Michael Jackson



Michael Jackson 1972
Michael Joseph Jackson
Gary, Aug. 29, 1958 -
Los Angeles, June 25, 2009,
American singer, songwriter,
dancer, and actor
(photo: 1972, when
his solo career began)
Artist name: "Michael Jackson"

Band names:
--- "The Jackson Brothers" (1964)
--- "The Jackson Five" (1965)
--- "Michael Jackson" (solo since October 1971)

First song title: "Big Boy"

Genre: Soul

Musicians:
--- Jackie Jackson - vocals
--- Tito Jackson - vocals, guitar
--- Marlon Jackson - vocals
--- Michael Jackson - lead vocals
--- Jermaine Jackson - lead vocals, bass guitar

Writer: Eddie Silvers

DEMO VERSION
--- Title: "I'm a Big Boy Now"
--- Recorded: July 13, 1967
--- Producer: Gordon Keith
--- Studio: Tone Studios, 1827 South Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, USA
--- Label: One-derful Records
--- Format: Audiotape
--- Lenght: 2:56

RELEASE VERSION
--- Title: "Big Boy"
--- Recorded: November 1967 - Chicago, Illinois, USA
--- Released: January 1968 - Gary, Lake, Indiana, USA
--- Producers: Ben Brown, Gordon Keith
--- Studio: Morrison Sound Studio, West 69th Street, South Chicago, Illinois, USA
--- Label: Steeltown Records
--- Format: Vinyl 7", 45 rpm. On B-side: "You've Changed", written by Jesse Reese
--- Lenght: 2:30

Features: "Big Boy" was the first song sung by Michael Jackson, performed and recorded with his brothers as "The Jackson Five" band. They began their career performing at talent contests, which they would often win. In 1967 Gordon Keith, owner of Steeltown Records, signed the band to six-month contract with him; in November of that year, at the Sunny Sawyer's Morrison Sound Studio in South Chicago, The Jackson Five - Jackie (16), Tito (14), Jermaine (12), Marlon (10) and Michael (9) - recorded "Big Boy", a song written by saxophonist Eddie Silvers, who at the time was playing in a group called the Soul Merchants and working as music director for Chicago R&B label One-derful Records. On B-side: "You've Changed", written by Jesse Reese. In the same session, the group recorded also "We Don't Have to Be Over 21", by Sherman Nesbary, and "Some Girls Want Me for Their Lover", authorship unclear.
"Big Boy" was released in January 1968, initially hand-sold by Michael and his brothers during their performances; two months later it was picked up for national ditribution by Atco, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records: sold well locally, it failed to register on any of Billboard's charts.
Michael Jackson made his debut as solo in later 1971, with "Got to Be There", a single released on October 7 under Motown Records label; on January 24, 1972, under the same name and the same label, his first solo studio album was released. It sold about 900,000 copies in the USA and over 3.2 million copies worldwide.

Interestings facts: The very first recording of "Big Boy" dates back to July 13, 1967, under the title "I'm a Big Boy Now". The Jackson Five had cut the track for Chicago's One-derful Records, playing all of their own instruments at the label's Tone Studios. This session had been all but forgotten until 2009, when guitarist Larry Blasingaine brought it to the attention of Jake Austen, a Chicago Reader writer who was researching a story about the Steeltown release.

Quote (Michael Jackson): «A star can never die. It just turns into a smile and melts back into the cosmic music, the dance of life».

Property: © One-derful Records - © Steeltown Records



The Jackson Five 1965 announcement
The Jackson Five, announcement (1965). On Michael's 7th birthday, Aug. 29, 1965, the brothers perform "Doin' the Jerk" (by The Larks) at a fashion show in Gary, Indiana's Big Top Department Store: Tiny Tots' Back-to-School "Jamboree". This is the first time they have played under the name "The Jackson Five".

The Jackson Five 1966 on Gary Post Tribune
The Jackson Five, article on Gary Post Tribune (1966). The Jackson Five won the Annual Talent Search at the Gilroy Stadium in Gary. During this performance Michael impressed the audience and his brothers by his dance improvisation for the song Barefootin’, a hit of Robert Parker, on which Michael sang lead.

The Jackson Five in 1967 with Johnny
The Jackson Five with Johnny on drums (1967). Marlon, Tito, Jackie, Jermaine, and Michael, with Johnny Jackson (no relation) on drums.

I'm a Big Boy Now - July 13, 1967
"I'm a Big Boy Now" (July 13, 1967), reel and studio worksheet of the earliest known studio recording, from One-derful Records.

Big Boy - November 1967
"Big Boy" (November 1967), master reel of the Steeltown Records demo version.

Big Boy - January 1968
"Big Boy" (January 1968), Steeltown Records first release (Steeltown 681). On B-side: "You've Changed", written by Jesse Reese. The single will be distributed locally and the Jackson brothers will sell during their performances.

Big Boy - cover - March 1968
Big Boy - March 1968
"Big Boy" (March 5, 1968), Steeltown Records second release, distributed nationally by Atco, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, about 10,000 copies.


"Big Boy" original audio from the single (1968)
BIG BOY

Fairy tales, fairy tales
I don't enjoy
Fairy tales and wishful dreams
Are broken toys

'Cause I'm a big boy now (Big boy)
That's looking for (Big boy)
Someone to love, oh yeah
Someone, someone to share my dreams,
oh yeah

Mother goose, oh mother goose
Oh, won't you join
All I need is an ol' lovely girl
Holding my arm

'Cause I'm a big boy now (Big boy)
That's looking for (Big boy)
Someone to love, oh yeah
Someone, someone to share my dreams,
oh yeah

Skating boards
And kiddie cars
Have had their day
Dating at the picture show with you
Is here to stay

'Cause I'm a big boy now (Big boy)
That's looking for (Big boy)
Someone to love, oh yeah
Someone, someone to share my dreams,
oh yeah

Come on, baby
Come on, baby, ooh
"Big Boy" lyrics

Got to Be There - cover - October 1971
Got to Be There - October 1971
"Got to Be There" single (October 7, 1971). Written by Elliot Willensky and released as Michael Jackson's first solo single. On B-side: "Maria (You Were the Only One)", written and composed by Larry Brown, Shadee, George Gordy and Linda Glover. Producer Hal Davison, label Motown Records.

Got to Be There - January 1972
"Got to Be There" album (January 24, 1972). Michael Jackson's debut studio album which includes the song of the same name, fifth track of ten, debut solo single. Producers: Hal Davis, The Corporation, Willie Hutch; label Motown Records. It sold about 900,000 copies in the United States and over 3.2 million copies worldwide.