Jackson 5's Jackie Jackson

Today is the 47th birthday of Jackie Jackson, the oldest of the

superstar singing group first known as the Jackson 5 and later as the

Jacksons -- both vocal ensembles spotlighting the voice of Michael

Jackson. The Jackson 5 were one of the greatest hit-making acts of the

'70s. Its members were all brothers: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and

Michael. The boys were raised in Gary, Ind., and sent into the music world

by their father, Joe, in 1966.

In 1969, Bobby Taylor of the Motown act the Vancouvers brought the

Jackson 5 to that record label's attention. In 1970, "I Want You Back"

topped the U.S. singles chart, becoming the first of the group's 13 top-

20 singles. Others included "ABC" (1970), "I'll Be There" (1970),

"Never Can Say Goodbye" (1971) and "Dancing Machine" (1974). In 1975, the

Jackson 5 left Motown over creative-control issues and changed their name

to the Jacksons to sign with Epic Records. At their new label, the

Jacksons began writing and producing most of their material and resumed

their hit-making, including 1976's "Enjoy Yourself" and 1979's "Shake Your

Body (Down To The Ground)". As the '80s began, Michael's career began to

eclipse the group's and he became the most successful recording artist of

his time. In the '90s, the Jacksons tried various reunion events, the

success of these being determined by Michael's always-questionable

participation. In 1994, the "Jackson Family Honors" charity TV show, for

which Michael was a no-show, was a ratings disaster and resulted in

lawsuits. However, in 1998, the brothers are reportedly planning another

such benefit. "Earthvision '98," to be headlined by a Jacksons

performance, is scheduled to be broadcast live this summer from Athens,

Greece, and will honor the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sophia Loren, Stevie

Wonder and Bishop Desmond Tutu for public service.

Other birthdays: Ed Cassidy (Spirit), 74; Dick Dale, 61; Nick Ashford

(Ashford &

Simpson), 55; Ronnie Bond (the Troggs), 55; Georg Wadenius (Blood, Sweat

and Tears), 53; and Mike Dirnt (Green Day), 26.