The holiday season is a great time for music and singing. So, for this occasion, we have brought back show business legends Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. The superstars were formerly members of The 5th Dimension. During their time with the group, which also featured past CYInterview guest Lamonte McLemore [see here and here], Ronald Townson and Florence LaRue, they would end up singing some of the most iconic songs in music history including Wedding Bell Blues, Up, Up and Away and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.
After leaving The 5th Dimension, Billy and Marilyn embarked on their own career as a duo, finding significant success. The pair have been married for 51 years. As for the holiday season, the song they enjoy singing most is Silver Bells. Marilyn McCoo recalls that when she hosted the TV show Solid Gold, she was slated to do a holiday song with late, fellow songstress Donna Summer. She told us this:
“This woman [Donna Summer] had the biggest voice. The most incredible voice. And she and I were rehearsing in my dressing room and she started singing and we were supposed to be doing this duet and she blew me out of the room. And that was just the power in her voice. And I never forgot that. She was amazing.”
Billy and Marilyn are known for their continued touring and performing. However, Covid has changed that. Speaking of not performing since the spring, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Marilyn said it was strange and Billy gave us his thoughts on being off the road for so long and how it has impacted them:
“One of the things is that singers, we have to keep singing, you know, because our voices, our vocal chords is a muscle. And if we don’t use it, it will just kind of go to sleep on us. You know, so we have to continue to vocalize and keep our voices strong so that whenever we have something coming up like a virtual concert or something like that, then we can project.”
Most excitingly, the Grammy Award winners are planning to release a new album in 2021. This is what they told us about the forthcoming project:
Marilyn: “We’ve been working on it for quite some time now and will be glad when we are finished and it’s actually out there. We’re working with BMG, which is a company out of Germany and we’ve all just been, it’s a labor of love. And it’s taking time to finish it up and will be so glad when it’s finally finished and out so that we can, you know, see the response of the audience and see if they are as excited about it as we are.”
Billy: “We seem to think it is one of our better projects too as most entertainers do every time you put something out.”
This year, the couple spent Thanksgiving together but without any other family. They celebrated with their loved ones on Zoom. With so much time at home this year, in Los Angeles, they had some time to think about whether retirement was in their future or not. They have decided that as long as they can continue to sing, they will not retire. This is what they told us about that:
Marilyn: “We’ve decided that as long as we can continue to hit the notes and sing and people enjoy listening to us, we don’t know if that we’ll ever completely retire. … Chris, you know who has been an inspiration to us in our lives, is Tony Bennett.”
Billy: “We’ve always said as long as we can hit the notes and we know that we sound decent and people want to hear it, you know, when we can’t do that anymore, then it’s time to look for something else.”
It was April of 2019 when we had a chance to spend time with Billy and Marilyn at their concert at The Orleans Showroom here in Las Vegas. See the report of that night by clicking here. You can listen to our first CYInterview with the mega-talented duo here.
The pair had to cancel their dates in the Entertainment Capital of the World this year, due to the coronavirus. Marilyn tells us that once the pandemic is under control and live entertainment comes back to Las Vegas, they will have futures dates at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.
“We know that once things settle down and things get back to more normal situations, that we’ll be going back to The Orleans because again, people are looking forward to seeing us there and that’s such a compliment.”
You can listen to our entire CYInterview below, to hear more about what Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. have been up to in 2020:
Listen to the entire Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. CYInterview: