The Jackson 5 Biography

Review The Artist (17)

The Jackson 5-photo
Inductees: Jackie Jackson (vocals; born May 14, 1951), Jermaine Jackson (vocals; born December 11, 1954), Marlon Jackson (vocals; born March 12, 1957), Michael Jackson (vocals; born August 29, 1958), Tito Jackson (vocals; born October 15, 1953)

In the words of Berry Gordy, founder and driving force behind Motown, the Jackson 5 were "the last big stars to come rolling off my assembly line." After performing for much of the decade in and around their native Indiana, the Jackson 5 found their way to Detroit's hitmaking Motown Records at the tail end of the Sixties. Led by 11-year-old Michael Jackson-who was joined by brothers Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie-the Jackson 5 were young, fresh and full of energy. The group made music-business history when their first four singles shot to #1 in 1970. That record-breaking string of 45s-"I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There"-endeared the hard-working Jackson's to a public that found their soulful singing and tight choreography an entertaining diversion from all the social and political cataclysms weighing upon the country.

Like all of Motown's acts, the Jackson 5's popularity transcended race. Everyone loved the Jackson Five, especially the cherubic, charismatic Michael. The reasons for their out-of-the-box success boiled down to one simple truth: "The singing and the songs make us happy," wrote soul-music biographer David Ritz. "They are moments of incandescent beauty-young, wildly optimistic."

The Jackson 5 rose from humble circumstances in Gary, Indiana. They were the eldest sons in a family of nine children born to steelworker Joe Jackson and his wife Katherine. When Joe saw that his charges had talent, he devoted himself to molding them into a well-rehearsed group that covered Motown and other soul/R&B hits of the day. When they formed in 1964, Michael Jackson was all of six years old, but his natural gift for singing, dancing and entertaining belied his youth. They performed at talent shows and as opening acts on bills that took them to places like Harlem's Apollo Theater, where they won an amateur-night competition in 1967.

All the while, Michael Jackson studied the moves of the masters: their onstage choreography, how they phrased a song, the way they worked a crowd. His heroes and tutors included James Brown, Sam and Dave, Jack Wilson, Etta James and his older brother, Jermaine, who himself was a disciple of Marvin Gaye. The Jackson 5 also absorbed a considerable measure of influence from another "family" act: the prototypical soul/funk crossover band Sly and the Family Stone.

The Jackson 5 wound up at Motown through the importunings of Bobby Taylor, a performer and producer who caught their act at Chicago's Regal nightclub. They were a road-tested act even then, having for years worked the "chitlin' circuit" of black nightclubs as far east as Washington D.C. At Motown, Berry Gordy took a hands-on interest in the group. With Diana Ross having left the Supremes and Gordy having relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles, the Jackson 5 were poised to inherit the torch and carry Motown's success forward into the Seventies. Much of the Jackson 5's early repertoire was written, rehearsed and recorded in California under Gordy's tutelage.

They were matched with "the Corporation," a Motown production team groomed to replace the recently departed Holland-Dozier-Holland. In January 1970, their first production for the Jackson 5, "I Want You Back," reached #1 on the pop and R&B charts. Its followup, "ABC," unseated the Beatles' "Let It Be" from the top position that April. Their youthful, soulful sound got dubbed "bubblegum soul." By the summer of 1970, the Jackson 5 were headlining 20,000-seat venues, and Jacksonmania was in full swing. "I'll Be There," their fourth #1 single in a row and biggest hit, remained on top for five weeks in the fall of 1970. They conquered television as well as radio, appearing regularly on The Ed Sullivan Show in the early Seventies and on their own CBS summer variety show in 1976. An animated Saturday-morning cartoon show based on the musical adventures of the Jackson 5 enhanced their appeal with younger fans.

