The Jacksons 2004

[updated in 2009 with added chapters]

  In 1949, the Afro-American steel worker Joseph Jackson from Gary/Indiana married the love of his life Katherine Scruse. Less than one year later, they had their first daughter Rebbie, followed by eight more children until 1966. In the first years, their family life was characterized by severe poverty. Joseph Jackson worked day and night. Sometimes he would hold down three jobs only to make enough money for food and rent. When he recognized how musically gifted their children were, he invested in singing and dancing lessons for them. He was convinced that the American dream would come true for his family. History shows how right the ambitious father Joseph Jackson was...

  After they had won their first talent contests, there was no stopping the Jackson 5 anymore! For more than a decade, it was almost impossible to dislodge the sons of Joseph Jackson from the number one spot of the music charts. And until today, the five Jackson brothers are still considered to be the most influential band in modern black music. Without the Jackson 5, Soul, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop - and therefore most contemporary pop music - would not exist in its current form today.

  In the late 70s, Michael Jackson left the band and started his outstanding solo career. On his own, the "King of Pop" became even more successful. In order to describe him, a new word had to be invented: the "Megastar". With his songs, Michael Jackson broke all records: "Thriller" became the best selling album ever. Until today, round about 56 million copies have been sold!

  Since the 90s, Michael Jackson has been faced with competition from within his own family: His younger sister Janet conquers the peak of the charts with every CD- and is just as loved by her fans.

  But fame has its price. No famous personalities have ever been as exposed to the public eye as the members of the Jackson family - especially Michael Jackson. And the more famous he has become, the more people from all over the world have become fascinated by the icon of pop music and his idiosyncratic lifestyle.

  Now Joseph Jackson presents his very personal view of his family. He describes his efforts to turn his nine children into the most successful musicians ever. He portrays the story of a man who always sacrificed himself as much as possible in order to further the development of his children. But at the same time he doesn’t conceal the fact from his readers that his three daughters and his six sons experienced a strict upbringing. According to Joseph Jackson, instilling a sense of discipline in his children was the only way to ensure they would survive for many years in the tough music business. His fascinating biography draws the picture of an extraordinary family which represents for pop culture what the Kennedys represent for politics.

1. Our Ancestors 9. Emerging Talent 17. Moving to California 25. The Victory Tour 33. The Crisis
2. Childhood 10. Our First Recording 18. Panama 26. Janet's Career 34. Michael Defends Himself
3. School Years 11. Years With Berry Gordy 19. Adventures in Brazil 27. Jackson Mothers 35. The Press
4. Changes 12. Our Expirience With Motown 20. The Philippines 28. The Trip to Japan 36. The Disgusting Business
5. Trip To Indiana 13. Our First Trip Overseas 21. Goodbye Motown 29. Michael On Stage And Off 37. My life now
6. My Girl 14. Australia And The Aborigines 22. Joseph Jackson Productions 30. Jermaine and Michael in Africa 38. Good Advice In Conclusion
7. Marriage and Children 15. Touring the USA 23. A New Home For My Wife 31. LaToya
8. The Beginning 16. Africa 24. Rebbie 32. LaToya’s Problems With Jack