Monday, December 13th, 2021

YouTube Gold: Young Michael Jackson

Photo of JACKSON FIVE and Tito JACKSON and Marlon JACKSON and Jermaine JACKSON and Michael JACKSON and Jackie JACKSON

We all know now of the tragic and vile arc of Michael Jackson’s life as an adult, the bizarre behavior, the accusations of pedophilia and the slow disintegration of a man who once thrilled millions.

As a boy though, Jackson and his brothers were the Jackson Five and even when he was just 11, as he was when the group appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, the talent was blinding.

Even at that age, he had that indefinable star quality.

It’s impossible to know what happened to Jackson although you can reasonably guess that his father’s harsh micro-management of his life and career took a toll. Jackson said two things that really stuck; first, that he never had a childhood and second that he would sleep on stage if he could, meaning in front of an audience. You have to believe he was desperate for love and approval. His sense of loneliness must have been terrifying.