By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
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By Joseph Hess
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Perhaps you know the 5th Dimension from its cover of Hair soundtrack cuts, the psych-lite medley, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In." Or perhaps the quintet is familiar because of its Jimmy Webb-penned slice of optimistic hippie-soul, "Up, Up and Away" — or for its stone-cold classic versions of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Wedding Bell Blues." You might not know, however, that the 5th Dimension's original lineup featured three St. Louis natives: Billy Davis, Jr., Lamonte McLemore and the late Ron Townson. Their pedigree explains why the group is receiving a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, an induction ceremony will take place at 6164 Delmar (across from the Moonrise Hotel). The living members of the 5th Dimension are scheduled to be there in person, and a ragtime band will also play. (Incidentally, it's still a touring act, but only vocalist Florence LaRue remains from the original incarnation.) The group will join other musicians such as Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Tina Turner and Nelly on the star-studded sidewalk.
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In addition to this accolade, Lamonte McLemore will be presenting an exhibition of his photography starting on Friday, March 19, at the Vaughn Cultural Center at the Urban League of St. Louis (3701 Grandel Square; 314-615-3624). McLemore is a veteran photographer who has shot for Ebony, People and Playboy, and is well-known for being the photographer for Jet magazine's "Beauty of the Month" section. The exhibit will remain on display through May.