I came across this while browsing the fantastic Google Books magazine archive, as I am wont to do. It's a special on Michael Jackson from the December 1982 issue of Ebony. Jackson had just released his landmark Thriller album and had contributed the song "Someone in the Dark" to the storybook for the film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The article is clearly from the age when M.J. could do no wrong, and the ugly rumors and innuendo that dogged his professional and personal lives had yet to surface. He was still simply Michael, beloved pop singer on the cusp of mega-stardom. But what's really fun -- and a little sad -- is to look at all the pictures, featuring Michael looking happy and rubbing elbows with the biggest names in entertainment at the time -- Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Dian
No matter what objectionable things I think he did, no matter what objectionable things I know he did, at this moment I can only look back on Michael Jackson's half century on this planet and think of the great things he did. I've gone through various stages of love and hate regarding Michael over the years. But one thing I didn't consider until today was that I've never really known of a musical universe without Michael in it in some fashion. I had just turned seven when Thriller came out, and I played that album a million times. Not long after that, maybe around 1984 or 1985, I suddenly decided that anything besides hard rock or heavy metal was garbage. I trashed my copy of Thriller and never even gave any of his subsequent albums a shot (I had an image to uphold, you know). But
Radio stations across America started playing Christmas (sorry, holiday) music at least a few weeks ago, but I refuse to acknowledge any of it until Thanksgiving dessert is done. So now that it's officially safe to enjoy some holiday tuneage, I thought I'd pass along some of my personal favorites to you. Because not all Christmas music is crap. #1 A Charlie Brown Christmas Vince Guaraldi Trio Let's just get this one out of the way now. I defy anyone to hear any part of "Skating" or "My Little Drum" and not be instantly transported back to their childhood. I can't say anything that hasn't been said a million times about A Charlie Brown Christmas, so I'll just implore you to add this to your collection even if you hate Christmas music. Just be careful what version you purcha
Everyone has a list of movies that they are compelled to watch when they happen across them on TV - no matter how late it is, and no matter how much of it has already been shown. At or near the top of my own list is the immortal 1992 musical biopic, The Jacksons: An American Dream. I don't even care about the Jackson 5 all that much. I downloaded one of their greatest hits collections to my iPod, but that's about it. So I'm at a loss to explain why I love this movie (originally a two-parter broadcast on ABC) so much. Maybe it's the voyeur in me who loves getting a peek at the secret dysfunction of one of the most successful groups of the 1970s. Sure, Tito and Jermaine Jackson may have had scores of prepubescent girls fawning over them, but when Joseph (brilliantly portrayed b...