The Jackson 5’s legendary debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show

The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 was an incredible group of singers containing the five brothers of the Jackson family.

The Jackson 5

And although they are now widely known worldwide for their Motown classics, the group was not even famous when they made their 1st appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1969.

On December 14th, everything changed for the Jacksons as many consider their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show to have been part of their big break into the industry.

Their performance was certainly memorable, with brothers Tito and Jermaine playing guitars, Jackie and Marlon singing backup, and little Michael as the lead singer.

They had choreographed dance moves and an energy that made everyone in the audience want to dance along.

And Michael’s voice was simply unbelievable. At only 10 years old, he had a range that many adults fail to grasp, and he sang every song with intense emotion that most kids cannot produce.

Michael, although so young, had no stage fright or nerves. He was confident and engaging, and he won over the hearts of everyone who was watching when he told an adorable story about meeting a young girl on the playground before singing one of their original tracks.

The Jackson 5

The Jacksons sang three songs that night on The Ed Sullivan show. They started with a cover of Sly and Family Stone’s “Stand!” and then followed with their soon-to-be-hit songs “Who’s Loving You” and “I Want You Back.”

While all three songs were well-received, “I Want You Back” quickly became a fan favorite when it was officially released in 1970 and immediately hit the top of the Billboard 100 Charts with the #1 spot.

And since its release, “I Want You Back” has sold over 6 million copies and is number 104 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In 1969, just before their debut performance on the show, The Jackson 5 signed a 7-year contract with Motown records, and continued to write, sing, and perform hit after hit.

The Jackson 5

People loved their moves, charisma, and catchy songs when watching the Jacksons’ performance that night and for years to come. However, although the band as a whole was beloved, it was apparent from that very first debut that Michael was destined to be a star.

In fact, after the band left the stage, Ed said to the audience, “That little fella in front is incredible.”

Although the band technically stayed together until 1984, Michael’s solo success took him in another direction.

Today, even though Michael Jackson ended up as the King of Pop and an icon of a generation, many remember him as he was on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969: Young, courageous, full of life, and doing what he loved, singing with his brothers.

If you liked this, share it with a friend.
The Jackson 5’s legendary debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show