History / Today In History / August


The Jacksons Sing 'Elvira' - William Lee Golden Sings "Happy Birthday" To Michael. 31-08-'81

The Jacksons visited Nashville's Municipal Auditorium on August 31th, 1981 for his 'Triumph Tour' and grabbed this photo opportunity immediately after serenading William Lee Golden of The Oak Ridge Boys and his sons with the Oaks’ then current number-one hit, 'Elvira'.

William Lee Golden and family returned the favor, singing "Happy Birthday" to Michael, who had just turned 23 years old. They presented Michael with a birthday cake immediately after this photo was taken.

Triumph Tour - Backstage Nashville's Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee (31-08-1981)
The Jacksons met the Oak Ridge Boys backstage at the 'Triumph Tour'.

"I took my sons to see The Jacksons at the Nashville Arena, it was rumored at the time that it would be their last tour together." I love great entertainment and music of all styles and make a point to see the masters. The Jacksons were on the top of their game that night. They were incredible singers and dancers. Michael had an exceptional talent that shown the brightest.

Backstage I was able to meet them all. They were very gracious. At that time, 'Elvira' was at the top of the Pop charts and to my surprise they sung 'Elvira' to me and my sons. It was an evening we will never forget. I was amazed to watch him over the years as he accomplished even higher achievements and became one of the world's greatest entertainers.

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Opens The Stock Exchange At NASDAQ On Times Square (NYC). 30-08-'01

One day after his birthday, Michael Jackson opens up the NASDAQ Stock Market in Times Square, New York and kicks off his Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years performances at Madison Square Garden scheduled for September 7, 2001 and Monday, September 10, 2001, which are being produced by David Gest.

Nearly 500 fans from around the world who are planning on attending the anniversary concerts on September 7 and 10 arrived a few days early to witness Michael's appearance at the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower.

Just before the market opened at 9:30 am Michael entered wearing a respectable black suit with a blue armband. He blew kisses to the hundreds of fans that were outside crowding around the building's glass walls and windows while he was introduced to NASDAQ's executive vice president David Weild and NASDAQ CEO Wick Simmons.

When Simmons presented Michael with a glass trophy Michael commented, "It's like floating in the air," speaking of an object encased in the trophy.

Michael at NASDAQ (30-08-2001)
Michael Jackson appears at the Nasdaq Marketsite in Times Square, New York 30 August 2001 with David Weild (L), Nasdaq executive vice-president and Wick Simmons (R), Nasdaq CEO.

After Michael pushed the button to open the market, NASDAQ officials presented him with a vanilla birthday cake decorated with strawberries and a 1934 Shirley Temple poster. "I love it, oh my God," he exclaimed. He then blew out the candles on the cake , and sang "Happy Birthday."

Before he left the building he was taken on a brief tour of the NASDAQ broadcast studio, ate a piece of cake and talked and posed for pictures with some of the staffers.

Details for the Market opening ceremony are as follows:
The NASDAQ MarketSite building is located at 4 Times Square, at the corner of 43rd and Broadway.

At 9:30 a.m., Michael Jackson will preside over the market open ceremony from the broadcast studio, which faces the corner of 43rd and Broadway. The broadcast studio has large picture windows to give the public a clear, unobtrusive view into the studio from the street.

Nine plasma screens outline the broadcast studio, facing the street, for fans not positioned close to the windows.

MarketSite Tower, which is seven stories tall and is the largest stationary video wall in the world, will feature a live broadcast of the market open ceremony.

Source: Nasdaq / Billie Jean

The Jackson 5 Charms Lowa State Fair Crowd During 1971 Grandstand Show. 29-08-'71

The Jackson 5 in Des Moines (29-08-1971)Their star power helped push 1971 into the top five of our rankings of Grandstand lineups since 1970. Little known fact about the Jackson's State Fair concert: It was on Michael Jackson's 13th birthday.

Five young men came to the Iowa State Fair Sunday night and kept about 17,000 persons at two performances dancing in their seats.

The Jackson Five, decked out in colorful jump suits, Afros and a lot of energy, sang and danced their way into the hearts of the predominantly young, black crowd.

The five handled themselves like seasoned veterans, intertwining intricate dance steps with strong vocal arrangements.

