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Freddie Pool Interview 2012

MENTORED BY "SWEETS," FREDDIE'S WHIRLPOOL OF MEMORIES

by Robert-Allan Arno

Biographer, The original 5th Dimension

Freddie Pool/Ron Townson

I recently had the pleasure of attending The Iridium, NYC's late show of a 4 show run starring those sizzling legends, The 3 Degrees featuring renown members, Valerie Holiday, Helen Scott and newest addition, the globally accomplished and vibrantly beautiful, Freddie Pool. The ladies definitely warmed the chilly Times Square air, like a house on fire kinda' warm! Post-show, along with her Publicist and our mutual good friend, Jeffrey Graham, Miss Pool and I wound up having an into the AM, ole fashioned diner chat about lots of delectable moments in music history with focus on her affiliation with the beloved Ron "Sweets" Townson. I'm so pleased to share our talk as an exclusive for our fans at "The 5th Dimension: Yesterday, Today, Forever:"

 

RA: We have the best restaurants and clubs here...why do we in the arts always wind up at cute diners, Freddie?

Freddie: (Laughs) It's so we can just unwind and "chit-chat!"

RA: Freddie, what a fascinating history you have...you've been on stage with everyone from Lena Horne to Lola Falana and it shows in your own spellbinding command of the audience...

Freddie: Oh Robert, thank you...there was also Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Van Dyke on his TV specials, Etta James who's Godmother to my daughter...

RA: And for the fans of The 5th Dimension, you were mentored by none other than Ron "Sweets" Townson when you were part of Wild Honey (along with Vesta Williams and Mary Flowers), which was Ron's high profile back-up trio in the late '70's when he ventured from The 5th for a few years to try a solo turn.

Freddie: Everyone loved Ron..."Sweets," "The Sweet Man!" He was a man of impeccable taste...

RA: I'll never forget spending quality time with Ronald at The original 5th Dimension's reunion in '90...he was just so sincerely proud of his contribution to music history...so touchingly humble...

Freddie: That was Ron! I was honored that he trusted my opinion when I worked with him, he knew I had worked with other greats, and he always wanted everything we did to meet those high standards...

RA: ...just like The 5th's standards. Billed as "Ron Townson and Wild Honey," you were popular in Vegas...

Freddie: Yes, you know we were choreographed by Motown legend "Cholly" Atkins, again, Ron wanted the best for us.

RA: Wow!

Freddie: Speaking of Vegas, Ron would tell me the story of when The 5th Dimension worked with Frank Sinatra. At the time, everyone had to work 7 days a week, 2 shows a night. Frank wanted this one night off to see a baseball game...and for him and only him everything came to a stop, he along with The 5th Dimension were indeed granted the night off!

RA: I never heard that one!

Freddie: Oh, and may I share a secret. Up in Canada, we recorded--Ron and Wild Honey--an updated version of "Up-Up and Away"...the way Ron arranged it for us, it was fabulous!

RA: Was it slightly Disco-tinged, I mean this was the late '70's...

Freddie: Yes, it was. I must find a copy, it somehow never got released.

RA: What a find that would be! Freddie, I always think of you as "5th Family."

Freddie: Thank you, I feel like "5th Family." I have such fond memories of Ron, his sons, his wife, Bobette. Ron had called me a few days before he passed...I was on the road with The Former Ladies of The Supremes and by the time I tried to get back to him a few days later, he was gone.

RA: I recall your writing such a poignant tribute to Ron on the internet around that time (early August, 2001). You know, Freddie, I can feel Ron's presence as we're chatting.

Freddie: Really...I believe you, Robert. May I mention, I have another "5th connection." When Marc Gordon was with Motown before he left to manage The 5th Dimension, he and Hal Davis produced a single for me, it was called "Crying." They kept courting my Mom, for me to sign with Motown. But I wanted to remain loyal to my group at the time, The Delicates...I was so young (laughs). But as with everything, it all worked out for the best.

RA: You are a woman of great faith, Freddie. You've raised a lovely family. You've traveled the world and supported our greatest stars.

Freddie: Thank you, Robert. My faith is my foundation, it's everything my mother instilled in me.

RA: And you are a rare star, Freddie, whom we're so happy to know. Thank you for sharing

Freddie: I enjoyed this time with you, Robert and with my "5th Family." God bless all of you.

 

Visit the official Freddie Pool Fan Page on Facebook

(Special thanks to Jeffrey Graham)

copyright 2012, FOREVER 5th DIMENSION, Robert-Allan Arno, The Soul of the Voice, Ltd.