Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School with the Jackson 5

I have had this odd little children's book in my collection for many years. It was published in 1972 by Let's Save the Children our of Chicago, and was written by E. Marie Johnson, a professor of Educational Psychology. The basic storyline traces the Jacksons' path to fame. The text also includes details about the Goin' Back to Indiana special and it retells the plot line of a few of the skits, although they refer to Tommy Smothers as "a guy from outer space." (Clearly Dr. Johnson missed the tv special.)

The design and layout of the book is really quite nice. Many of the photographs used to illustrate it were taken from the Jackson 5's 1971 appearance at West Side High School in Gary, Indiana. Others, like the one you see below, were taken at the J5's 1970 appearance at the Los Angeles Forum.

While the book is nicely designed, the writing is, in a word, dreadful. This spread has the worst verse of the bunch:

It is likely the only time in history when Marlon has been rhymed with snarl on.

Forced rhymes aside, I learned about the genesis of the book from this article that appeared in the Los Angeles Sentinel in 1973.

I haven't ever come across the book about Marvin Gaye from the same series, but I can just imagine the text.

Anyone who has ever been starvin' may
dig the music of Marvin Gaye.


  1. This is funny lol

    Love Jermiane's hat in the 71 Gary concert. What a cool hat!

  2. Anonymous said...
    Snarl on! Boy those pics are soooooooo groovy. Love Michael wearing that scarf-thing hanging from his belt. Their Sly-Stone era. Never saw this book when I was comin' up, but I did read that other one, by Ellen Molotovcocktail--or whatever her name was. On the cover of this one Tito looks like he's 'bout to get pissed at someone.

    Save the babies.

  3. The "GBTI" outfits are my fav J5 threads....Classic bubblegum!!

  4. I never saw any pictures of Jermaine and Tito's in Gary.
    That is a really cool hat, Jermaine's wearing.

    Really nice pictures!
    Thank you!

  5. I just got a copy of this book