*Legendary singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. are getting ready to set sail on the 2018 Soul Train Cruise. Scheduled from January 27-February 3, the 7 day “Hippest Trip at Sea” will travel from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean, with stops in St. Croix, Half Moon Cay, and St. Maarten.
Soul Train Cruise fan favorites McCoo and Davis have been part of the voyage since it started 5 years ago. Travelers can expect to hear the married duo’s hit songs from when they were with the 60’s/70 top selling group The 5th Dimension. The list includes “Up, Up & Away,” “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell To Answer,” and “Stoned Soul Picnic.”
They will also dazzle the audience with songs from when they left the group, including the 1975 Grammy winning, “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)” – and, that’s not all.
“We like to mix up the show with some music that people aren’t always familiar with us having done,” said McCoo. “We do a lot more R&B than they expect and we do some blues. It’s just a fun musical evening. We sing the songs and music that we love.”
When performing in general, McCoo and Davis know how important it is to please their fans. However, when a fan asks the twosome to sing a song they recorded in 1978 that became a super hit for a solo artist in 1985 they have to think again.
“On one of our duet albums, we recorded ‘Saving All My Love For You,’” said McCoo. “But it was really Whitney Houston’s hit. Most of the time people don’t even ask about that song. But then somebody will come along and say, “Why didn’t you sing that song?’ So, we try to do the songs that people really want to hear.”
Davis added, “We try to give them our hits and more of a rounded show that they’re going to enjoy, something that’s going to make them move.”
In addition to McCoo and Davis, other performers include Charlie Wilson, The Pointer Sisters, Jeffrey Osborne, The Temptations Review Featuring Dennis Edwards, The Whispers, and The Spinners. So, will the pair hit the stage with some of the other artists?
“I think it’s an interesting idea,” said McCoo. “We really haven’t been approached to do anything like that yet and with you and (another writer) asking that question, what you’re doing is you’re putting a thought in our heads that we never considered. These are people who are our friends so why didn’t we think of that before? We can’t answer that right now but you surely planted a seed.”
What a celebration of music and history with these timeless artists jumping aboard the Soul Train Cruise. It is important for McCoo and Davis to keep the legacy alive during June, which is Black Music Month (initiated by President Carter in 1979), and all year round.
”To us Black Music Month is every month,” said Davis. “It’s what we do but it’s good to be noticed for that. You think of jazz, blues, and gospel, all of it is the basis for all music.”
McCoo added, “Rock and roll started with Chuck Berry. People don’t think about that so much. But he was a major influence in all of the music we listen to today.”
McCoo continued, “I think it was beautiful thing for President Carter to want to indicate a special month to give credit and recognize the importance of black music in the whole country. To start recognizing black music as a month gives people a chance to start recognizing the contributions artistically that have been made by African Americans since the very beginning. So, I think it’s exciting.”
With 7 Grammy Awards, 15 gold records, 3 platinum records, and continued world tours, the dynamic couple has enjoyed a fascinating music career. They even had their own television show in the late 70’s, “The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. Show.” Plus, for 5 years, McCoo hosted the iconic 80’s music countdown series, “Solid Gold.” Through it all they have managed to stay together and support one another.
“Our faith is very important in our lives,” said McCoo. “We feel so blessed to have the relationship that we have. We’re celebrating 48 years of marriage this year. So, we’re very thankful for that. We feel that our faith has kept us strong and teaching us how to get along with one another, accepting one another’s ways, and just realizing that when two people live together it takes an effort. It takes work.”
Davis added, “In marriage there’s a lot of give and take and I do a lot of giving and Marilyn does a lot of taking. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. But it’s been really beautiful the years that we’ve been together and we definitely consider ourselves blessed. We wish that everyone could experience what we’ve experienced as far as unity. It’s been really good.”
Back to the 2018 Soul Train Cruise, in addition to music performances, including a Gospel Hour, guests can also expect interactive celebrity events, pool parties, cocktail receptions, dance classes with the original Soul Train Dancers, and much more.