August 21, 2008

Love's Lines, Angles, and Rhymes

Just a bit of a musical trivia question today: Which pop music artist has the voice of an angel and the elegance and grace of the greatest 1940's songstresses? Her awards as a group member, solo artist, and as a duet partner resulted in Top Ten hits on a variety of charts and a handful of Grammys. The answer is Marilyn McCoo.

A founding member of the originally named The Versatiles, this part of the 5th Dimension possesses a voice clearer and still more beautiful than the early- in- her- career Whitney Houston. From Up, Up and Away to Wedding Bell Blues, Last Night I Didn't Get to Sleep at All, to her solo album The Me Nobody Knows, her voice, her heart and her soul flows, lifting, encouraging, and sometimes challenging the listener. Her Christmas album, "White Christmas" is a masterful blend of contemporary "light" jazz, pop and soul. A treat.

Many years back, my family and I were able to see Marilyn perform live in downtown Denver. It was clear that what we heard on record was not the result of studio trickery to enhance her voice. She sparkled! Ms. McCoo charmed the audience with warm stories and humility, and then she won us over by her versatility.

Although she is primarily known for her 70s hits, Marilyn's career is still in full swing. She and husband Billy Davis Jr. have recorded a new album, The Many Faces of Love. You can check out their website here. You'll be glad you did.

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