Their tenure at Motown continued until the mid-Seventies, by which time they'd begun to turn their attention to the emerging disco movement with hits like "Dancing Machine" (#2, 1974). Moving to Epic, the Jackson 5 shortened their name to the Jackson's. Their first two albums for the new label, The Jackson's and Goin' Places, were produced by Philadelphia R&B masters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. The Jackson's entered another successful phase in their career with a trio of contemporary dance-oriented R&B albums-Destiny (1978), Triumph (1980) and Victory (1984)-which were produced and largely written by the increasingly autonomous group. Their highly publicized 1984 Victory tour turned out to be the last Jacksons project to include brother Michael, who had by then achieved solo superstardom.

Clan patriarch Joe Jackson and boxing promoter Don King were among the co-promoters of the Victory tour, which was sponsored by Pepsi. Controversy ensued when ticket prices were fixed at a then-astronomical $30. Michael Jackson thereupon announced that he would donate his share of the proceeds to charity. In 1989, the Jackson's (sans Michael) released their seventh Epic album, 2300 Jackson Street, whose title referred to the street address in Gary, Indiana, where the family's incredible musical saga began.

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Loving Michael | Reviewer: Lisa Jones, Chicago | 3/12/13

I love the Jackson Five. I 'm a fan forever. The t time l heard them sing, l knew they were blessed and destined to be world famous. I took one look into Michael's big beautiful brown eyes and fell in love with him for life.Whenever l see his face, l feel as if he knew l loved him no matter what happened in life.God knows my heart and Michael's. I connected with Michael through his eyes and heart.

The Jackson 5 | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/14/13

Micheal was my favorite Jackson. When he started making music on hi own is when I actually felt his vibe. The Jackson 5 were just young little boys doing what they loved. Now that Micheal is gone their legacy is still living on but, it feels like something is missing. And that something is him. It's a shame to have to loose The King of Pop and even more disgusting about the controversy of where his soul now lies. He was an angel and still is. People don't understand how much he gave. His soul could never burn in hell. God wouldn't do that. At the end of the day nobody could ever forget him because he will always be there.

A jacksons Fan Forever. | Reviewer: Darellboyd1963 | 11/5/12

I'm a long time Jackson fan and miss those days. They're by far the greatest entertaining family of all times.Wish i could have met them. Even though Michael name was bigger, he is a Jackson.luv Always

lachimana armstead | Reviewer: jasmine | 9/10/11

Dear Jackson Family, Sorry 4 the lost of micheal i hope jermiane jackie tito and marlon are doin goin good i love all of your songs my grandpa is i major fan well love ever one of u .

love jackson5 | Reviewer: sydney nichelle smith | 4/26/10

hey my name is sydney nichelle smith and im 12 year old and when i was 8 year old i like jackson5 like a,b,c that was my thing i go to thompson middle school and at my school we sing jackson5 songs

thank you have i good day

LOSS | Reviewer: Katherine | 3/29/10

Itz such a same for the loss of a great man to iur music history.Micheal jackosn was and still is one of my top favorites and music and in fashoin.Everything about him was unique and special..no matter what the media said about him..He is always alive and still sing and dance in my heart...we love and miss you Micheal Jackson!!! <3

thanks for being the Jacksons | Reviewer: jessica | 3/24/10

ok, who ever is reading this below,...your great. cause i believe that when you read a commet and when people read it, you can tell people about it.

so thank you the Jackson Five to however is reading this .. Just thanks.

All of u are the best, always love for jackson 5 & all jackson family | Reviewer: Richie andriani | 10/28/09

Hai the jackson family, I am Richie andriani/f/28years-old/moslem/indonesian. At first, sorry because my english is very bad. But, I really want to give my support to all of your family. The first I knew was Michael jackson, since I was 8 years old, bcause I like his songs very much. I like his personality, his talent, and everything about him. Then I knew about jackson 5 from my parents who likes jackson 5 & michael very much. Since that, I & all my family adore the jackson family and all your work & creation. Although in indonesia we not know the work of each jackson's brother, but we know that each all of you is the great talent man/woman. Special for michael, I always pray to God for your peace. May we meet in heaven's God. We always love you michael..., & the jackson famly, forever....
Michael, you're always in my heart...

