1968 - The Jackson 5ive's first actual single, the Steeltown recording of "Big Boy" was released.
This was supposed to be the story of the child-prodigy Michael Jackson's first studio recording; the earliest known studio recording of Michael Jackson and his brothers, cut in Chicago in 1967, which had been lingering on a shelf for two and a half decades has been rescued from tape.
Steeltown Records cofounder Gordon Keith, 70, is the man with the largest body of tangible evidence to back up his claim: he estimates that "Big Boy" sold more than 60,000 copies.
After school one afternoon in November 1967, Michael, 8, Marlon, 10, Jermaine, 12, Tito, 14, and Jackie, 16, piled into the family Volkswagen with Joseph and rode across the state line to Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood, parking in front of Sunny Sawyer's recording studio on West 69th.
In a single lengthy session the group recorded four songs, all of which Keith says were already in their repertoire. "Big Boy" was by saxophonist Eddie Silvers, who at the time was playing in a group called the Soul Merchants and working as music director for Chicago R & B label One-derful Records. Its eventual B side, "You've Changed"—the only Steeltown track the Jacksons would record again for Motown—is by Gary native Jerry Reese.
Though in Moonwalk Michael recalls being giddy to put on a pair of too-big headphones and sing in a studio with adult musicians, he was far from unprepared. In addition to exhaustively rehearsing at home and hustling amateur nights and talent contests with pristine ten-minute sets, the brothers had also been doing proper shows at Chicago nightclubs like Spann's Burning Spear and the Confidential Club, and they had a regular gig, sometimes playing multiple sets, at Mr. Lucky's nightspot in Gary. Joe had even bought a microphone for their home to help the boys get used to singing into one
Despite the kids' professionalism, the session was grueling, in part because the Ampex's dead track meant they had to stop more often to mix down and free up space on the tape. As the night wore on the boys grew weary. "I remember looking at the clock—it was 10 or 11 at night—and looking at these young kids up that late who had been at school earlier," says Bridgeman. "I left the studio and went and brought sandwiches for them, because they hadn't eaten since I don't know what time. They had been too intense with the recording to stop to eat."
Though the Jacksons finished all their tracks at that marathon session, Bridgeman says he and two other vocalists, Solomon Ard and George Rias, returned to Sawyer's to redo some backups. Keith recalls bringing the tapes to Pressner's studio in Gary for mixing and mastering. Keith sent the master to the Summit pressing plant in Willow Springs, Illinois, and when the records came back he set the single's official release for January 30, 1968. The Jacksons began selling 45s at shows, and Steeltown started working to get local radio to give "Big Boy" a spin.
He'd composed the perfect song for little beyond-his-years Michael: with its combination of juvenile themes (skateboards, Mother Goose) and adult yearning, "Big Boy" would serve as a template for much future black bubblegum music. Silvers's excellent arrangements shine through the slightly murky mix and showcase the somewhat raw, soulful vocal style Michael had developed watching R & B veterans from the wings of the Regal. Though Keith contends that nine-year-old Michael was "a better singer then than what he ended up to be," it's clear from this recording that Motown's infamously rigorous training regimen still had something to offer him. All the same, his slightly nasal, borderline flat singing and odd enunciation (fairy tales is pronounced "fairy ta-wos") add to the single's considerable charm.
The song was neither a critical nor commercial success, but that was the brothers' first record. From here, it seemed, anything might be possible. What a memorable moment it must have been for them, then, when the family gathered around the radio to hear the broadcast of that first recording for the first time. Michael recalled that as it played, they sat in the living room, stunned.
"Then, when it was over, we all laughed and hugged one another. We felt we had arrived. This was an amazing time for us as a family. I can still feel the excitement when I think back on it."1971 - The Jackson 5ive in concert Columbus, Georgia.
1974 - The Jackson 5 perform Dancing Machine at the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.
Sally Struthers and The Jackson Five, made a guest appearance at the Sonny & Cher comedy hr, with cameo appearance by Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Sonny and Cher open the show with "Take Life a Little Easier" and banter about the theater being Sonny's first love. In a comedy blackout, an Arabian sheik (regular Ted Zeigler) auctions off two captured maidens (Cher and regular Teri Garr) to the highest bidders.
