios Complex selling their interest in the Studio and the remaining land to Fox Sports Southwest in 2003.
Christian was CEO of World Digital Media Group and YMC Records, a joint venture by Radio Shack, Dish Network, and Sirius Radio, until May 2007.
In 2015, he became the vice-chairman/managing partner for the WNBA's "Dallas Wings".
He was inducted into the West Texas Music Hall of Fame, , as well as the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He is listed among the Distinguished Alumni of Abilene Christian University (class of 1973). His family was a founding family of The Covenant School in Dallas.
Christian Women in Media Association
The Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA) is an international nonprofit organization that was founded in 2002 as Women in Christian Media by Suellen Roberts, who serves as the organization's president. Christian Women in Media Association (CWIMA) is a professional association dedicated to Connecting Women in Purpose and Vision. With a national platform focused on advancing Christian women in media, our members work in the fields of TV, Radio, Internet, Film, Publishing, Music, and Arts and Entertainment. Our organizational framework promotes and provides opportunities for industry networking, professional equipping, and spiritual refreshment. Founder and President is Suellen Roberts, Executive Director is Sharon Hill, and National Directors are Dr. Tracey Mitchell and Robin Bertram.
CWIMA has the Global Media Summit each April held in Dallas, Texas with a variety of internationally known speakers and artists as well as media seminars and workshops. The highlight of the event is the Awards Gala with special recognition given to some of the key leaders in media. Under the umbrella of the overall group, CWIMA is also divided into 6 Regions that have quarterly meetings with keynote speakers, musicians, and media seminars. Regional Leaders: Baton Rouge - Beverly Bilbo, Dallas - Marti Martin, Hollywood - Marion Pyle, Minneapolis - Gaye Lindfors, Nashville - Sue McGray, and New York City - Chris Luppo. Diane Gardner is director of the smaller local chapters, each with their own leaders, that meet at regularly scheduled times.
CWIMA National Music Showcase in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, under the direction of Erica Lane, is held in July. This contest is open to Christian female artists and bands who submit entries beforehand. Those selected are then given opportunity to perform live on stage in front of 3 celebrity judges and a live audience.
The Advisory Board for CWIMA includes Robin Bertram, Karin Daniel, Diane Gardner, Kathy Green, Marta Greenman, Joan Higley, Sharon Hill, Karol Ladd, Christie Legg, Marina McLean, Dr. Tracey Mitchell, Jeanne Nigro, Suzanne Niles, Wendie Pett, Donna Skell, Alyson Swearingen and Lisa Burkhardt Worley.
CWIMA's honorary members are Kay Arthur, Vonette Bright, Joann Cash, Kathleen Cooke, Carol Cymbala, Marilyn McCoo Davis, Lois Evans, Ruth Graham, June Hunt, Joni Lamb, Anne Graham Lotz, Babbie Mason, Patricia Mauceri, Terry Meeuwsen, Jennifer O'Neill, Janet Parshall, Shirley Rose, Carol Swain, Joni Earackson Tada and Thelma Wells.Earthbound (The 5th Dimension album)
Earthbound is the twelfth album by American pop group The 5th Dimension, released in 1975 by ABC Records. It is the last album in the group's original line-up with Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue Gordon, Lamonte McLemore and Ron Townson. After touring with the 5th Dimension in support of this album, Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo (being married since 1969) left the group to work as a duo and as solo artists.In contrast to most of their previous albums, Earthbound features synthesizers prominently in many of its tracks—particularly "Magic In My Life" and "Moonlight Mile". "Magic in My Life", the second and final single released from the album (after "Walk Your Feet in the Sunshine"), was also unusual in that it was the first 5th Dimension single to feature Florence LaRue on the lead. She would frequently be the lead on successive 5th Dimension singles with various line-ups.
Perhaps owing to its singular status as an ABC Records release, for decades the album remained the only one recorded by the original 5th Dimension line-up to not be issued on CD. It finally was released on CD in June 2014, through Real Gone Music.Hallelujah! (gospel song)
"Hallelujah!" is a 1992 song from Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, a Grammy award winning Reprise Records concept album. The song is a soulful re-interpretation of the "Hallelujah" chorus from Messiah, George Frideric Handel's well-known oratorio from 1741. It is performed by a choir of all-star gospel, contemporary Christian, R&B and jazz singers, along with several actors. The song was arranged and produced by Take 6 alumnus Mervyn Warren, and conducted by Quincy Jones. Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album in 1992, as well as a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year.The vocalists performing on "Hallelujah!" are Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Patti Austin, Bernie K., Daryl Coley, Commissioned, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Clifton Davis, Charles S. Dutton, Kim Fields, Larnelle Harris, Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Linda Hopkins, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Lizz Lee, Dawnn Lewis, Babbie Mason, Johnny Mathis, Marilyn McCoo, Mike E., Stephanie Mills, Jeffrey Osborne, David Pack, Phylicia Rashad, Joe Sample, Richard Smallwood, Sounds of Blackness, Take 6, Darryl Tookes, Mervyn Warren, Thomas Whitfield, Vanessa Williams and Chris Willis.Individually and Collectively (The 5th Dimension album)
Individually and Collectively is the seventh album of original material by American pop group The 5th Dimension, released in 1972. This album includes both of the group's final top 10 hits on the Billboard Pop Singles chart - "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All," which reached #8, and "If I Could Reach You," which peaked at #10. Both were also hits on the Adult Contemporary charts, and both feature lead vocals by Marilyn McCoo. The album would scale the Top 200 Album Charts as well, eventually landing at the #58 position on 24 June 1972.
