Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rest In Peace Michael Jackson: A Special This Day in Music History Segment: The Jackson Five and The Love You Save

It has been quite awhile since I have posted a "This Day in Music History" segment. I have been wanting to do one and with the recent passing of Michael Jackson I wanted to do one with him in mind. Today marks a big day in music history for Michael and his brothers who together were known as the Jackson Five. On this day in music history, June 27, 1970, The Jackson Five had their third #1 hit on the Billboard Charts with the song "The Love You Save."
Why was this a big day in music history for the Jackson Five? Because it made them the first preformers in the rock and roll era to have their first three singles become number one.
It was written and produced by Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, Deke Richards and Berry Gordy Jr. Berry Gordy really wanted the third song to be a big hit. With the first two songs, "I Want You Back" and "ABC", having gone platinum the stakes were high for the third song. He wanted to prove the Jackson Five were no flash in the pan.
Finally they took a song they had written about watching out for traffic. Perhaps it was called "The Life You Save." I don't know for certain about that but I do know they changed the lyrics to be about a girl who was growing up too fast.
When it was finished three of the writer/producers took to the studio to record the demo. They went to the Sound Factory studio in Hollywood. While recording it Berry Gordy dropped in on them. After a few minutes of listening to them Gordy said he wasn't worried anymore because they had it. Then he left.
As you see in one of the photos the writing and producing credits went to "The Corporation." It seems that some time earlier the writing and producing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland had a nasty split with Motown Records. The pain from the split was still being felt and the generic name of The Corporation seemed to be safer.
Producing the first three singles for the Jackson Five wasn't the first time Freddie Perren was associated with the group. He played the piano at the Regal Theater in Chicago for Jerry Butler and the Jackson Five was the opening act. They had a regional hit with the song "I'm A Big Boy Now." Perren said Michael was so tiny that he thought the nightclub crowd would jsut murder him. He felt sorry for Michael. But when he sang he brought down the house. The Jackson Five were so well received that Perren thought Jerry Butler should have been their opeing act.
No matter how you feel about how he led is very public personal life, you have to admit that his talent was apparent from the very beginning. Rest in Peace Michael Jackson.
Below you can see him and his borthers Jackie,Tito,Jermaine and Marlon from their 1977 TV Show preforming the song.

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