September 17: 5th Dimension’s Lamonte McLemore Was Born On This Date In 1939

0 Posted by - September 17, 2022 - Birthdays, LATEST POSTS, On This Date

By Victor Trammell

Photo credits: Historic Images

On September 17, 1939, Lamonte McLemore was born in St. Louis, Missouri. As a singer, songwriter, and photographer, he has firmly established his place in history.

McLemore was one of the original members of The 5th Dimension, a well-known singing group that was active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He wed Lisa Harvey, and they were blessed with a child who they called Ciara. From the Hobo Flats to the 5th Dimension – A Life Fulfilled in Baseball, Photography, and Music  was the title of the autobiography that he co-wrote with Robert-Allan Arno and had published the following year (2014).

He worked as a photographer for many publications like Playboy, Ebony, Jet, People, and Harper’s Bazaar among others. After completing his high school education, McLemore joined the United States Navy and served his country in the capacity of an aerial photographer. Beginning in 1958, he was employed as a photographer at Helmut Graphics, which he had helped to establish together with his business partners.

McLemore was the first African American photographer to be employed by the magazine Harper’s Bazaar. He was also the photographer who took the cover shot for Stevie Wonder’s debut studio album. Over the course of forty years, McLemore has served as a photographer for both Jet and Ebony.

The chance encounter with Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue that took place as a result of his picture shoot at the Miss Black Beauty Pageant in the middle of the 1960s. This setting and interaction finally led to the formation of The 5th Dimension. The St. Louis Cardinals made history when they invited McLemore, the first African American athlete, to try out for the team. After relocating to the Los Angeles area, he spent some time with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as a strong-arm pitcher in the minor leagues.

A Love Like Ours, which was recorded by The 5th Dimension, was written by McLemore and Bob Alcivar, while The Singer was written by McLemore and Bob Alcivar (with Elliot Willensky).


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