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Lamonte McLemore

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Information about Lamonte McLemore

Profile image of Lamonte McLemore

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Vegetables, Meat
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
When I Retire, I'm Going To Eat, Sleep, Rest And Dress And Lay And Play.

Birthplace

Born:
9/17/1935
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Vegetables, Meat
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
When I Retire, I'm Going To Eat, Sleep, Rest And Dress And Lay And Play.

Birthplace

Born:
9/17/1935
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how Lamonte McLemore is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Photographer and singer Lamonte McLemore was born on September 17, 1935, in St. Louis, Missouri, to June and Herman J.C McLemore. Abandoned by his father at the age of five and having a mother who worked long hours, McLemore was largely raised by his maternal grandmother, Gertrude Whitecloud Shaver. He graduated from Charles H. Sumner High School in 1952 and enlisted in the United States Navy, where he worked as an aerial photographer.

Athletically gifted, McLemore was the first African American athlete to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals. He moved to Los Angeles, California, and landed a short-lived minor league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a strong-arm pitcher.

In 1958, McLemore began his career as a photographer with Halmont Graphics, a company he co-founded. He became the first African American photographer hired by Harper’s Bazaar magazine and was the photographer chosen to shoot Stevie Wonder’s first album cover. McLemore has been a photographer for Jet and Ebony magazines for over forty years. During McLemore’s photo shoot of the Miss Black Beauty Pageant in the mid-1960s, he discovered the talents of Marilyn McCoo and Florence LaRue. McLemore offered the two women a chance to join a group he and his friends, Billy Davis, Jr. and Ron Townson, were forming. Out of this collaboration, The 5th Dimension was created. Their first manager was musician Ray Charles.

The 5th Dimension experienced exceptional success over the years, receiving more Grammy Awards than The Beatles. Their biggest hit was Aquarius, which led to the album The Age of Aquarius. The album and the single both went gold and received two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Vocal by a Group or Duo. In 1991, the original 5th Dimension received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

In 2006, McLemore retired from the group, but continues to sing with Flashback, a vocal group made up of other singers from the 1960s who entertain for charity events.

McLemore resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife, Mieko.

Lamonte McLemore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2007.

See how Lamonte McLemore is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lamonte McLemore's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lamonte McLemore lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lamonte McLemore describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lamonte McLemore describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lamonte McLemore recalls lessons from his maternal grandmother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lamonte McLemore describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lamonte McLemore describes his homes in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lamonte McLemore describes his elementary school experiences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lamonte McLemore describes his neighbors in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lamonte McLemore describes the television and radio programs of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lamonte McLemore describes his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lamonte McLemore recalls Cote Brilliante Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Lamonte McLemore remembers Charles H. Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Lamonte McLemore describes his relationship with his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Lamonte McLemore describes his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Lamonte McLemore remembers holidays and meals with his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Lamonte McLemore remembers trying out for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lamonte McLemore recalls lessons from his maternal grandmother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lamonte McLemore describes his brief gang involvement in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lamonte McLemore describes his first assignment in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lamonte McLemore recalls his U.S. Navy Seal training
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lamonte McLemore describes his reassignment to the Naval Air Facility Adak in Alaska
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lamonte McLemore remembers his baseball career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lamonte McLemore talks about segregation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lamonte McLemore describes his early interest in photography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lamonte McLemore recalls his transition from darkroom technician to photographer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lamonte McLemore describes his career as a photographer
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lamonte McLemore describes the Hi-Fi's and the formation of The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lamonte McLemore remembers touring with Ray Charles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lamonte McLemore describes his photography studio in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lamonte McLemore describes the creation of Elegant magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lamonte McLemore talks about Elegant magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lamonte McLemore describes his photography for Harper's Bazaar
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lamonte McLemore describes the creation of The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lamonte McLemore recalls The 5th Dimensions singe, 'Up, Up and Away'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lamonte McLemore talks about the members of the Hi-Fi's and The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lamonte McLemore describes The 5th Dimension's musical style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lamonte McLemore reflects upon The 5th Dimension's influence on civil rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lamonte McLemore remembers his friends in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lamonte McLemore talks about 'Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lamonte McLemore reflects upon the problems in the recording industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lamonte McLemore remembers recording with The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lamonte McLemore describes the relationships among the members of The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lamonte McLemore remembers performing for President Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lamonte McLemore talks about The 5th Dimension's records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lamonte McLemore talks about The 5th Dimension's replacement members
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lamonte McLemore describes the release of 'Love Hangover'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lamonte McLemore remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lamonte McLemore talks about The 5th Dimension's reunion tour
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lamonte McLemore talks about the 5th Dimension's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lamonte McLemore describes his decision to move to Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lamonte McLemore describes retirement from The 5th Dimension
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lamonte McLemore reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Lamonte McLemore shares his advice for future generations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Lamonte McLemore describes his concerns for the world community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Lamonte McLemore reflects upon contemporary music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Lamonte McLemore describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lamonte McLemore narrates his photographs