Family, Fame, And A Father’s Quest For Fortune: Behind The Curtain Of The Jackson 5

Today Michael Jackson’s talent and fame casts a shadow over anything the Jackson 5 accomplished in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. But without the group, there would be no Michael Jackson. It wasn’t young Michael who grabbed the mic, danced on stage, and became a star — it was his father Joe Jackson who dreamt of a career in music, and it was Joe who made it happen for the family.

Before Michael was the King of Pop, Joe was the family patriarch who called the shots and kept a tight grip on his family’s future. With the passing of Michael Jackson, and now Joe, we wonder what could have been different had the cards fallen a different way. If the Jackson 5 had never topped the charts, would the family have gone a different way?

Joe Jackson Was a Boxer and Played in a Blues Band


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Before he was the father of ten kids, Joe Jackson had dreams of becoming a professional boxer. While working full-time at Inland Steel, he trained and competed in the ring on the side. He also played in a blues band. Joe was a guitar player for The Falcons, based in Indiana, and hoped to land a record deal.

However, one of the band members left and started a successful doo-wop group, and the band fell apart. By that time, his boxing career had ended, and it appeared to be the end of Joe’s hopes for a career in music, too.