Michael Jackson · Motown · Music · Pop Culture · Television

December 14, 1969 – The Jackson 5 Appear on The Ed Sullivan Show

Jackson 5
Image Source: Jackson5abc.com

I love Music! 🎼 ♫ ♫

I grew up listening to the King of Pop and had to jump on this story.

Growing up in Gary, Indiana the Jackson Brothers started performing in 1964. Brothers Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Jackie were a phenomenal singing group that change the band name to the Jackson 5 when little brother Michael joined.

On August 13, 1967, the Jackson 5 won the Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. The Empress of Soul, Gladys Night was in the audience that night and told Barry Gordy that he must see their act.

It was not until July 1968 when the boys were brought to Detroit for an audition that Barry Gordy met them.

Barry Gordy knew talent when he found it and quickly signed them to Motown Records. Their fist album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 / ABC came out in December 1969.

The boys caught the eye of Ed Sullivan after he noticed their album starting to rise in the charts. Always the supporter of Motown he had to book the boys on the show. On December 14, 1969, the Jackson 5 appeared on the Ed Sullivan show.

Mr. Sullivan introduced them as a sensational group and the boys took the stage for a three-song set. Their first number was a cover of Sly and the Family Stone‘s Stand, followed by Smokey Robinson‘s Who’s loving youAfter that song the boys sang their first single, I want you backIn this last song, 10-year-old Michael set himself apart as the future King of Pop.

He sang and danced like he was born to be on a stage. After their performance, Mr. Sullivan remarked, “The little fella in front is incredible.”

He then introduced Dianna Ross as the person who discovered the Jackson 5. It no longer mattered who had discovered the Jackson 5. The die had been cast and there was no turning back.

The Jackson 5’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan show skyrocketed the group to crossover fame.

The Jackson 5 was the biggest African-American pop group to break through all levels and capture the hearts of fans of all ages around the world. Their sound and magnetic energy crossed all racial barriers.

At Michael Jackson’s funeral on July 7, 2009, video of The Jackson 5 performing “Who’s Loving You” on The Ed Sullivan Show was shown to the live audience and viewers all around the globe. In his eulogy, Motown founder, Berry Gordy, called Michael “the greatest artist who ever lived.”

Ed Sullivan



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