Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Who knows what hits lurk in the hearts of the Jackson 5?"

In Scoop Newsworthy's insightful interview last week with Weldon McDougal III, they talked about was how important it was for Motown to "sell" the Jackson 5 to radio disc jockeys, so they would get wide exposure through regular radio airplay.

One of the ways Motown called attention to new singles was to press the promo copies on color vinyl that would make them stand out amidst all the other white label dj copies that were sent out to radio stations. The first three Jackson 5 singles were pressed on red vinyl, and "I Want You Back" was issued with special promo sleeve that introduced the group.

When "ABC" was released a few months later, the initial standard white label promo was followed twelve days later with a "golden reservice" record, released with a printed sleeve to drive the point home.

Their third single, "The Love You Save" was also issued in red vinyl, as was the single's B-side, "I Found That Girl."

With two number one singles and a third single working its way up the charts, the Jackson 5 took time to pose with a local L.A. disc jockey, Shadoe Stevens. This photo appeared on KHJ's radio survey for the week of July 8, 1970.

By the time "I'll Be There" came out, the Jackson 5 were so hot that the record didn't need much in the way of flashy promotional gimmicks. It became the group's best selling single, just on the strength of the song itself. But Motown didn't forget the role djs had played in helping to get the Jackson 5 to the top of the charts, and they sent out a special postcard to thank them.


  1. Great promotional items, never knew I Want You Back had a sleeve. That postcard was sent in what, July? And they already had the cover of the Christmas Album on it. LOVE the pic, I love J5 the best in the Sly Stoney-street-groovy-duds, all the jumpsuits looked too showbizzy for me, and distanced me from the group. Hmmm, they were still wearing the street duds on Diana! Special in 71 and the concert in Goin' Back To Indiana, so it was '72 when they gave up the Sly Stone look for costumes. Actually that's when Sly did, too! So Love You Save and I Found That Girl was a double A side-- boy these guys at Motown had it all sussed out. Brilliant promotion, but I'm sure the J5 talent inspired everybody to do their best.

  2. .. I STILL say that picture was snapped on set of an unknown TV appearance.

  3. Could be, Justin. Or maybe they put in an appearance at some sort of live show sponsored by the radio station. Either way, this photo looks like it was taken in January or February of 1970.

  4. A rare TV appearance,I wouldn't be to surprised if that was in the vaults. Although I could only imagine them performing I Want you Back, because they performed it quite often on TV.

  5. Jackie's afro is kinda big for early 70. But its def. still a possibility