Although each of the five had a chance to display their dexterity, the star of the show was Michael Jackson, lead singer and youngest of the five.

He even took time to explain the blues before launching into 'Who’s Loving You', one of the group’s first big sellers. And somehow, having this particular 12-year-old tell you he’s singing the blues is perfectly believable.

Jermaine Jackson also had his opportunity to display a very pleasing voice and performed 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' and 'I Found That Girl'.

The five did many of their hits including 'ABC', 'I’ll Be There', 'The Love You Save' and 'Never Can Say Goodbye', and the crowd squealed with delight at each song.

The group is backed by a drummer and organist – cousins of the Jackson brothers. They keep the talent in the family.

Not too many people may have noticed the man standing in the background just off stage, but he’s at every performance. He’s Joseph Jackson, father of the five entertainers. He watches every move they make and is there to greet them when they’ve finished their show. You can sense the pride he has in his sons.

And he has the right to be. The Jackson Five gave one of the most exciting performances of this year’s Iowa State Fair.

Source: Des Moines Register / Billie Jean

King Of Pop - The Belgian Edition (2CD Set) CD Album Cover'King Of Pop' Fan-Voted CD Album Released In Belgium. 29-08-'08

The fan-voted album 'King Of Pop - The Belgian Edition' double CD album was released in Belgium on August 28th, 2008.

New Zealand & UK Sony BMG UK teamed up with GMTV and The Sun allowing fans, until August 10, to pick 18 tracks from the Michael Jackson’s song pool. 66,000 people took part in the voting process.

The late, great Michael Jackson turned 50 on August 29th 2008, and Sony BMG gave his Belgian fans the chance to congratulate Michael by choosing the track list for his new release.

'King of Pop' contains 33-tracks chosen by Michael's Belgian fans, offering a unique track listing for this territory and also incorporates 'OpenDisc' technology, allowing access to exclusive content! Presented in sealed card slipcase with Het Nieuwsblad [Belgian newspaper] logo.

Track list:

CD 1:
1. Thriller - 5:12
2. Beat It - 4:15
3. Billie Jean - 4:52
4. Bad - 5:59
5. Black Or White - 4:14
6. Smooth Criminal - 4:16
7. Dirty Diana - 4:40
8. Can You Feel It - The Jacksons - 5:58
9. Heal The World - 4:30
10. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough - 3:59
11. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - 4:20
12. Blame It On The Boogie' - The Jacksons - 3:30
13. I Just Can't Stop Loving You - 4:09
14. Earth Song - 4:59
15. Childhood (Theme from Free Willy 2) - 4:27
16. The Girl Is Mine - 3:40
17. Rock With You - 3:25

CD 2:
1. Man In The Mirror - 5:17
2. Liberian Girl - 3:45
3. Blood On The Dance Floor - 4:10
4. The Way You make Me Feel - 4:57
5. We Are The World - USA For Africa (with Michael Jackson) - 5:19
6. Baby Be Mine - 4:19
7. Dangerous - 6:57
8. They Don't Care About Us - 4:10
9. Billie Jean 2008 (Kanye West Mix) - 4:35
10. Human Nature - 4:05
11. HIStory - 6:39
12. Say Say Say - 3:55
13. Remember The Time - 3:59
14. You Rock My World - 4:12
15. Beautiful Girl (Demo)- 4:04
16. Another Part Of Me - 3:45

Record label: Sony BMG
Released: 29-08-2008
Series number: 88697356272
Printed: Belgium
Guide price: 30 €

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Kicks Off The Asian Leg Of His Dangerous Tour In Thailand. 24-08-'93

Dangerous Tour (Thailand) (24-08-1993)Michael kicks off the Asian leg of his Dangerous Tour in Thailand with his first concert at Bangkok's National Stadium.

At 270 feet, the stage is wider than the widest American stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall, which measures 190 feet.

Reports surface in the media that Michael is under criminal investigation for child abuse by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Michael was honoring his 'Dangerous World Tour' concerts (the entire proceeds of which were being donated to his Heal The World Foundation), when news about allegations of improper conduct towards a minor broke and were made public by August 24th, 1993. He was preparing to perform the song 'Jam' when he learned about the shocking news. Regardless of it, he mustered up strength and performed the song, at the beginning of it removing a pair of dark glasses and revealing wet eyes and a tear streaking down his left cheek. Three days beforehand, a search warrant was issued, allowing police to search Michael's Neverland Ranch, Santa Ynez Valley, California.

