Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Billy Davis Jr.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. give a solid gold performance in Atlantic City

Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo admit that when one of their songs comes on the radio, they turn it up because they want to hear themselves.

“The problem is that we’re listening for mistakes,” said Davis. “Did he hit that note? He’s flat, what happened there? Even years later, we’re always critiquing. We’re always listening for something instead of just listening to be listening.”

If their show June 11 in Atlantic City is any indication, then they’re the only ones who can detect any of those hiccups. But for those of us who aren’t Marilyn McCoo or Billy Davis Jr., Saturday night’s performance wasn’t only flawless, it was spectacular.

Let me state right up front that if you’re looking for an unbiased review of the show, this isn’t the place. The following will be completely biased based on personal interaction during telephone interviews with Billy and Marilyn and from … Read more

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. offer new respect for The 5th Dimension’s ‘Earthbound’ album

The cracks in musical cohesiveness among the members of The 5th Dimension were evident to the group’s members by the time they began work on the “Earthbound” album in 1975.

They had reunited with songwriter Jimmy Webb, who had penned the group’s first pop hit, “Up, Up and Away” in 1967. Webb was going to produce “Earthbound” and Marilyn McCoo and husband Billy Davis Jr. were both excited about working again with Webb.

But rehearsals were tense. Recording sessions were tense. At the center of the discomfort was the direction the band was heading by 1975.

Since the mid-1960s, the original five members – McCoo, Davis, Florence LaRue, Lamonte McLemore and Ron Townson – had produced a string of hits in addition to “Up, Up and Away,” including “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell To Answer” and “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get To … Read more

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