The Vocals

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The Vocals stayed together less than a year, but six months was spent touring with Ray Charles. They were a quartet consisting of Lamonte McLemore, a photographer; Marilyn McCoo, a recent beauty contest…
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The Vocals stayed together less than a year, but six months was spent touring with Ray Charles. They were a quartet consisting of Lamonte McLemore, a photographer; Marilyn McCoo, a recent beauty contest winner; Harry Elston; and Floyd Butler. Forming in Los Angeles, CA, in 1963, the melodious foursome got lucky with the Charles connection, signing with his Tangerine label for a single in 1964 entitled "Lonesome Mood" b/w "Look Out For Love." They also appeared with Margie Hendrix on her April 1964 Tangerine release, "Let No One Hold You" b/w "A Lover's Blues," credited as Margie Hendrix and the Vocals. Hendrix, a Raelet, previously sang with the Cookies ("Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Baby").

Problems compelled Elston and Butler to leave; they owned and operated a clothing store in Los Angeles before forming the Friends of Distinction with Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Love, scoring high on the hog with "Grazing in the Grass" and "Going in Circles." McLemore returned to photography and landed a dream job snapping bronze beauties clad in bathing suits for Jet Magazine's centerfold; McCoo got a position at a department store.

McLemore and McCoo later joined forces with Florence LaRue, a school teacher and former beauty contest winner; Ron Townsend; and Billy Davis, a gospel/soul singer from St. Louis, MO, to form the Fifth Dimension. The pop-ish sounding quintet surfaced before the Friends of Distinction and scored many pop hits including "Up, Up and Away," "One Less Bell to Answer," and "Aquarius (Let the Sunshine In)."