Investigator Anthony Pellicano says the accusations are the result of a failed attempt to extort money from Michael Jackson. It transpires the boy's father, Evan Chandler, a dentist in Beverly Hills, wanted Michael to fund movie projects for him, so he could become a full-time screen-writer. When this request was refused, he threatened to make child molestation allegations against his son public.

Following the criminal allegations, Michael's newly hired criminal lawyer, Howard Weitzman, reads a statement to the press from Michael:
"My representatives have continuously kept me aware of what is taking place in California. I appreciate the remarks of Chief Willie Williams and our Los Angeles police department. I am confident the department will conduct a fair and thorough investigation and its results will demonstrate that there was no wrong doing on my part. I intend to continue with my world tour, and look forward to seeing all of you in the scheduled cities. I am grateful for the overwhelming support of my fans throughout the world. I love you all. Thank you. Michael."

The molestation story will dominate newspapers, magazines, and scandal TV shows for many months to come.

Source: The Visual Documentary / Billie Jean

Internet Simulchat (17-08-1995)Michael On Internet Simulchat. 17-08-'95

Michael Jackson broke many records and was the only Entertainer to use the latest technology to promote his art.

Michael Jackson did it again on August 17th, 1995 with simulchat, the first time people could talk all together on internet… and for the lucky ones, they did it with Michael Jackson!

For slightly more than an hour, Michael fielded questions about his music, his marriage, and the media. Each service had two typists with Jackson in a room at New York City’s Museum of Television & Radio, selecting questions and sending out Jackson’s dictated responses. ”The only rules were that there were no rules,” says Barry Johnson, head of New Technologies for Epic Records Group, Michael Jackson’s label. ”There was no rehearsing, no prepping.” Even so, most of the questions were painfully tame. The most provocative query came from Britain, where the Daily Mirror reported that wife Lisa Marie Presley was seeking a divorce. Michael responded, ”No, it’s not true” before the story appeared in U.S. papers the next morning.

While some on-line users were disappointed by the chat’s brevity, the services aren’t complaining: Subscribers spent $3 to $5 each to be part of the event. ”It wasn’t completely seamless, but we’ve learned a lot,” says AOL chat producer Amy Arnold. ”The experience for the members isn’t the same. They would like to be with the celebrity the whole time themselves.” If there’s a next one, says Arnold, it would be only with someone as well-known as the King of Pop. And maybe next time it won’t be such a royal pain.

Source: EW / Billie Jean

Michael Attends AME Church Service With Randy, Mesereau, Oxman & Steve Harvey In South Central.

Wearing a dark blue velvet jacket with a gold armband, Michael attends the First AME, African.

Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles for this morning’s service as a special guest of Rev. Cecil Murray. The church is one of the most respected churches in the Los Angeles African-American community.

At 10:00 a.m. Michael, his youngest brother Randy, entertainer Steve Harvey, and Michael’s attorney Mr. Thomas Mesereau sat comfortably towards the back of the church and enjoyed the service. Although news of Michael’s appearance was not widely publicized, the press from most major news channels were on hand. Much of the public learned of Michael’s appearance from hearing it mentioned on the Steve Harvey radio program earlier. There were a handful of fans who knew where the First AME Church was located and were able to be there to greet Michael.

After the service, Michael made his way to the Cecil Murray Education Center, a small school a block away that is run by the First AME Church. There, he was scheduled to greet a class room full of about 25 African-American children and answer their questions. The press however were told before Michael entered the room that there would be absolutely no questions that would be allowed by the press.

AME Church (15-08-2004)
Michael Jackson with his brother Randy and Steve Harvey attends the church's Cecil Murray Education Center.

Source: Billie Jean

Michael Shoots The 'You Rock My World' Short Film In Los Angeles. 13-08-'01

You_Rock_My_World_Video_Clip_-_On_the_set_(08-2001)Michael shoots the 'You Rock My World' 13-minute short film in Los Angeles directed by Paul Hunter and featuring Chris Tucker and a special appearance by Marlon Brando.

