Saturday Night Music, June 27: Michael Jackson, “Get It Together,” with the Jackson Five on “Soul Train,” 1973
Michael Jackson was fifteen years old in 1973 when he and his brothers released this song. It reached No. 2 on the R&B Billboard chart, and No. 28 on the Pop Billboard chart. It was an all-too-quick, infectious single, one of the last of their string of hits as bubblegum soul singers.Vodpod videos no longer available.
I don’t care what anyone says. I liked this song, as well as “Corner of the Sky,” and “Looking Through the Windows,” when they sang Broadway songs from the musical Pippin, and songs by Clifton Davis, in what you might call their middle period. Yes, that Clifton Davis who was on Amen a few decades back. He was once singer-actress Melba Moore‘s boyfriend, and who also wrote “Never Can Say Goodbye,” for the Jackson 5. He and Moore had a variety show during one summer on CBS, in which they sang “Goodbye” at the close of each show.
I saw black people moving more into the mainstream with little achievements like these on the boob tube. It wasn’t just Michael Jackson to whom I am saying goodbye. It was an entire decade, the time when I was young like everyone else, graduating from high school, going to college, moving on up from the struggles of the Sixties.
Of course, I’ve digressed once more.
This song was a collaboration among Berry Gordy, Hal Davis, and Don Fletcher. I bought the album under its original cover title: G.I.T.: Get It Together, with pictures of them in concert. It had a fiery yellow and red background. It also included the hit, “Dancing Machine,” in which they tried to popularize, through Michael’s dancing, The Robot. It was certainly funkier, thanks to producers Norman Whitfield and Hal Davis. It also appeared a year before disco began to seep onto the airwaves.
This album was also the first to feature all five Jacksons sharing lead vocals rather than just Michael, who upon maturity, was turning into a tenor. He could no longer hit those high notes, not even with a falsetto.
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