The 5th Dimension playing Club Cannery

Before Florence and the Machine there was Florence LaRue and a '60s pop hit machine known as The 5th Dimension.

LaRue, 68, soldiers on as the original member of the vocal group that crossed color and genre boundaries in the hippie era.

"Hair" was a scandalous musical on Broadway, but the medley of "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" made it safe for every living room and AM car radio in 1969.

The quintet made hits for a diverse array of the era's songwriters, from Jimmy Webb (their 1967 breakout hit "Up Up and Away") to Laura Nyro ("Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Wedding Bell Blues") to sharing some of Burt Bacharach's golden decade with "One Less Bell to Answer."

LaRue sang harmony vocals to lead singer Marilyn McCoo until McCoo and husband Billy Davis Jr. left the group in 1975. LaRue then took the lead on the likes of "Love Hangover" in 1976.

Today she keeps the legacy alive with the help of Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris and Floyd Smith.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at or 702-383-0288.


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