#FlashbackFriday This Is It – Really?! The Mythology and Genius of Michael Jackson

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I’ve always wanted to be able to tell stories, you know, stories that came from my soul.  I’d like to sit by a fire and tell people stories—make them see pictures, make them cry and laugh,take them anywhere emotionally with something as deceptively simple as words.

– Michael J. Jackson from his autobiography Moonwalk

As I was organizing my albums (you remember those, right?) and DVDs (which are becoming more of entertainment for travel on my laptop than for routine use at home and office) this weekend, I began to go through my collection of music and music videos of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. This made me reflect on my musical education I had received from these Gary, Indiana natives that revolutionized the landscape of popular music forever.

While I was not present on Earth to have seen the Jackson 5 in their heyday in the 70s, my parents did in their youth and made it a practice to play the group’s music at home for my brother and me in heavy rotation when we were little. Listening to such trademark classics as “Rockin’ Robin, ” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There,” “Sugar Daddy,” “Ben,” “ABC,” and “Dancing Machine” showcased catchy pop hooks, insightful lyrics, colorful harmonies and of course, the vocal delivery of the youngest Jackson who would grow up to be the King of Pop.

Even as a kid, Michael Jackson carried this kind of knowledge of storytelling in the songs that he sang with the Jackson 5. What did a 12-year-old know about heart-breaking regret in losing the woman he loved, wondering “Who’s Loving You” now? What did a child know about being conflicted in ending a relationship in “Never Can Say Goodbye”? What did a preteen know about being a “Sugar Daddy”? He was wise beyond his years, a quality I can definitely identify with.

This knowledge made the music come alive with feeling and authentic emotion, making the listener feel like little Michael was singing right to him/her. No wonder the female fans went crazy at the concerts, chasing the guys everywhere they went!

It’s important for artists always to maintain control of their lives and work. There’s been a big problem in the past with artists being taken advantage of. I’ve learned that a person can prevent that from happening by standing up for what he or she believes is right, without concern for the consequences.

– Michael J. Jackson in Moonwalk

But just as Diana Ross and Lionel Richie could not have become the meteoric superstars that they are without The Supremes and The Commodores, Michael Jackson was groomed to be a star through Motown’s Jackson 5.

As I listen to the later music of the Jackson 5 who was transitioning to being the Jacksons on Epic Records where the brothers had more creative control over their music, Michael’s vocal arrangement became more advanced in songs like “Can You Feel It” “Get It Together,” “Blame It On The Boogie,” “Enjoy Yourself” “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” and “Dancing Machine.”

There you can begin to hear the signature ad-libs and vocal styling that made Michael famous on the albums Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and beyond.

In his solo albums, you can hear his determined individuality in the arrangements he created, the producing mentorship from the SELFLESS musical genius Quincy Jones, the instrumentals he demanded, and the self-created vocal percussion he added to the tracks. He wasn’t the little kid being told what to do and sing; he was the polished and professional man who made his own decisions on the music he made. You have to admire that internal fortitude!

Michael Jackson set the bar in music, musical entertainment, choreography, musical film, the power of God, love, and true philanthropy for every musical artist and human being for generations to come.

I know that I have to carry the banners of God’s love and philanthropy that Mr. Jackson so eloquently addressed in songs like “Heal The World,” “On The Line,” “One More Chance,” “Another Part of Me,” “This Is It,” “We Are Here To Change The World,” “Fall Again,” “Man In The Mirror,” “We Are The World,” and “Earth Song.” I have been truly blessed to have my life enriched by his works and influence.

To me, every time I hear one of his songs, I am reminded that his spirit is resides there and in the world I live. I also remember having the blessed opportunities to see him perform that magic live on the Victory Tour (I was three so I watch the show for archives on YouTube) and Bad Tour a few years ago.

Love lasts forever.