After, the Jackson Five perform "Dancing Machine", they also takes part in "The Window On the World", a montage of sketches and one-liners based on current events and individuals in the news, including Henry Kissinger's Geneva meetings, a report on famed ecologist Euell Gibbons, the domestic problems of a woman married to a bear, and an attempt by a robber to hold up a gas station that is operated by appointment only. "The Boogie Woogie Sisters" -- Cher, Sally and regular Teri Garr spoof The Andrews Sisters as fairy tales get the satirical treatment. In comedy sketches, Cher plays an aging Goldilocks, with Sally as her youthful replacement; the golden-haired Rapunzel (Cher) is imprisoned in a turret by an evil prince (Sonny); and Stuffed Sally the Ravon lady (Sally) drops by Raggedy Sonny and Raggedy Cher's doll house with her bag of goodies.
1979 - The Jacksons perform a concert in Madrid, Spain on Destiny tour.
1981 - Michael receives 2 awards at the 8th Annual American Music Awards at the ABC-TV Studios in Hollywood.
Michael won Favorite Male Artist (Soul/R&B) and Favorite Album (Soul/R&B) for Off the Wall, (one of them is presented by sister LaToya) which was also nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Album (won by Billy Joel). He also pays tribute to Chuck Berry.
Michael, dressed in a heavily beaded V-neck sweater of deep red rhinestones with black bands on the sleeves and a black bowtie, attended the ceremony with his date for the evening, Diana Ross.
1989 - Eddie Murphy presents Michael with the Special Award Of Achievement at the 16th American Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Ca.
Michael was honored for his ground breaking artistry and technology in video, and for the record breaking success of his BAD album and tour. Cashbox magazine awarded Michael the Video Pioneer Award in recognition of his excellence in video as captured in the Triumph video for Can You Feel It, THRILLER, and Moonwalker. The inscription on the Video Pioneer Award reads:
For his pioneering efforts in the field of music videos epitomized by 'The Triumph', a pre 1980's breakthrough in concept and special effects, and THRILLER, an innovative combination of drama, music and dance. The Video Pioneer Award is given to Michael Jackson on the occasion of his new feature length anthology, Moonwalker becoming the largest selling music home video of all time.The second special award Michael received was an American Music Award of Achievement. Its inscription reads:
Because his album, BAD, is the first ever to generate five number one singles, because it has been a number one best seller for a record breaking twenty five countries around the world, and because it has been the largest international seller in each of the last two years, the American Music Award of Achievement is presented to Michael Jackson on january 30, 1989.Both of these special awards were presented to Michael by Eddie Murphy, at Michael's request.
Before introducing Michael, Murphy narrated a 14 minute tribute to Michael Jackson showcasing his international tour and recapping the BAD album's five number one hit singles. Walking shyly toward center stage to gather his awards, the audience greeted Michael with deafening applause and a standing ovation. Michael was dressed in black and red, buckles, and no sunglasses.
As the applause subsided and Michael began to speak, his soft voice could bearly be heard over the microphone, which was on a very low stand. He had to bend over and speak directly into the mike to be heard. Holding his awards, he asked Eddie to adjust the mike stand for him, "Could you lift that up please?" Eddie tried to adjust it but it wouldn't budge. "You do it" Eddie told Michael. Michael replied, "I can't, I need your help." It became a joke when Eddie told the audience what was happening. (Their conversation was bearly audible.) "He said, 'Pull it up Eddie', like I was working for him! And do it! Yes Michael!" So, bent over, Michael spoke briefly as always:
I'd like to thank God, who makes all things possible. I'd like to thank my mother and father, Katherine and Joseph Jackson. I'd like to thank Berry Gordy, who gave me my first professional start in show business, the Epic family, Walter Yetnikoff, Larry Stessel, Glen Bundman, Frank Dileo, Quincy Jones, and Bruce Swedian. I love you. And the public. Thank you.While he was very shy, Michael appeared to be enjoying himself and seemed to be genuinely honored with the awards, the tribute, and the overwhelming response from the audience.
2006 - Michael and his children left Hamburg.
Unable to go out because of the fans & reporters in front of the house, Michael, Anton, Grace & the kids leave Hamburg and fly to Venice.
Before he entered the car, he stopped shortly to wave to the fans.
They land in Marco Polo airport and travel to Florence where they check in Weistein Excelsior Hotel.
While in Hamburg, a fan had his hat taken so that Michael could sign it. But it seems that Blanket, who was there, admired the hat so much that he was allowed to keep it! Michael then took Blanket's t-shirt signed it and gave that to the fan instead! The shirt read "Blankets T-Shirt love Michael Jackson."
2009 - Christian Audigier visits Michael at his Bel Air home.