In the video, Michael and Chris portray men who are trying to gain a woman's, played by Kishaya Dudley, affection by subsequently following her around the neighbourhood. They find themselves in some trouble when they follow her into a neighbourhood club.

After Robert DeNiro turned Michael down to star in his newest video for 'You Rock My World', Michael turned to Marlon Brando, who was a longtime close friend that paid regular visits to his Neverland Ranch, resting there for weeks at a time. Brando also participated in Michael's two-day solo career 30th-anniversary celebration concerts in 2001, and gave a speech to the audience on humanitarian work.

The actor's son, Miko, was Michael's bodyguard and assistant for several years, and was also Michael's friend. He stated, "The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time... was with Michael Jackson. He loved it... He had a 24-hour chef, 24-hour security, 24-hour help, 24-hour kitchen, 24-hour maid service."

The video also features appearances from Michael Madsen and Billy Drago.

Source: Billie Jean

Diana Ross Invites The media To Meet The Jackson 5 At A Private Showcase At Daisy’s Disco 326 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. 11-08-'69

Diana Ross invites Hollywood’s media to come and meet Motown’s newest act – The Jackson 5 – between 6.30p.m. and 9.30p.m. at Daisy’s Disco, 326 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Berry Gordy boldly predicts that The Jackson 5's first three singles will be number one hit singles and that they will become one of the biggest-selling acts of the decade.

It was at this party that ten-year-old Michael, just over two weeks away from his 11th birthday, was instructed to tell interviewers that he was only eight years old. Ever the professional, young Michael understood the importance of publicity in show business, and eager to please, he gladly did as he was told.

The Jackson 5's early months in southern California are spent camped in the Hitsville studio with Bobby Taylor, acknowledged as the man who took The Jackson 5 to Motown, and writers/producers Freddie Perren, Deke Richards and Fonce Mizell – collectively known as ‘The Corporation’.

Michael met Bob Jones for the first time.

Diana Ross meet The Jackson 5 at a private showcase at Daisy's Disco 326 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills (11-08-1969)
Diana Ross invites Hollywood’s media to come and meet Motown’s newest act – The Jackson 5 – between 6.30p.m. and 9.30p.m. at Daisy’s Disco, 326 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

Source: Billie Jean

Off The Wall Album CoverEpic Releases The Album 'Off The Wall' Of Michael Jackson. 10-08-'79

'Off The Wall' album by Michael is released in the USA on August 10th, 1979. Mixing pop, R&B and jazz, the LP is produced by Quincy Jones with Michael co-producing the three songs which he wrote. He contributed 'Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough', 'Working Day And Night' and 'Get on the Floor'(co-written with Louis Johnson).

Michael and Quincy sought top writers and musicians for the album, with Rod Temperton who contributed three tracks: 'Rock With You', 'Off The Wall' and 'Burn This Disco Out'. Paul McCartney contributed the playful 'Girlfriend', Tom Bahler gave the emotional 'She’s Out of My Life' and Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene offered the quirky 'I Can’t Help It'. There was also one duet between Michael and Patti Austin called 'It’s the Falling in Love', which was written by Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster.

'Off The Wall' breaks new ground vocally for Michael, with his most adventurous and mature vocals to date. It breaks music industry records by being the first album ever to spawn four Top Ten singles in the US, two of which become number 1 hits and are certified Gold.

In Britain, for the first time in music history, a record five hit singles are released from one album.The album exceeds all expectations and is hugely successful on both the Pop and Black albums charts, eventually selling over twelve million copies worldwide.

Some of the early copies of 'Off The Wall' feature a free 7" picture disc of 'You Cant Win.'

The release of 'Off The Wall' in the same month that Michael turned 21 and took control of his own affairs, was definitely one of the major landmarks of Michael's life. It meant a great deal to him because the album's eventual success proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a former "child star" could mature into a recording artist with contemporary appeal.

Source: Billie Jean

'HIStory' Teaser. 07-08-'94

Michael shoots a teaser, a Communist-themed video, to promote his forthcoming album 'HIStory'. In the video, Michael is shown in full military attire, striding amid hundreds of Eastern Bloc-type soldiers past delirious fans. The teaser was filmed in Hungary where Michael hired a whole army of Russian soldiers to march in it. Accompanying him is his new bride Lisa-Marie.

