A performance that embodies the spirit of the late 1960s, a time of peace, love, and musical revolution. The year is 1969. A gallon of milk cost 34 cents, and the price of a gallon of gas was a mere 35 cents. President Nixon had just been inaugurated, and people across the nation were in the mood for something that would lift their spirits.
The quintet’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on December 14th, 1969, was momentous. The group had been making waves on the Motown scene for a while, but this performance was their introduction to a wider audience. From the moment they stepped on stage, it was clear that the Jackson 5 had something special.
“I Want You Back” was the song of choice, and it’s easy to see why. The track perfectly blends Motown’s signature sound and the emerging funk and soul influences of the late 60s. The opening riff alone is enough to get your toes tapping, and then Michael Jackson’s angelic voice kicks in, sending chills down your spine.
The performance itself is a marvel. The Jackson 5 are all dressed in matching suits and ties, looking impossibly cool. Michael, just 11 years old at the time, moves with the ease and grace of a seasoned performer. His brothers provide the perfect backup, adding their voices to create a sound that is nothing short of magical.
But it’s Michael who steals the show. From the moment he starts singing, the audience is transfixed. His voice is powerful and emotive, and his dance moves are electric. You can see the joy on his face as he performs, and it’s infectious. By the time the song reaches its climax, with Michael hitting that iconic high note, the crowd is on their feet, screaming their approval.
It’s a performance that has stood the test of time. Even all these years later, it’s impossible not to be moved by the sheer energy and talent on display. And it’s worth noting that this was just the beginning for the Jackson 5. They would go on to become one of the biggest acts in the world, with Michael becoming a pop icon in his own right.
But there’s something else that makes this performance special. Most people don’t know that “I Want You Back” wasn’t originally intended for the Jackson 5. It was written by the team of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell, and Deke Richards for Gladys Knight & The Pips. But when Motown executives heard the song, they knew it was a hit and gave it to the Jackson 5 instead. It’s hard to imagine anyone else singing it now.
So, my friends, I urge you to watch the video below. Let yourself be transported back to a time when music was king and the world was full of possibilities. And when you’re done, be sure to hit the like and share button because this is a performance that deserves to be seen by everyone.