History / MJ Timeline 1958-1968

1969 / 1958-1968


August 29:

Katherine gives birth to Michael Joseph Jackson in Gary Indiana.


Katherine becomes a Jehovah's Witness and decides to raise her children in this faith.


October 3:

Katherine gives birth to Steven Randall Jackson (Randy).

Jackie, Tito & Jermaine start a musical group together named The Jackson Brothers.


Michael starts Kindergarten at Garnett Elementary School in Gary and, at the age of 5, makes his first public performance at a school pageant where he sings 'Climb Every Mountain'. Katherine & her father Prince Scruse are in the audience.
Shortly after, Michael takes over from Jermaine as lead vocalist in the Jackson Brothers Group and Marlon also joins in.


The Jackson Brothers are renamed the Jackson 5 during their first public performance at children fashion show in Glen Park where they perform 'Doin The Jerk'.

The Jackson 5 also enter and win the Roosvelt High School talent show where they perform 'My Girl'.

Two months later, they win the Annual Talent Show at Gilroy Stadium where they perform 'Barefootin' and receive their first ever press article in the Gary Post Tribune.

Joe books the Jackson 5 into Mr Lucky's , a nightclub in Gary where they perform six times a week!


Joe sends a tape to Motown's founder Berry Gordy but it's returned three months later...

The J5 began entering many of the talent shows around Gary where they lived. One they won was at the Masque and Gavel Talent Show.

May 16:

Katherine gives birth to Janet Damito Jo Jackson in Gary.


The Jackson 5 win first prize in an amateur talent show at Gary 's Memorial Auditorium.

Joe enters the group in the Sunday Night Amateur Talent show at the Regal Theater in Chicago where they become three times winner and also win the Multiple Winners Super Talent show and are placed on the same bill as top R&B act of the year, Gladys Knight & The Pips.

The J5 are enter straight into the 'Super Dogs' final at Harlem 's legendary Apollo Theater in NYC and they win it! They come back as paid performers and Michael, backstage, gets to watch and study his favourite performers James Brown & Jackie Wilson.

New York lawyer, Richard Arons, helps Joe to book gigs in several cities (Saint Louis, Philadelphia, Kansas City & Washington).

At the end of the year, the group makes its first ever recording sessions in a studio owned by Mr Keith for a local record company named Steeltown Records.

July 1:

The Jackson Five plus Johnny on the drums performed a live show in the USA: Traveler's Lounge - Masonic Hall (Wisconsin).


January 31:

The Jackson 5 release their first single ever 'Big Boy' (1st pressing) in the USA by Steeltown Records which is premiered on a local radio station called WWCA.

February 14:

Joseph in a visit to New York, secure the group their most daunting gig to date, an appearance at the Apollo Theater's legendary Amateur Night as the opening act for Dave Prater (of Sam & Dave). As seasoned performers, the Jackson Five had little to fear and their worries proved unfounded. Not only did they win the ‘Superdog Final’, they also earned a rare standing ovation from a notoriously fickle audience.


The Jackson 5 make their first ever commercial photo shoot for Steeltown Records.

The Jackson 5 release their first single ever 'Big Boy' (2nd pressing) in the USA by Steeltown Records, distributed by ATCO Records.


The Jackson 5 record their second single for Steeltown, 'You Don't Have To Be 21 (To Fall In Love)' which eventually see the light of day in 1971.


The J5 perform at a campaign rally for Richard Hatcher in Gary with Bobby Taylor and Diana Ross & The Supremes among others.

April 26:

The Jackson 5 performed at Thomas Edison Junior-Senior Prom in Gary, Indiana.

May 24-30:

The J5 perform at the Apollo Theater in NYC.

June 28:

The Jackson 5 performed in the Sunset Ballroom at the National Association of Television and Radio Announcers (NATRA) hold its show/dance fund-raising affair, ‘Soul In’.


The J5 are the opening act for Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers at the Regal Theater in Chicago. The group is invited to perform on the David Frost Show in New York but Joe cancels their TV debut when Bobby Taylor asks them to come to a Detroit studio to make an audition for Motown!

July 23:

The J5 give an audition to Motown at the Hittsville Studio in Detroit with a filmed performance of 'I Got The Feelin' and the tape is sent to Berry Gordy. They meet Suzanne De Passe and Ralph Seltzer.

July 26:

Joe and the Jackson 5 sign a recording deal to Motown during a meeting with Joe Seltzer.

September 2:

The J5 perform at a benefit concert at Gilroy Stadium in Gary.

November 30:

While the Jackson 5 perform at the Regal Theater in Chicago, their sister Rebbie gets married to Nathaniel Brown at the Kingdom Hall of Gary (on month later they move to Kentucky).


Berry Gordy invites the Jackson 5 to perform at his house in Detroit. They meet Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and the Four Tops!

1969 / 1958-1968

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