The video is a time machine. A portal to an era when music was pure and dancing was the language of the soul. When the country was at peace, and hope filled the air. It’s a performance that reminds us of simpler times but also how much progress we’ve made since then. This is the Jackson 5 performing “Who’s Loving You” on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 14, 1969.
In 1969, a gallon of milk was 89 cents, and a dozen eggs were 62 cents. The price of gas was only 35 cents per gallon. It was the year after the summer of love, and Woodstock was still fresh in everyone’s minds. Richard Nixon was President, and the world was changing rapidly. But for a few moments on a Sunday night in December, the Jackson 5 transported America to a place of pure joy.
The performance starts with a close-up of Michael Jackson, a child prodigy with a voice beyond his years. He sings with an intensity and raw emotion that belies his age. As he sings, the camera pans out to reveal his brothers behind him, all in matching suits and dancing in perfect synchronization. It’s a sight to behold.
The song “Who’s Loving You” was written by Smokey Robinson and first recorded by The Miracles in 1960. The Jackson 5’s version is a soulful rendition that showcases Michael’s range and talent. The song’s lyrics speak of heartbreak and loss, but the Jackson 5’s performance adds a layer of hope and resilience.
Most fans don’t know that Michael Jackson wasn’t supposed to sing “Who’s Loving You” that night. He had a cold and was supposed to lip-sync, but he insisted on singing live. It’s a testament to his dedication and passion for music, and it paid off in spades.
As the song builds to its crescendo, the audience can’t help but stand up and dance along. It’s a contagious energy that spreads through the studio and out into living rooms across America. The Jackson 5 became instant sensations, and “Who’s Loving You” became a hit single.
Watching this performance now, over 50 years later, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of nostalgia for a time when music brought people together. But it’s also a reminder of how far we’ve come. The Jackson 5 broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of Black musicians. Michael Jackson went on to become the King of Pop and one of the most iconic performers of all time.
So why should you watch this video and share it with your friends? Because, in a world that can often feel divided and uncertain, it’s a moment of unity and pure joy.