The album's title is reflective of the record containing content in which the group goes from its famous five-part harmonies to lead-feature songs. Billy Davis, Jr. is the lead on nearly half of the album, including on the group's cover of Elton John's Border Song. Ron Townson is also issued a rare lead vocal on Band of Gold. Black Patch, a Laura Nyro composition which ends the album, features each member taking lead on part of a verse, including - for the first time - Lamonte McLemore. The group would perform this final song on Soul Train, along with the 1973 non-album single, Flashback.James Dean (songwriter)
James Anthony Dean (7 February 1943 – 9 April 2006) was an American songwriter. He was best known for his work at Motown Records in the 1960s, often in collaboration with William Weatherspoon with whom he co-wrote several hits including Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted". Dean also co-wrote, with John Glover, "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)", a US no.1 hit for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes
Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes is the sixth album by American pop group The 5th Dimension, released in 1971. The title song had been recorded originally by Diana Ross the previous year. It reached #17 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart.
Following the success of "One Less Bell to Answer" featuring Marilyn McCoo as lead vocalist, she was once again chosen to take the reins for the release of the first single, from which the album was named. The single became another Top 20 hit for The 5th. The follow-up single, "Light Sings", fared less well, just missing the Top 40. No other singles were issued from this album, as Bell decided to prepare for the group's first 'live' album release instead.One Less Bell to Answer
"One Less Bell to Answer" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Originally written in 1967 for Keely Smith, the song was rediscovered in late 1969 by Bones Howe, the producer for the 5th Dimension, and the song was included on the group's 1970 debut album for Bell Records, Portrait. Lead vocals on the single were sung by Marilyn McCoo.
"One Less Bell to Answer" was a platinum record. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, behind "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison. On other US charts, it went to number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, as well as No. 4 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart.Portrait (The 5th Dimension album)
Portrait is the fifth album by American pop group The 5th Dimension, released in 1970 (see 1970 in music). This is the group's first album for Bell Records, having switched from the Soul City Records. The cover features an impressionistic portrait by famous artist LeRoy Neiman.
The album languished in the mid-1960s on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts after the release of its first three singles, none of which entered the Top 20 of the American pop music charts. Bell Records, hoping to see a return on the investment they made by signing The 5th Dimension after the group's contract at Soul City Records ended, made a fourth and final attempt at a hit - a relatively uncommon practice at the time - with the release of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "One Less Bell to Answer". The single rose all the way to #2 by Christmas 1970, becoming one of the group's greatest hits of all time. As a result, Portrait began climbing the charts once again, eventually peaking at #20. The single features Marilyn McCoo on lead vocal, and ushers in The 5th Dimension's transition from pop to adult contemporary artists. McCoo from this point became the primary vocalist for the group's subsequent chart hits, including "Last Night (I Didn't Get to Sleep at All)", "Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes", "Never My Love", "If I Could Reach You", "House for Sale", "Everything's Been Changed" and "Flashback". This became a source of friction for the group as time went on, and was in part responsible for McCoo and husband Billy Davis, Jr. leaving the group after the release of Earthbound in 1975.Saving All My Love for You
"Saving All My Love for You" is a song written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin with arrangement by Gene Page. It was originally a minor hit for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. in 1978 on their album Marilyn & Billy. A cover of the song was done by American singer Whitney Houston, for her debut, self-titled album, which was released on February 14, 1985, by Arista Records. The song was the second single from the album in the United States and third worldwide.
The song received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who picked it as one of the album's highlights and praised her vocals on the song. Whitney also earned her first Grammy Award with the song, on the category Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Commercially, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, being her first number one on the charts; it also went to number one in both the UK and Ireland, and was her first major hit in the British Isles. In the United States, it was awarded a Gold certification from the RIAA in 1995.Solid Gold (TV series)
Solid Gold was an American syndicated music television series that debuted on September 13, 1980 and ran until July 23, 1988. The program was a production of Brad Lachman Productions in association with Operation Prime Time and Paramount Domestic Television.