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25 thoughts on “#FlashbackFriday This Is It – Really?! The Mythology and Genius of Michael Jackson

  1. I understand that I was not alive when the Jackson 5 were a huge hit and when little Michael Jackson became solo. I comprehend the fact that his music touch people. I am not a fan of Michael Jackson but I was taught to give someone there props even though you like or dislike the person. His music change people perspectives.

  2. Whether I was alive or not in those days, I always admired his music such as “Remember The Time, Beat It, The You Make Me Feel and Black & White. I always enjoyed hearin his music and seeing him dance when i was alot younger, me brothers and sister always trying to do his signature move the “moonwalk” every chance we get right after watching the movie, I’m sure that he will definatley be miss and he is in a better place may his soul Rest In Peace.

  3. keithsamuels says:

    Even though I wasn’t alive to see The Jackson 5 with my own eyes, I still know a little bit about their music. For example “ABC”,and “Ill be there”.But I remeber Micheal Jaskson so vividly. I remember “Moonwalk”. Also I am a fan of his music. I even brought the thriller album re-release on the 25 year anniversary. It’s a shame that he’s gone, but at least we have his music to hold on to.

    • I am such a big fan of his phenominal music that I have at least, 13 albums filled with his music alone. He will forever be missed, but his mark on the world beyond music will highly be appreciated and honored. There is not one artist in the present day that can outdo or come close to Michael Jackson. A legend will forever be fanciful.

  4. firstyearlit says:

    Growing up, I remember listening to a lot of Michael Jackson’s hits. I remeber when my sister taught me how to do the moonwalk and I could not stop showing off. Now and then I reminisce about the memories that I have of The Jackson 5 as well Michael as a solo artist and Janet. I loved Janet Jackson hits too. One of my favorite songs from her album was “Rhythm Nation” as well as “You Want This.” I truly believe that the Jacksons left a legacy for generations.

  5. Even though I was to young to enjoy the times when there was a Jackson 5. The stories i heard about Michael blew me away. He was a very talented human being. First time i seen Thriller I thought I was watching a movie. That’s how amazing he was with creating videos for himself.

  6. lkballa4 says:

    Latara King:
    MJ was a great inspiration to a lot of artist today. His music made little girls go crazy and cry when he performed. Throughout his career with his brothers and solo career, my parents played Jackson 5 and MJ hits all day and night long. He would mould his world around what he loved. He expressed himself by music and dance. He created signature moves that are still danced among the world. His style is still among us, MJ will always be loved and truly missed.

  7. Jean Daverne.
    Grewing uo listening to the old soundtracks of the Jackson 5 and Micheal Jackson touch me at an early age. My brother and I used to imitate him doing the moonwalk. He inspiral me how it does not matter how old you are you still can chase your dreams. The Jackson Movie was my favorite movie coming up and still is. No matter who you was he touched people all over the world. When they heard Micheal they listen black or white. Thats how much his pop music impacted on society.

    • I can remember always listening to the Jackson 5, and loving the music of Michael jackson. No matter who I was with,family or friends we would turn the radio up and sing. I beleive that Michael’s music could and would not die. MJs music will always be on the best hits. Some people might had not liked what he has done with his life but when he would sing and dance people would go crazy!

  8. kkklllggg says:

    In my past history Mike Jackson has been my dancing roll model. Like lets be serious he made the moonwalk! I know everybody was in their socks, on their kitchen floor sliding funny but true. I remember my dad had the collectors edition and every time he would wash his car he would play the whole collection. I basically grew up to the great Mike as many did, when he pasted it hurt because I always dreamed of meeting him one day. My first question would probably be, how tough was it to actually make it in the music industry being a African American?

  9. I wish I could was born to see the jackson five when it first started, but unfortunatly I didn’t. They are my role model and favirote pop star of all times. Michael jackson is the best was the best dancer of the group, he inspires me to dance everyday, or any where I go whether its work, school, or, home.

  10. I love Micheal Ajckson from sense I was a little girl. When I found out he had passed I was devastated. I cried as if I knew him personally he brought me so much inspiration like in older brother .He will never be forgotten in always main in a special place dear to my heart.

