Thursday, July 31, 2008

Memories - - The 5th Dimension

When I was in Junior High and Early High School, one of my favorite groups was the 5th Dimension. I used enjoy singing along (as best I could) to some of their songs and I think I wore out a couple of old LPs just listening to them over and over again.

Most young people today may or may not know who they are, but some of their music has turned up in so many places that it may be better known today than they are.

Here is a 5th Dimension Classic

While many of their early songs were about drugs and revolution, they matured as people and artists and by the time their star had begun to fade their lyrics became more mainstream.

Purely as an aside, anyone who thinks that entertainers cannot have successful marriages need look no further than this group. Marilyn McCoo (the tall woman in the black and orange dress) and Billy Davis Jr. (the lead male vocalist) have been married to each other for close to 40 years and that is an accomplishment to proud of. They have also become dedicated Christians and are now involved in a gospel ministry and their personal webpage is quite a place to visit.

It's kind of silly to admit this, but having grown up in an all-white area, I didn't get to know any blacks at all until I was in the military. Watching the 5th Dimension on TV at the age of 13 or so, Ms McCoo was probably the first non-white woman to really make my eyes bug out. She was simply beautiful and you couldn't deny it. Of course as I got to know people of different races I realized that beauty was not a function of skin color. She was also quite attractive when she was on Solid Gold in the 80s and if her picture at her website is any indication, she is still fairly attractive. She is probably also one of the best, and perhaps a bit underrated, female vocalists of my time.

Here is a relatively recent video of her singing the style that she and her husband now sing.

To Him and to Him Alone Be All the Glory for He Alone is Worthy.


Blogger Gayle said...

I was so naive about drugs that I never saw the association of their music with the drug culture at the time. Ms McCoo is more beautiful in the second video than when she was younger, at least in my opinion. She has aged very well and has a wonderful rich voice. Thanks for sharing, Shoprat!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Z said...

"drugs and revolution?" WHO KNEW?? This is JUST my era, Shoprat! I guess I was too naive to realize that, like Gayle says she was!! Thanks for this great post! I think she's far more beautiful now and WHAT a wonderful song....her voice is SO rich. Remember "One Less Bell to Answer"? that was hers..great tune.

I was in a band in college, played keyboard and sang. We played at a private party for one of the Fifth Dimension who'd been on Safari and had just returned. Our manager told us "Play UP UP AND AWAY" and I said "YOU PLAY it..I'm not playing THEIR song for THEM!" and we didn't! imagine?
Later, I became a jazz singer and it would have been like having Ella Fitzgerald walk in and my singing one of her hits! NEVER HAPPEN! thanks.

12:32 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Drugs and revolution? I was thinking specifically of two of their early works "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Save the Country". I have looked at the lyrics of both songs and am not sure of any other way to interpret them. There were rumors that "Up UP and Away" was actually about drugs but if so, it was so cryptic as to be meaningless to those who weren't in on it, so I don't consider that song to be about drugs.

2:34 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

My favorite song by them was "Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes".

3:36 AM  
Blogger benning said...

Marilyn McCoo was gorgeous. The 5th Dimension was not one of my favorites, but then you only ever heard two or three of their tunes. Top 40 Radio hasn't changed at all.

Nice Faith tune, ES.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Z said...

I guess they just never looked like druggies to me..but, who knows? I was kinda naive back then...rock band or no rock band!

12:27 AM  
Blogger Gawfer said...


I needed to hear that last song.

Inspite of our efforts to screw up our lives, God's unfailing love sustains us through the darkest hours.

Thanks SR, for posting this.

12:04 AM  

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