Don’t blame it on sunshine, moonlight or good times – blame it on the boogie.
I have a keen sense of nostalgia, probably talking ad nauseam about my recollections of life in the 70’s, 80’s ad 90s’, but it’s the disco era I remember most fondly.
From my young point of view, I didn’t realize that the 60’s were a MAJOR coming-of-age for America…the Vietnam war, Woodstock, birth control pills, women’s rights and the moon landing were just some of many things that changed this country forever. Gone were the “Leave It To Beaver” days; issue in The Sonny & Cher Show, The Brady Bunch, The Jeffersons, Happy Days, The Partridge Family, Good Times, What’s Happening, One Day At A Time, etc. Some of these shows even involved the cast singing and/or dancing. Variety shows were immensely popular, and Lawrence Welk is still one of my all-time faves! But I digress.
There were also musical groups who had cartoons…as a youngster in the early 70’s, I watched the Osmonds and Jacksons on TV as often as I could, and both singing families had their own cartoons – did you know that? Check out the Osmonds cartoon opening sequence, and both families together in the same Saturday morning cartoon promo. I understood America’s fascination with a singing Mormon family – the clean, seemingly innocent family of singers and dancers who sang of cutesy things. I thought Donnie was cute – still do. However, the Jacksons will forever hold my interest. Several are accomplished musicians, as well as singers, songwriters, arrangers, producers, and dancers.
Yes, the family has had – and still has – it’s darker moments. Let’s step away from that in this article and focus on the musical contributions that one Jackson 5 member has made to popular music and the world as we know it.
The following was a video for the song “Blame It On The Boogie” by the Jacksons – it was the studio version of the video, but it’s not the only one. There were many others (search on YouTube) that prove they were certainly pioneers in music, video and marketing. Barry Gordy knew what he was doing as the king of Motown.
Jermaine Jackson – of late, has been associated with much controversy, but musically, he’s a talented singer, dancer and musician. Do you remember his string of hits in the 80’s?
- Let Me Tickle Your Fancy (collaboration with Devo! Yes, THAT Devo!)
- Do What You Do
- Let’s Get Serious (co-written by Stevie Wonder)
What you may not know is that Jermaine Jackson can play bass – very well. That man can jam! As a fellow (or lady) bass player, I can vouch for his chops, seen and heard. One day I’d love to see him play live, but YouTube will have to suffice for now. There’s been talk of his ‘ferocious’ bass playing skills on TalkBass.com, and they would know. Here are some clips for your enjoyment – dare I say, “Enjoy Yourself”?
Since the Jacksons were produced by Motown, it’s obvious Jermaine learned from the available talent pool. In this transcript from a Larry King Live interview in 2003, Jermaine says he’s mostly self-taught, learning by watching James Jamerson and Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone).
This is the same interview where Larry makes an embarrassing comparison: “… you were like the black Osmonds“. Larry. Shut. Up.
Oh, I could go on with a million links, but just peruse YouTube for Jermaine Jackson playing live; he’s just amazing. Very talented. And should get props for it. I wish he’d get back in the music business singing and playing. The family has some amazingly talented stand-outs, despite their questionable upbringing, and I wish the best for Jermaine and his career.
Playing the low notes 𝄢,