The Jackson Five

A Chart Topping Super Group

Without Michael Jackson, it was easy to hypothesize that the Jackson Five would not have reached such great levels of fame and record sales. The same can be said of The Jackson Five launching Michael to fame. Despite Michael’s young age, the Jackson Five proceeded to treat him like an adult, and his charm and skill lent a hand in landing publicity and managerial influence. Tito Jackson’s orchestra teacher Shirley Cartman, having seen the young Michael perform, helped them get signed to Steeltown Records. In turn, Cartman support the Jackson 5 in finding professional touring gigs across the Midwest at many well-known black clubs and bars. Michael Jackson’s Early years spent learning the Jackson 5 Music ultimately prepared him for success.

Before long, they were spotted by R&B stars Sam & Dave, who helped them score a spot at auditions for amateur night at The Apollo Theater. This put the Jackson 5 on the fast track to stardom themselves, because that very night, they could the attention of singing legend Gladys Knight.

After meeting Knight, the Jackson Five were set to meet recording powerhouse Berry Gordy. On July 23rd, 1968, the young boys from Indiana taped an audition of James Brown’s “I Got the Feeling” for Gordy, who was in Los Angeles at the time. Berry saw potential in the boys and signed them to Motown Records. This gave them a running start towards producing the early hits so well known today. Unfortunately, as much appeal as the Jackson 5 had, they were made to produce cover albums and work on their own image until late 1969 when they were given a big break.

Despite their musicality and highly acclaimed talent, the first big hit originally for the Jackson Five was written by Gordy, and three other music giants, who themselves became known as “the Corporation”. That single, “I Want You Back,” was the only song from the album Diana Ross Presents the Jackson Five. The song was a smash hit, holding the number one spot on the soul music charts for a solid four weeks. It also held the number one spot in the Billboard Top 100 for one week. It is easily possible this song launched Michael’s Solo Career and Thriller.