The 5th Dimension is a multiple Grammy-winning American popular music vocal group, whose repertoire also includes pop, R&B, soul, and jazz.The 5th Dimension was best-known during the late 1960s and early 1970s for popularizing the hits "Up, Up and Away", Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "One Less Bell to Answer", "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All", and "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In", as well as the eponymous 5th Dimension and The Magic Garden LP recordings.
Some of the songwriters popularized by The 5th Dimension later went on to careers of their own, especially Ashford & Simpson, who wrote "California Soul". The group is also notable for having more success with the songs of Laura Nyro than Nyro did herself, particularly in the cases of "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", and "Save the Country" The group also covered music by well known songwriters such as the song "One Less Bell to Answer", written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. And perhaps best of all, they became great interpreters of the songs and music of Jimmy Webb, who penned their original mega-hit "Up, Up, and Away", including an entire recording of memorable Webb songs called The Magic Garden.
The five original members were Billy Davis, Jr.,Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ron Townson.They have recorded for several different labels over their long careers. Their first work appeared on the Soul Citylabel, which was started by Imperial Records/United Artists Records recording artist Johnny Rivers. The group would later record for Bell/Arista Records, ABC Records, and Motown Records.
Budding young songwriter Jimmy Webb supplied the group with their breakthrough hit, "Up, Up and Away", a top 10 hit in mid-1967, which won five Grammy Awards. The following year, the group scored major hit singles with Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" (U.S. #3) and "Sweet Blindness" (U.S. #13) and received a gold record for their album Stoned Soul Picnic, which also included the Ashford & Simpson-written "California Soul". In 1969, they had two number one singles: "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" from the musical Hair and the Nyro composition "Wedding Bell Blues". Later hits included "One Less Bell to Answer" (U.S. #2) (1970), "Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes" (U.S. #19), "Never My Love" (U.S. #12) (1971), "If I Could Reach You" (U.S. #10), and "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All" (U.S. #8) (1972).
The original quintet reunited in 1990 for a tour. Townson briefly left the Group to try a solo career, but soon returned, as the group resigned itself to the nostalgia circuit. In 1995, the quintet of LaRue, Townson, McLemore, Battle, and Greg Walker recorded a new album, In the House, forClick Records. In 1998, Willie Williams replaced Townson, who died in 2001 due to diabetes-related Kidney failure. Battle departed in 2002, to be replaced by Van Jewell. McLemore retired from the group in March 2006. McCoo and Davis continue to tour Separately as their own act.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. [wikipedia]