Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jackson 5, You're on the Air

There's a wonderful radio interview on YouTube now, recorded in 1973 when the Jackson 5 were in New York City for a concert appearance. The interview was long and free-ranging, more spontaneous than J5 interviews usually were, and the personalities of the six brothers really emerge. It was first broadcast live on WWRL on July 22, 1973.

In Part One they talk about their recent tours in Australia and New Zealand, their early years in Gary, the copy-cat groups, their recent LPs, why Tito's wife doesn't tour with them, and Janet's desire to join the Jackson 5.

In Part Two the talk about their upcoming tour to Africa, the role of their parents in their success, rehearsals, their musical influences, their hobbies, show business advice, and bubblegum vs funk.

Part 3 opens with a radio concert ad, and then the interview continues with questions about concerts, a solo song they have written and produced for Randy, fans,and their upcoming concerts.

In Part 4 they talk about what they do in their off-time on tour, favorite foods, Jermaine's cooking, what Randy likes best about show business, Jackie's upcoming solo LP, their J5 cartoon series, and the Sylvers.

Part 5 begins with the DJ opening the interview to others in the studio so they can ask questions. They talk quite a bit about how they work in the recording studio, what sorts of songs they like to record, their "cousins" Ronnie and Johnny, Steve Manning and the Jackson 5 fan club, favorite television shows, and Jackie's girl friend Debraca Foxx.

In Part 6, they talk about Jackie's recent car accident, Jermaine and Tito's cars, auto insurance (?), Isaac Hayes' cover version of "Never Can Say Goodbye," the Sylvers (again), security, the J5's worldwide image, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" as a million-seller in New Zealand, the J5 as role models for Black kids, and financial matters. The interview closes by playing "Never Can Say Goodbye" in its entirety, and the J5 return at the every end to say goodbye. Tito ends with the surprising revelation that this was the first time they had ever been invited by a DJ to come to the studio for an on-air interview. "I think that you guys are groovy disc jockeys, outta sight."

Later that day, the Jackson 5 posed backstage with some young fans prior to their concert.


  1. I Love it!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for coming back J5Collector! Roberta

  2. Did you notice that Michael was still saying he was the younger age yet Jermaine, et all were telling their accurate ages by then? Fascinating.

  3. This interview has been online for a while now.
    It was first uploaded in 2009 and has recently been re-uploaded. You can still download it for free on the original website:

    It really is a great interview!

  4. Thanks for the link, Raisa! It's nice to have the complete interview with the music included.

    Does anyone know the original source? Was this one of those radio interviews that was issued on a vinyl record? Also, if anyone knows the name of the dj -- which I don't think was ever mentioned on air -- I'd love to know it.

  5. A great interview and I wish there were more out there! I'll have to ask my buddy Steve Manning if he every gave Jermaine a basketball! LOL!

  6. Love listening to this interview! You can hear lots of pictures being taken throughout.. Wonder where those ended up?

  7. You can also hear little kids in the background occasionally. Someone at the station must have brought their kids to meet the J5.

  8. I can't believe it. In the cartoon series Jermaine's a great cook, and in real life he's so bad he burns water.