The teaser introduces Michael as the General of a huge army, who is idolized and glorified by the masses. The video is directed by Rupert Wainwright, who also worked with NWA on 'Straight Outta Campton' and 'Express Yourself,' MC Hammer and George Clinton.

When they were shooting this video in Hungary said Dan Beck, a senior marketing executive who worked on the teaser, the production company would call me in the middle of the night and say, Michael wants more troops. Beck, relaying this tale to the New York Times, years later added of Michael: “He dreamed the big dream.”

HIStory Teaser (07-08-1994)
Michael Jackson shoots a teaser for his forthcoming album with a whole army of russian soldiers in Budapest!

Two versions of the 'HIStory' teaser have been presented to the public, the first was a short version (2:30) broadcast on television. The second, a full 4 minutes played in U.S. theaters before movies.

With a sweltering heat of about 40°C on the day of the shooting, Michael wore a jacket designed by his costume designer Michael Bush: a spectacular innovation since this was the first air conditioned jacket in the world. Michael could adjust the temperature inside the jacket as needed.

As part of the unusual and spectacular promotion, Michael erected 12 meter high statues of himself in various capital cities around the world as well as including a statue in the teaser video.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

Ben (Rat) Album CoverThe Album 'Ben' Is Released By Motown. 04-08-'72

The album ‘Ben’ of Michael Jackson is released on August 4th, 1972 in the USA on the Motown label.

The album’s original cover features a horde of rats superimposed on the bottom of Michael’s picture. This is soon withdrawn after complaints that children find the rats disturbing. Today, the withdrawn Rat’s Cover is a much sought-after collector’s item.

‘Ben’ is the second studio album by Michael who is still a member of the Jackson 5 at the time of its release. The album received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics.

'Ben' was successful peaking at number twelve in Canada, while charting within the top two-hundred positions in Australia and France.

Source: Billie Jean

'Majestic Kingdom' Failed, Detroiters Voted Down The Proposal. 04-08-'98

Don Barden, the controversial Detroit millionaire and applicant for a casino license (once owner of Barden Cablevision in Detroit), had a good idea. As a part of his casino license proposal in July 1998, he included an amusement park, with the help of the entertainer, Michael Jackson, called 'Majestic Kingdom'.

The plan included a hotel and casino, with restaurants, nightclubs and also a 'Michael Jackson Thriller Theme Park'. What a great idea! Our own little Disneyland in Detroit. And the river front would be a great place for a theme park for kids and adults.

Unfortunately, Barden and Jackson were denied a casino license by Detroit City Council. Barden then organized a referendum drive to overturn the council's decision, but that failed. Detroiters voted down the proposal.

Don Barden and Michael Jackson did have a good idea in their casino proposal. After hearing that his project 'Majestic Kingdom' was rejected by the people of Detroit, Michael returns to Los Angeles.

Michael attends an election-eve rally in support of Don Barden in Detroit (03-08-1998)
Michael Jackson returns to Detroit to convince the people to vote for his casino project, he attends an election-eve rally in support of Don Barden in Detroit (03-08-1998).

Source: Casino Detroit / Billie Jean

After Weeks Of Rumours, It’s Official. Michael Has Married Lisa Marie Presley. 01-08-'94

Michael has Married Lisa Marie Presley (26-05-1994)After weeks of rumours, it’s official. Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley announced that they had been married May 26th in the Dominican Republic. The bride, announcing that her married name is now Lisa Marie Presley Jackson, releases a statement through MJJ Productions.

In the statement, which is made in her name only, Lisa Marie says that she is very much in love with Michael and wants to dedicate her life to being his wife. The official statement gives no details of the marriage ceremony, or where it took place, saying only that the couple were married eleven weeks ago’ somewhere outside the United States.’

Pleading for privacy, Michael’s new wife says they are now looking forward to raising a family, and living a happy life together. The 26 year-old bride said the news was kept secret until now in the hopes of avoiding a media circus and so they could enjoy each other’s company.

Source: Billie Jean


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