  11. morf0128 says:

    I have never been a big fan of MJ but i watched a movie on the Jackson 5 the other day and saw how much the father influenced all of there lives. I think the father was a little hard on them but without him they would not have accomplished the things they did.

  12. eben1201 says:

    LISTENING TO MICHAEL JAKSON’S MUSIC IS ONE OF MY FAVORIT THINGS TO DO. HIS MUSIC IS SO STORNG. IT INSPIERS ME TO WANT TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR THE WORLD.I CAN NOT REMEMBER A TIME WHEN I DIDN’T LOVE HIS MUSIC. AS A MATTER OF FACT I HAVE ONE OF HIS DVDS IN MY DORM ROOM RIGHT NOW. TO ME HE WAS A STRONG MAN. EVEN THOREW EVERY THING THAT HAPPENED TO HIM HE NEVER LET IT CHANGE WHO HE WAS ON THE INSIDE.

  13. cutebabycee says:

    I was always a fan of Micheal Jackson, But I fell in love with him after I saw Remember the Time and Thriller. He songs were so theatrical and he always had the hottest dance moves. Now that I think about it, every song he has made tells a story. He is a true artist.

  14. Michael Jackson has been playing in my house since before I can remember. I do remember how he would bring joy and happiness to my mother when she was down. Michael is a idle that can not be duplicated, his music will live on forever. Even though Michael is is not with us any more his music is going to continue to touch lives every where.

  15. rays09 says:

    I have ALWAYS loved Michael Jackson and his music. As a child listening to his oldies, “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough and “Rock With You” were my favorites. His videos were interesting to watch and the choreography for “Thriller” was amazing! I will always love Michael Jackson and continue to embrace his music.

  16. I love M.J my dad allways play his songs, so i know all of the songs. I have a CD in my car now that i still listen to “The best of Mj” i have it slowed down that means the song is slower then what everyone listens to.

  17. I still love the jackson 5 and MJ my dad was a DJ back in the days so he played all the old songs. i love music to the this day i still listen to his CDs. i do not care what they say about MJ i will all ways love him and his music no one will ever compare to what he has done in his life time!

  18. vesp0405 says:

    If you ask any of my friends they could tell you that im crazy over Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five still til this day. As young as I am (eighteen) Thas all i heard growing up because my mom is absolutely obsessed with Michael Jackson, its kind of scary. I think its sad that Michael’s music came back only because of his death but to me his music will never die and hopefully now people will realize through his music that he was a great person.

  19. darlida says:

    I can remember when i was little and i was in love with michael Jackson. His music is wonderful and i love listening to them. Even today after he has past I can still listen to his music and think how talented he was. I believe that his music will go on for as long as there is people on earth.

  20. shanistar89 says:

    I love michael jackson. He is the definition of a true artist. I know his music is going to live on forever. There is nobody that can dance like him, sing as passionate as he did and have a heart as big as his.

  21. I may not be able to enjoy the music when the Jackson 5 where big. I still had the chance to enjoy their music. I loved listening to their music with my younger brothers pretending we were at their concert dancing to their music in our mother’s living room. We enjoyed more of Micheal Jackson’s music when my little sister came along. Then it became the four off us in my mother’s living room dancing our little butts off to Micheal Jackson’s music. Some times we were off a little step or two but you could not tell us nothing. We loved Micheal Jackson.

  22. wwwlboogie81 says:

    i think mic is an extrordinary being he did alot in his career and changed many lives through his music as he contues to do still till this day although he has passed through this life and only god knows what it must have been likt never really have a childhood. mic will always be respected and remembered

  23. I admire Micheal Jackson a lot and though I was not born in the era of the Jackson 5 I greatly enjoy listening to all of their music. I find it outstandingly amazing how Micheal Jackson went through all of his hardships to come where he was at. I am deeply sad of his passing away but know that his music will never die and will live on forever. Micheal Jackson is not only king of pop but king of all music in my thought.

Very Interesting.

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