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Home / This Week In History

The Jackson 5 Give An Audition To Motown At The Hittsville Studio In Detroit. 23-07-'68

Motown Audition (23-07-1968)On July 23, at around 10 a.m., the band’s audition in Detroit was videotaped. Although the record company’s president, Berry Gordy, was not present, several members of Motown’s creative department were there to witness.

After performing an impressive set with James Brown’s then current hit 'I Got The Feelin’ and 'Who’s Lovin’ You', the audition tape was sent to Gordy two days later, whereupon he immediately decided to sign the group to his prestigious label. They meet Suzanne De Passe and Ralph Seltzer.

“I canceled the Frost show, Bobby Taylor wanted to take us to Motown to audition, and we decided to go. We’ve all been sleeping on the floor at Bobby’s. The boys have already auditioned — Motown even filmed it. We haven’t been offered a contract yet, but, judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces, Kate, I know it’s going to happen!”
Joe explained excitedly.

Source: Billie Jean


Jacksons 'Victory Tour' Show Offers Lights, Lasers ... Perfection. 21-07-'84

The Jacksons brought their 'Victory Tour' to the Gator Bowl stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on three nights from July 21-23, 1984 to perform in front of over 135,000 fans.

The show has a simple story line, based on the tale of the sword in the stone. Huge creatures called Kreetons appear on the stage. They’re followed by several warriors who attempt to pull a sword from a stone. One warrior, Randy Jackson, does just that. He slays a Kreeton and thereby paves the way for the kingdom of the Jacksons.

Moments later, Randy, Michael, Tito, Marlon and Jermaine appear majestically on stage, pump the entrance for all its worth, and delight the fans. Fantasyland? You bet.

Two spider like creatures attempt to gobble up Michael. Michael writhes on the stage like a snake in the heat of battle before he is saved by magic and levitated out of danger. He reappears moments later on an elevated spot on stage wearing the red jacket he wore in the 'Beat It' video and launches into that song.

Victory Tour (21-07-1984)
Michael Jackson brought his 'Victory Tour' to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida on three nights from July 21-23, 1984 to perform in front of over 135,000 fans.

The Jacksons show was written and designed by Michael, whose instrumental in moving the rock video into new territory with master-pieces like 'Thriller'. Now the Jacksons become the first group to transform a concert into a video & to use robotics in a musical stage performance. High-tech stage antics are one thing, but Michael Jackson is another. He out dazzles the electronics! The Jacksons have somehow struck the perfect balance between theatrics and musicality.

Part Walt Disney World and part Music Television, it’s an escapist pop show for those in love with fantasy; entertainment for those who hanker for movies like Star Wars, E.T. and Peter Pan; a musical for those who enjoy exquisite dancing and singing.

Surely the Jacksons have realized that a large percentage of their fans are of the MTV generation, roughly ages 10 to 30. Such audiences understand video-styled theatrics in live shows, and crave the heightened pleasure that stems from sensational effects created with lasers, lights, and booming sound. This is the same age group that made Star Wars such a hit.

And the Jacksons play to this audience. Even so, the Jacksons have made an unprecedented move with their stage production, and this isn’t lost on the fans.

Source: Jacksonville / Billie Jean


Publicity Of The Michael Jackson Doll Begins. 20-07-'84

‘Thriller’ breaking all previous sales records and with the ‘Victory’ tour playing to unprecedented crowds, a flood of MJ merchandise hit the market.

Four MJ dolls authorized by Michael were marketed by LJN Toys inc. The 12" vinyl Michael Jackson Superstar Doll appeared in stores at a price of $12. The poseable doll had a molded jheri curl and came in 4 different, supposedly “authentic stage outfits”, from the videos of ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’, a red jacket from the AMA and the 3-musketeer’s inspired purple & gold sequin jacket from the Grammy's.

The barbie sized dolls each came with a stand, a microphone, his famous glittering ‘Magic’ glove, glitter socks, and a tiny pair of mirror sunglasses.

Michael Jackson Doll (20-07-1984)
Four MJ dolls authorized by Michael were marketed by LJN Toys inc.

Source: Billie Jean


Nelson Mandela 78th Birthday (18-07-1996)Michael Attends A Private Birthday For President Nelson Mandela. 18-07-'96

Michael visits South Africa for a few days, arrives in Johannesburg, where he attends a private birthday for President Nelson Mandela. Mandela invited about 2000 children to the party.

Michael took time off from touring, to visit South Africa where not only did he attend a private birthday party for the country’s President Nelson Mandela, he revealed he was writing a song about him. “I was working on it last night (19th July),” he said. “This is a wonderful, lovely man. I love Nelson Mandela very much.” Mandela, stepping out on to a patio to greet the media, turned to Michael and said, “I can see who is the world leader. I have never seen so many journalists!”

During the press conference in Sun City, Michael announces that his upcoming HIStory World Tour would reach South Africa.

While in South Africa, Michael also took time to visits the black township of Soweto, where he laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to honor the youngsters who were shot dead by South Africa’s security forces during the 1976 Apartheid riots; and renders a bouquet of white roses, carnations and lilies in remembrance of 11-year-old leukemia victim, Jaymee Bowen.

Source: MJ Upbeat / Billie Jean


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