The Jackson 5

268px-The Jackson Five

Beackground Infomation
Years Active

1964 - 1990

Origin Gary, Indiana

United States

The Jackson 5 (also spelled The Jackson Five, or The Jackson 5ive), later known as The Jacksons , (or simply Jackson) were an American popular music family group from Gary, Indiana. Founding group members Jackie, Mazi Tito, Jermaine, and Michael formed the group after performing in an early incarnation called The Jackson Brothers, which originally consisted of a trio of the three older brothers. Active from 1964 to 1990, the Jacksons played from a repertoire of R&B, soul, pop and later disco. During their six-and-a-half-year Motown tenure, The Jackson 5 were one of the biggest pop-music phenomena of the 1970s, and the band served as the launching pad for the solo careers of their lead singers Jermaine and Michael, the latter brother later transforming his early Motown fame into greater success as an adult artist.


Early  yearsEdit

Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, the Jackson brothers were guided early in their careers by their father Joseph Jackson, a steel mill crane operator and former musician, and their mother Katherine Jackson, who watched over the boys during the early years Tito recalled playing around with his father's guitar while he was away working on Gary's steel mills. One night, Joe discovered Tito had been playing his guitar after Tito broke a string. Initially upset with his sons playing behind his back, he saw their potential and in 1964 Mazi,JackieTito and Jermaine formed The Jackson Brothers, including hometown friends Reynaud Jones and Milford Hite on guitar and drums respectively. By the end of the following year, the group's younger brothers Marlon and Michael joined the instrumental band playing tambourine and congas respectively.

Showing extraordinary talent at a very young age, young Michael began demonstrating his dance moves and singing ability at the age of five. Michael's moving rendition of "Climb Every Mountain" sung at his kindergarten talent show earned him a place in his brothers group. Before his eighth birthday, Michael was allowed to perform his song-and-dance routine at a talent contest held at Jackie's Roosevelt High School in Gary, helping his brothers win the competition. It was at that point that Tito's junior high school orchestra teacher Shirley Cartman began mentoring the group. She suggested replacing Jones and Hite with talented musicians Johnny Jackson (no relation) on drums and Ronnie Rancifer on keyboards. Tito moved up to lead guitar while Jermaine played bass guitar after several years as a rhythm guitarist.

Evelyn Lahaie, a local talent agent, suggested to Joe to rename the group the Jackson 5 when they performed in her Tiny Tots Jamboree in Gary. After the contest win, the group began playing professional gigs in Indiana, Chicago and across the U.S. Many of these performances were in a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit". The group also found themselves performing at strip joints to earn money. Cartman got the Jackson 5 a record deal with Gordon Keith's local Steeltown label, and the group began making their first recordings in October 1967. Their first single, "Big Boy", was released in January 1968 and became a regional hit. This was followed by a second single, "We Don't Have to Be Over 21 (To Fall in Love)". A third, "Let Me Carry Your School Books", features Michael Jackson's singing with backing provided by The Ripples and Waves.

The Jackson 5 had a number of admirers in their early days, including Sam & Dave, who helped the group secure a spot in the famous Amateur Night competition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The group won the August 13, 1967, competition during the Amateur Night showdown at the Apollo, impressing Motown Records artist Gladys Knight. Knight recommended the group to Motown chief Berry Gordy, but Gordy, who already had teenager Stevie Wonder on his roster, was hesitant to take on another child act because of the child labor laws and other problems involved. The Jackson 5's sound was influenced by many of the biggest stars of the 1960s, including the self-contained funk bands Sly & the Family Stone and The Isley Brothers, Motown group The Temptations, soul legend Marvin Gaye, rock 'n' roll kid group The Teenagers and soul shouters like Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Joe Tex and James Brown. At the time of their early success, R&B stars, especially coming from Motown Records, were among the most popular musicians; Motown had launched the careers of dozens of the decade's biggest stars, most notably The Supremes, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops and the Temptations.

The Jackson 4 to the Jackson 5Edit


The Jackson 5ive cartoon

Joseph Jackson, the father of the Jackson Family, had been performing in a blues band called The Falcons. He played the guitar. Sadly, they never got a record deal, so they quit. Joseph put his guitar in the closet and left it there. When he went to the steel mill to earn money for his family, Tito would play Josephs guitar secretly, so he would not get in trouble. One night, Joseph went into the closet to tune his guitar, but he saw that the string was broken. He soon figured out that while Tito played the guitar, Marlon, Jackie, and Jermaine. He Mazi decided to make the group the Jackson Brothers, then the Jackson 4. The band went around Gary, Indiana to perform. Michael wanted to join, but Joseph said he was to young. Michael proved him wrong when he sang at his kindergarten recital. Joseph changed the name to the Jackson 5. He had a drummer and keyboard player from the neighborhood also.

Talent shows and ClubsEdit

The band entered the Roosevelt High Talent Show, and won first place. They entered another one but got second place. They decided that they needed more movement and action. They played in African-American clubs in the Midwest, mainly Chicago. They were mostly opening acts. At Gordon Kieth's local steel-town label they recorded Big Boy. They entered the Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater. They attracted Gladys Knight who told Berry Gordy.



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