Craig Allen says: ‘Meet New Jersey’s Marilyn McCoo’
As we continue to stuff your radio full of Jersey's Favorite (Homegrown) Artists through the long Thanksgiving weekend, you should recognize the talents of Marilyn McCoo!She was born in Jersey City on September 30, 1943.
Both of her parents, Waymon and Mary McCoo, were doctors!
When she was 7, Marilyn's family heard the call to go west...so Marilyn, along with her two sisters, her brother, and parents moved to Los Angeles. There, she started on the long road to stardom, taking singing, piano, and dance lessons!
At the tender age of 15, she started modeling, and joined the cast of Art Linkletter's "Talent Show" on TV.
After high school, Marilyn McCoo earned a degree in business administration from UCLA.
From the early to mid-1960's, New Jersey-born Marilyn McCoo was a member of the "Hi-Fi's," the band that was often the opening act for Ray Charles!
McCoo met Billy Davis Jr in 1966, as he was forming the "Versatiles," a band that would become the "5th Dimension." McCoo signed on.
The group's first big hit was "Up, Up and Away" (#7/1967). The title song to the group's first album won four 1968 Grammy Awards!
Other notable hits for the 5th Dimension in the Marilyn McCoo era include:
"Stoned Soul Picnic" (#3/1968).
"Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" (#1/1969). 1969's Grammy winner for "Record Of The Year."
"Wedding Bell Blues" (#1/1969).
Marilyn McCoo would sing lead on all of the following chart-toppers:
"One Less Bell To Answer" (#2/1970).
(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All (#8/1972).
"If I Could Reach You" (#10/1972).
In 1975, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr (who married in 1969) left the 5th Dimension to pursue a career as a duo. They signed a recording deal with ABC Records.
In 1976, they released their debut album "I Hope We Get To Love In Time."
The title track got some airplay, but barely cracked the Hot 100 (#91/1976).
Their next single would be redeeming...
"You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show) went all the way to #1 in early 1977!
McCoo and Davis were presented a gold single and gold album award, and won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.
The next single was "Your Love" (#15/1977).
Our duo became the first married African-American couple to host a network TV show, in 1977. "The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr Show" aired on CBS during the summer.
Sadly, the "summer replacement show" didn't help their final single climb the charts...
"Look What You've Done To My Heart" stopped at #51 (1977).
In the 1980's, the couple decided to go their own ways, professionally.
Marilyn McCoo hosted the syndicated "Solid Gold" TV show from 1981 to 1984...and then returned from 1986 to 1988.
Above, check out Marilyn singing a duet with Andy Gibb in 1981...you KNOW the song!
She also headlined a concert and nightclub act!
Marilyn played Tamara Price on "Days Of Our Lives" in 1986. She would leave the show in 1987.
In the above video, she sings in a pub, as Tamara...
Over the years, Marilyn McCoo has acted in movies, such as "Grizzly Adams and the Legend Of Dark Mountain" (1999)...and numerous "made for TV movies." Her stage credits include a run in the Broadway production of "Showboat" from 1995 through 1996.
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr are born again Christians...who share their story of love and faith in the book "Up, Up And Away," published in 2004. So, you can add "author" to Marilyn's long list of accomplishments!
Yes...this long-married couple still performs together on stage across the country...including a scheduled show in South Orange on December 18th! Get more information on their official website, by clicking here.
New Jersey's own Marilyn McCoo is one busy lady!
Enjoy her music, on a "Jersey Homecoming Weekend," from New Jersey 101.5 and nj1015.com!