R&B's Royal Family

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     Katherine and Joseph Jackson raised a family that has become an American musical treasure. The music, the dancing, the videos, and the photos are known and loved across the globe. Not a radio day goes by without a song by one Jackson or another. For 50 years, this Black family has been briinging musical joy to weddings, barbecues, dance floors, and bedroom mirrors. The Jacksons are Black history. 

Day 10 - J is for The Jacksons

Joe and Katherine Jackson

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    Joe and Katherine Jackson raised their 9 children in Gary, IN prior to moving to CA as their children became international superstars. Gary was where Joseph “Joe” Jackson settled at age 18 and met a future wife Katherine Screws. Married in 1949 they had 10 children over a period of 16 years: Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, Brandon (Marlon’s twin who died shortly after birth), Michael, Randy and Janet. “We were a family that sang all the time. We would take the furniture out of the living room and dance. We would have a songwriting competition while we washed the dishes. Music was our destiny.” 


    One day Tito took out his father's forbiddeni guitar, breaking a guitar string in the process. Tito hid in fear but when their father demanded to be shown what he could do with the guitar, Tito obliged, shocking his father and giving him the idea to form a musical group  The Jackson 5 would dominate the airwaves of the late sixties well into the 1980's, thanks to hits such as “I Want You Back,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Dancing Machine” and “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground).” The group would go on to sell more than 100 million records globally. Watcha clip from the early years below.

The Jackson 5 Live


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    Michael Jackson: To be there when Thriller hit the scene in the winter of 1982 was an unforgettable experience. The album and the short film changed the course of music and video history. It is often said that Thriller saved the music industry, selling a whopping 40 million copies at a time when record sales were in a major slump. The songs, Billie JeanBeat It, Human Nature are permantent fixtures in the American musical landscape, and it made Michael Jackson the most popular man on the planet. He was already a superstar; the world watched him grow from an unbelievably talented pre-teen into an international icon whose style is reflected in the work of nearly every male pop star today. Everybody knows MJ. He's the King of Pop.



    The Jackson 5, c. 1973

Family Viewing

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    The Jacksons TV Series was a musical variety show that aired on Wednesday nights from the summer of 1976 to the spring of 1977.


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     Janet Jackson, the family's youngest, broke new ground in 1986 with the release of Control and became the blueprint for all the singer/dancers who came behind her. A string of classic #1 albums and top 10 hits followed. The songs and videos from Rhythm Nation 1814, janet., The Velvet Rope, All for You...reflect Janet's creativity, strength, and versatility as a performer. She's recognized as one of the most successful and awareded artists of all time. Get the point? Good. Let's dance.

Animated Soul

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    The Jackson 5ive Cartoon aired on Saturday mornings from September 11, 1971 until October 14, 1972 and featured a fictional portrayal of The Jackson 5 in a variety of musical-related adventures. 

The Music

Listen to some of The Jacksons' hits, and some gems you might not know.


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    When the Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975 for more creative control of their music, Jermaine Jackson, who was married to Motown president Berry Gordy's daughter, Hazel, stayed behind and launched a solo career, scoring several hits of his own, including Dynamite, Don't Take It Personal, and the Stevie Wonder penned Let's Get Serious. He reunited with his brothers in 1984 for their Victory album and tour, and continues to tour with the Jacksons today.



Jackson Essentials