Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.

billydavismarylinmccoo.jpg 

The picture here of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. was taken much later than the first time I met them.  I first met Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. at the ABC Recording Studios in West Los Angeles.  They, as you might recall were part of the Fifth Dimension, and eventually branched out on their own as a duo, after they got married.  Yes…Marilyn singing “Won’t You Marry Me, Bill” was actually a real life proposal by Marilyn to Billy.  

The most memorable moment with Billy was when I had to settle and argument between Lamont Dozier, a recording engineer and singer in his own right, and Billy.  They all had come in to the studio before I started my shift, and I had just settled in when I heard a commotion in the hallway upstairs.  I checked the cameras and saw a couple of people just about ready to start throwing punches.  It didn’t take me but a few seconds to get upstairs to the studio door where I found the two arguing over what I heard was the bridge to a song.  At that point, I didn’t know too much about music, let alone making records.  I was just a disc jockey in training.  But I had heard a lot of songs up to that point.

The way the argument was going, I had to stop it first, then I asked Lamont, because I worked with him, what the heck was going on.  He told me, “Billy wants words in the damn bridge.  The whole point to a bridge is to give the singer a rest.  Give them a bar or two to relax.”  Billy said, “The words need to be there.  It’s supposed to be a chorus, not a bridge.”

 “Well,” I said admitting that I was just a guard and a disc jockey wanna-be, “But it seems to me Billy, that if you want words that you’ve already used, and Lamont wants just music, why not get something like some horns or a tenor sax in the middle there to play out the words…then you’ll both be happy!”

They were both looking at me with their eyebrows up by the time I finished.  Then they looked at each other, nodding.  Lamont gave his thanks, and I told him all I wanted was to stop the fight without any bloodshed…no thanks were needed.

Now, if you listen to the song, the bridge has a sax play out the words to the chorus…just like I suggested with a comprimise of Marilyn doing just a short chorus.  The best part is that the song was released and it gave Marilyn and Billy their breakout hit, “You Don’t Have To Be A Star”.  I didn’t get any credit in the liner notes.  I didn’t get any thanks when it came to awards shows.  All I did was settle an argument and make my own bit of music history.

 It was much later when the above picture was taken…about 4 or 5 years later…when I was posted at the Los Angeles International Airport and Marilyn and Billy came by on a United flight.  As you can see they were all smiles…they did remember me, and probably alway will because I helped make their song more solid.

Celebrities I’ve Met Podcast – Marilyn McCoo Billy Davis Jr.

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8 Responses to Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.

  1. Bill says:

    Her name is not Marylin, it’s MARILYN

    MARILYN

    MARILYN !!

  2. Sorry Bill! Oh, just in case you are the Bill in question here, do you remember the incident?

  3. Mike says:

    Marilyn is beautiful man…saw her 1st when I was about 11…it was love at 1st sight. She projects such warmth and happiness too, I have a feeling she’s just as beautiful inside.

  4. Robert says:

    She’s a world class beauty and so vocally gifted. I was a boy with a crush when Marilyn first became a star with The Fifth Dimension. And enjoyed the music very much, too.
    I sat near Marilyn and Billy in a restaurant in 1995. My date and I and Marilyn, Billy, and their small party were the people in the restaurant.
    As I said, a world class beauty.
    And they’ve been married 40 years.

  5. giovanni says:

    @ TheOtherBrother : some questions you perhaps can answer to.

    Until a week ago, Fifth Dimension was to me only the name of the group singing a very famous song I’ve heard dozens of times, especially as part of movies’ soundtracks.
    Actually, here in Italy (but I suppose it could be the same in all countries out of U.S.), most of people know “Aquarius” but very little is known about its performers, their names and their faces.
    Then, looking for some vids on Youtube, I accidentally found out this stunning woman called Marilyn McCoo.
    Despite an hairdo not perfect for her, she astonished me in the funny vid of “Wedding bell blues” !

    First thing I would ask you is about the photo you’ve posted.
    Exactly what year has it been taken ?

    And then : due to her light brown skin, in not all pictures it appears plain Marilyn is an Afroamerican woman.
    I mean : she definitely doesn’t look like beautiful black stars as Angela Basset or Whitney Houston.

    Her slender-leggy frame, the oval of her face and her wonderful almond-eyes, make me suppose some of her ancestors could originate from the Caribbean area.
    Am I wrong ?
    Wikipedia only reports she was born in New Jersey.
    Can you tell me more about her descent ?

    While waiting for possible news, I’ll take a glance at other posts of this blog.

    Greetings from Italy

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