I was sliding on a yellow piece of plastic we used to call a ...
Reality TV is no stranger to irony and hypocrisy, but it’s hard to remember a more glaring demonstration of both than “The Jacksons: Next Generation.” Tito Jackson’s sons – who once formed the group 3T – are now grown, and they use this showcase to plot a comeback, and lament how the media mistreated their uncle Michael, all the while trading off the Jackson name to secure another 15 minutes of fame (and obviously, a payday).
After winning the Amateur Night competition for The Apollo Theater in August 1967, Joe Jackson began to work part-time, switching from full-time, at the steel mill to help his sons secure a recording contract.
The group signed with Steeltown Records in Gary, Indiana, in November of that year.
Shortly thereafter, Joseph convinced Tito, Jackie and Jermaine to form a singing group, having been impressed with the vocals of Jackie and Jermaine.
Tito can be heard singing background vocals on many early Jackson 5 recordings and having lead roles on later recordings such as "Man Of War" and "2300 Jackson Street." After first performing in school functions and supermarkets, the brothers began participating in local talent shows when Jackson was twelve.
“You know me, I’m more of a private person,” one of the brothers says, which begs the question why he would participate in such an enterprise.
In January 1968, the Jackson Five's first single, "Big Boy," was released on the Steeltown label.
In 1969, The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records in Detroit, and scored several hit songs, including the number-one singles "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There." Though Tito sometimes added brief lead vocals on some songs, he and Marlon rarely sang background harmony work with the other brothers until much later in their careers.
By then, his younger brother Michael, then seven, had become the official lead singer of the group.
In 1966, they changed their name from The Jackson Brothers to The Jackson Five, and won several talent shows around the Gary area.
Plenty of people have cashed in on Michael Jackson through the years as an object of admiration or curiosity, and it’s hard to blame third parties (including Lifetime) for joining the chorus.