Everyone loved the Jackson Five, especially the cherubic, charismatic Michael. The reasons for their out-of-the-box success boiled down to one simple truth: “The singing and the songs make us happy,” wrote soul-music biographer David Ritz. “They are moments of incandescent beauty-young, wildly optimistic.”
From The Jackson Five page at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
What a sad week - Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson all passing away. I remember seeing Jackson on tv with his brothers as a little kid, buying Thriller when it first came out, watching the videos on MTV back when MTV still played videos. Then seeing what he became over the past 25 years or so was so disturbing that I pretty much stopped paying attention.
I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex in New York City earlier this month, and among the memorabilia on display is the jacket Michael Jackson wore during the taping of "We Are the World in 1985. You can watch the video here.
The Wall Street Journal posted a video of the Jackson Five's first appearance on American Bandstand here. I felt a little choked up watching it. And here's an appreciation from the New York Times' Jon Pareles.