Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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W. Cudworth: Musical Reminiscences of Bradford (Bradford, 1885)

R.V. Taylor: ‘Yorkshire Musicians, XXXII’, Yorkshire Weekly Post (29 Sept 1888)

J.S. Smith: The Life of William Jackson of Masham, the Miller Musician (Leeds, 1926)

P.A. Scholes, ed.: The Mirror of Music 1844–1944 (London, 1947/R), 84–5


Jackson Five [The Jacksons].

American soul group. Its original members were the Jackson brothers, ‘Jackie’ (Sigmund Esco) (b Gary, IN, 4 May 1951), ‘Tito’ (Toriano Adaryll Jackson) (b Gary, 15 Oct 1953), Jermaine (La Jaune) (b Gary, 11 Dec 1954), Marlon (David) (b Gary, 12 March 1957) and Michael (Joseph) (b Gary, 29 Aug 1958). Although they were first marketed in 1969 by Motown Records towards pre-teen audiences, the music had a broader appeal, and the group – and especially its youngest member, Michael Jackson – displayed precocious talent. The Jackson Five's sound was initially modelled on the music of the fellow African-American group the Temptations, who by the late 1960s had developed an ensemble approach featuring rapid tradeoffs among the vocalists, all of whom occupied a different tessitura. Between 1969 and 1974 the group recorded a remarkable string of top-20 hit singles (including I want you back, ABC and I'll be there), all of them written and produced by the Motown staff. In 1976 ‘Randy’ (Steven Randall) Jackson (b Gary, 29 Oct 1961) replaced Jermaine, and the group changed direction, moving to Epic Records and changing their name to the Jacksons. They wrote and produced the material for two albums, Destiny (1978) and Triumph (1980), both of which surpassed their earlier efforts for Epic and which initiated the second successful phase of their career. These records are securely within the disco mainstream of the time, and feature their trademark superlative vocal abilities. Their album Victory (1984) was accompanied by the largest-grossing and most widely covered tour of the time, but Michael's unprecedented success produced unmanageable tensions within the group. In 1989 the Jacksons, without Michael, released 2300 Jackson Street, an album which found them treading water artistically amid increasing scandals and controversies surrounding the family. For further information see G. Brown: The Complete Guide to the Music of Michael Jackson and the Jackson Family (New York, 1996).


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