Thursday, March 4, 2010

Johnny Rivers, Jim Webb & A Balloon Movie?

Originally posted July 10, 2009:

I got an interesting note yesterday. It turns out that the writer, Ted, had happened upon my corner of blogworld during the course of some research. He said he’s part of a small group that shares information, speculation and commentary about music.

One of the recent topics was a 5th Dimension song:

“I did ‘Up, Up and Away’ the other day, talking a little bit about Jim Webb writing ‘Up, Up and Away’ at the request of Johnny Rivers for the 5th Dimension. One commenter . . . indicated that he had once heard that Johnny Rivers might have been involved in a balloon movie - which was never made but may have influenced his conversation with Jim Webb - or alternatively that Jim Webb may have been commissioned directly to write a balloon song for this movie that never happened.”

And Ted said he’s wandered around the Web and couldn’t find anything that pertained to “Up, Up and Away” and actual ballooning. He asked me if I knew anything about it. I replied, saying that I’d never heard that tale. “That doesn't mean it's not true,” I said. “I just don't have it in the memory banks.”

And I told Ted that I’d ask my readers – who, I told him, “know far more than I do by myself” – if any of them had any information about Jim Webb, Johnny Rivers, a ballooning movie and the song “Up-Up and Away.” So, does anyone know anything about that?

And while you ponder that, here’s a mostly random selection of early 5th Dimension tunes. (In this case, “mostly random” means that I selected the starting tune and the ending tune and switched the order of the random selections in between.)

A Six-Pack of the 5th Dimension
“Up-Up and Away” from Up, Up And Away [1967]
“California Soul” from Stoned Soul Picnic [1968]
“The Magic Garden” from The Magic Garden [1967]
“Hideaway” from The Age of Aquarius [1969]
“Good News” from Stoned Soul Picnic [1968]
“Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” from The Age of Aquarius [1969]

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