Usually airing on Saturday evenings, Solid Gold was one of several shows that focused on the popular music of any given week; other examples included the long-running American Bandstand and Soul Train. While Solid Gold did share elements with those two programs, such as live appearances by performers, it also stood out by including something they did not: an in-house crew of professional dancers that performed routines choreographed to the week's featured songs.
Reviews of the show were not always positive, with The New York Times referring to it as "the pop music show that is its own parody...[enacting] mini-dramas...of covetousness, lust and aerobic toning—routines that typically have a minimal connection with the songs that back them up."Soulicious (Cliff Richard album)
Soulicious is a 2011 studio album by Cliff Richard featuring duets with some of soul music's most respected names. Guest artists include Freda Payne, Dennis Edwards from The Temptations, Candi Staton, Percy Sledge, Roberta Flack, Deniece Williams, Brenda Holloway, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr from The 5th Dimension, Russell Thompkins Jr from The Stylistics, Billy Paul and Peabo Bryson.The album was produced by Motown songwriters and producers Lamont Dozier and husband and wife duo Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. It was recorded at several studios, in Memphis at both the Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios and Ardent Studios (with Lamont Dozier producing), and in New York at Above Asia Studios (with Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson producing).The album is Richard's first album of primarily new songs since 2004's Something's Goin' On album, and also includes four covers. The album reached number #10 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified Silver in the UK.Stoned Soul Picnic (song)
"Stoned Soul Picnic" is a 1968 song by Laura Nyro. The best-known version of the song was recorded by The 5th Dimension, and was the first single released from their album of the same title. It was the most successful single from that album, reaching No. 3 on the U.S. Pop chart and No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart. It became a platinum record.
The song was composed and recorded by Nyro for her album Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, released in March 1968. According to Marilyn McCoo, it was producer Bones Howe who suggested that it would be a good song for the 5th Dimension to cover. The group would go on to record several more hits with Nyro songs, including "Sweet Blindness", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Blowin' Away", and "Save the Country".
An instrumental version was recorded by jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers and became the title track to his 1968 album.The word surry, used frequently in the lyric (e.g. "Surry down to a stoned soul picnic"), is a neologism by Nyro; its meaning is unclear. The verb surry is spelled differently from the noun surrey (an old-time carriage). When asked by producer Charlie Calello what the word meant, Nyro told him, "Oh, it's just a nice word." One possible meaning is that surry is a shortening of "let's hurry."The 5th Dimension
The 5th Dimension is an American popular music vocal group, whose repertoire includes pop, R&B, soul, jazz, light opera and Broadway—the melange was coined as "Champagne Soul".
Formed as the Versatiles in late 1965, the group changed its name to the hipper "the 5th Dimension" by 1966. They became well-known during the late 1960s and early 1970s for their popular hits: "Up, Up and Away", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Never My Love", "One Less Bell to Answer", "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All", and The Magic Garden LP.
The five original members were Billy Davis Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ronald Townson. They have recorded for several labels over their long careers. Their first work appeared on the Soul City label, which was started by Imperial Records/United Artists Records recording artist Johnny Rivers. The group later recorded for Bell/Arista Records, ABC Records, and Motown Records.
Some of the songwriters popularized by the 5th Dimension went on to careers of their own, especially Ashford & Simpson, who wrote "California Soul". The group is also notable for having more success with the songs of Laura Nyro than Nyro did herself, particularly with "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Blowin' Away", and "Save the Country". The group also recorded songs by well-known songwriters such as "One Less Bell to Answer", written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and the songs and music of Jimmy Webb, who wrote their hit "Up, Up and Away." The group recorded an album composed almost entirely of Webb songs called The Magic Garden.
The 5th Dimension's producer, Bones Howe, used Bob Alcivar as the singers' vocal arranger, as well as instrumental backing by the Wrecking Crew for their recording sessions.You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)
"You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)" is a song by the husband/wife duo of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., former members of the vocal group The 5th Dimension. Released from their album, I Hope We Get to Love in Time, it became a crossover success, spending six months on the charts and soaring to number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts during late 1976 and early 1977. The song also reached #6 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart and #7 on the UK Singles Chart. It would eventually be certified gold, selling over one million copies, and winning them a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1977.Your Love (Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. song)
"Your Love" is a song by the husband/wife duo of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., former members of the vocal group The 5th Dimension. Released from their album, I Hope We Get to Love in Time, it was the follow-up to their number-one hit, "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)".
The song reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the spring of 1977. It reached number 21 on the US Easy Listening chart. Also, it was a Top 10 hit on the US R&B chart, where it peaked at number nine."Your Love" was a slightly larger hit in Canada. It peaked at number 13 on the pop chart and number 17 on the AC chart. Unlike its predecessor, however, the song did not chart outside North America.