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The Jackson 5


It all started in Gary, Indiana. Joseph (Joe) Jackson, father of all nine Jackson children, founded the group "The Jackson Brothers" in 1962, of which his sons Jackie, Tito and Jermaine were members. She played Joe's guitar now and then, which he forbade them to do. One day Tito broke a chord and Joe found out they were playing it. He wanted to hear what they could play on the guitar and he didn't even think it was that bad. That's how he came to found "The Jackson Brothers".

In 1963 Marlon and Michael joined. Michael was then five years old and played the congas. His brother Marlon, one year older, played the tambourine and Reynaud Jones and Milford Hite, local boys, accompanied the brothers on keyboard and drums. In 1966 The Jackson Five (the name had since changed and was also written as The Jackson 5) won a talent show at a school in Gary. Jermaine sang a few songs from record company Motown and Michael sang songs from James Brown. The group did not have its own songs yet. Milford Hite and Reynaud Jones were replaced after this talent show by Johnny Jackson (no relation) on drums and Ronnie Rancifer on keyboard. After winning several talent shows, dad Joe Jackson signed his sons up for a talent show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. They also won this talent show and partly due to winning the many talent shows, The Jackson Five signed a record deal with record label Steeltown Records in November 1967. There they recorded their first singles: I'm a Big Boy and We Don't Have to Be Over 21.

Young Michael soon turned out to be the group's greatest talent. It was initially intended that his older brother Jermaine would be the lead singer, but Joe Jackson still chose to put Michael first. Jermaine played bass guitar.


After winning the talent show at the Apollo Theater, the successful singer Gladys Knight, who had seen the brothers perform at the Apollo Theater, sent a demo the boys had sung to record company Motown Records. This was the first time that Motown came into contact with the group. In 1969, The Jackson Five auditioned for Motown Records, on the advice of Bobby Taylor, lead singer of Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers. The Jackson 5 were the support act for this group for a week. Berry Gordy, record label owner Motown Records, was very impressed with the talent of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael. He asked if the boys wanted to draw, and they did. The Jackson 5 now had a record deal with Motown Records where they immediately started recording singles. Berry Gordy sent the brothers to Hollywood, where they were the opening act for The Supremes. Singer Diana Ross noticed the boys there. After several performances by The Jackson 5 in Los Angeles and New York, the brothers recorded their first hit single, I Want You Back. This song was promoted during a Hollywood performance of which Diana Ross was the presenter. In October 1969, The Jackson 5 first hit television on The Ed Sullivan Show where they performed with I Want You Back. Their first album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, was also released that same month. The brothers became world famous in one fell swoop.

The popularity of The Jackson 5 skyrocketed in a few years and from their single I Want You Back, it would only increase further.



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