As part of Black History Month (and Valentine’s Day week) we give some attention to the “5th Dimension.”
The quintet from Los Angeles has been described as possessing quite the combination: a psychedelic soul sensation along with an adult sophistication. They appealed to all ages and races with their easy, breezy harmonies.
Original member Florence LaRue says Motown Records could have had them under contract, but took a pass.
“They weren’t really interested because we weren’t an R&B group,” she says. “We were about to sign with Motown, but the gentleman we were working with passed away, and then they decided, no, we weren’t quite their type of group.”
One of their big hits was The Wedding Bell Blues.” Written by Laura Nyro when she was just 18, this song, along with “And When I Die” by Blood, Sweat & Tears and “Eli’s Coming” by 3 Dog Night, were all Laura Nyro compositions in the US Top 10 at the same time for a few weeks in the fall of 1969.
“The Wedding Bell Blues” was perfect for the group because members Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. were engaged at the time, but had not set a wedding date. The scenario came across well on television, like this cute performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
“The Wedding Bell Blues” spent three consecutive weeks at #1.
Lush, sunshine pop. That’s our next selection from 1967.
Associated with hot air ballooning, this song won four Grammy awards: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, Other Pop/Rock&Roll/ Contemporary Awards or Instrumental, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
TWA used the song for a successful and memorable ad campaign using different singers and musicians. The group sued the airline, and lost.