Sunday, May 26, 2024

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr Dedicate Gorgeous Cover of Beatles Song to “the life and humanity of every blackbird”


Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr were the leaders of the 5th Dimension, the very underrated R&B pop group that stormed the charts from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. All of the group including Ron Townson, Florence Larue, and Lamonte McLemore had extraordinary voices that blended together in perfection for songs like “Aquarius,” “Up, Up, and Away.”

McCoo and Davis went on to have a big hit apart from the group called “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (to be in My Show).”

Now the couple, married 51 years, are releasing an album of Lennon and McCartney covers called “Blackbird: Lennon-McCartney Icons.”

Today comes their rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird,” It’s a solo from Marilyn, and of course, it’s a knockout performance. (On the album Billy has some solos that will blow you away, too.)

Marilyn never got the recognition of a Dionne Warwick or Whitney Houston, but she always deserved it. She’s as good, a singer’s singer, whose voice has aged like a fine wine.

They say in a release: “Why Blackbird? Why now? It is a reflection of the truth we are living today. We chose this date to release Blackbird in honor of the last week of Black History Month. When a blackbird leaves our mother’s nest, one day, it will not return. In 2021, mothers throughout our country live in the fear that our blackbirds may prematurely not be able to return
to the nest of home, because of bigotry and violence… Blackbird, is dedicated to the life and humanity of every blackbird, whether living now or lost in battle.”

Wait til you hear this whole album! But right now, here’s “Blackbird.”

and then there’s this, just as a Friday gift:


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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