He Will Always Be There | Reviewer: Nikki G. | 8/29/09

I am and have always been a fan The Jackson 5 and I always will be even though some people THINK that it is the Jackson 4 I know that it will always be The Jackson 5 because Michael is always gonna be there always and forever.He will be watching you guys from heaven and he will be singing every song with all of you. I will keep you all in my prayers.Gob Bless

words can't xpress | Reviewer: Aderibigbe Ademola | 7/25/09

hello Jackson 5 now Jackson 4. I want you all to know that no matter what i say, no amount of words could really express the way i felt when i heard that the world most talented is gone. i want you all to accept my candid sympathy and try as much as you all could to carry on with your lives...

My warmest sympathy | Reviewer: vanette Hines | 7/9/09

Hello Jackson family i wont you all to know that I mourn along with you. and your whole family is in my family prayers. we love yall and I am very grateful that I got a chance to see all of you in concert in the pass, i wont to say that i love Micheal as though he was a brother to me even though he wasn't any kin to me but growing up with the Jackson 5 music and MJ'S music I felt apart of the family and on my sick bed Jackson 5 songs and MJ"S songs was my inspiration to live may GOD bless the whole family and i hope his nephews take a part in his music in the future.
love Vanette Hines

Simply the best | Reviewer: Ninzky Peñaranda | 7/7/09

Dear Jackson Family,
My name is Niño Noel T Peñaranda (29yrs old) from the Philippines. First of all i extend my condolences to your family. Im the biggest fan of the Jackson 5 until to the era of MJ. ever since im fun of collecting old songs and to the latest songs today. The Jackson songs were the best. they give their all to the song that gave the whole world hope. Especially what MJ did to the whole world. He united the world with his beautiful songs that he produce. and from that i can say you build a good family of Hope to everyone. as MJ song that no matter if you're "Black or White" that gave a strong message that dreams are for everyone to hold and cant be taken away by no one. MJ reach our hearts with joy and laughter. no matter how far he is. He'll always be here in our hearts forevermore. Long live the King and to your family. God Bless

Remember The Time | Reviewer: Bruce Rolle | 6/29/09

I live on the smallest island in THE BAHAMAS called BIMINI which is 50 miles east of FLORIDA.I grew up listening to the JACKSON 5 and also watched their tv show.I remember when Michael went solo and his album THRILLER and OFF THE WALL with songs like,Billy Jean,Beat it,Rock With you,just to name a few.Michael's legacy will forever live on.My prayers are with his entire family

My Support for the Remaining Jacksons | Reviewer: Harold Lenn Levingston | 6/25/09

Dear Jackson Family,
I, Harold Lenn Levingston am writing to let you know that I am mourning with you for your loss. I know that loosing a family member is very hard. Loosing a family member that was well known by over millions and almost billions of people is harder. I lost a good friend too just this past 3 months. I really missed her too. Someone to die like that is very hard. The man has been with us for 20 years before I was born. But remember that And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Life comes and goes here on Earth, but then comes a second and eternal life for those who believe in Christ. All you have to do is ask God for forgiveness for your sins, acknowledge that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and God raised him from the dead on the Third day--Easter/Resurrection--and accept Christ, Jesus in your hearts. Then you will know full love. You have my support. If you need anything, I will do my best to provide the best way that I can, to the ability that God gives me. God Bless you!!

Your Friend,
Harold Lenn Levingston
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talent Show At Gilroy Stadium 1964 or 1965 | Reviewer: Anita Farmer Jordan | 11/3/08

I sang in a girl's trio at the time, from Michigan City, Indiana. Leon Colmen from Colmen and William funeral home was our Manager. The Jackson 5 won first place and our group won second place. I was so impressed with Michael. He was such a cute little guy, and boy did he perform. Our group was told who ever won that contest got to meet Diana Ross. I always wondered if that was true. We worked so hard and for so long!! But I was happy to see The Jackson Five win. They deserved it. I was heart broken, but they deserved it. I know that was quite a few years ago. I was about 15 or 16 at that time, and Michael was 6 or 7. Those were the good old days.

Anita Farmer Jordan



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