Joseph “Joe” Jackson
Fountain Hill, Arkansas is a small town northeast of El Dorado. According to the 2010 census, signs located at the town’s border would read “Fountain Hill: Population 68.” But this small town is home to one of music’s biggest personalities. Joseph “Joe” Walter Jackson was born in Fountain Hill on July 26, 1929. He is the eldest of five children born to the late Samuel Jackson and Crystal Lee King, and patriarch of the most influential, successful performers in the music industry.
Jackson’s journey began at the age of 12. He moved to California with his father and remained there for six years, until relocating to the Chicago, Illinois-Gary, Indiana area at 18.
There, Jackson met and married Katherine Scruse in 1949, and during a 17-year period, the couple had seven sons and three daughters. From these progeny, the crane operator and former boxer would mold the most successful musical talents the world has seen.
It began in 1964, when Jackson and his wife recognized their children’s talent for singing and formed a music group initially consisting of eldest sons Jackie, Tito and Jermaine. Although the initial incarnation of The Jackson 5 consisted of the three eldest sons and two neighborhood children, eventually Marlon and Michael joined their brothers to make the group complete. Jackson saw tremendous potential in his children. He became their manager and producer, and fine-tuned his artistic vision for his gifted group. Jackson began to aggressively promote their talent, and began booking live performances for a wide variety of audiences across the state of Indiana.
By 1967 the Jackson brothers began to book paid performances, and Jackson’s commitment to excellence paid off. In 1968, the talented brothers caught the attention of executives at Motown Records, and were subsequently signed by the label. Shortly afterwards, the brothers became international recording stars.
The Jackson 5 went on to achieve fame as one of the most popular and successful cross-over groups of the 70s. By fostering the success of the Jackson 5, Jackson is not only credited with launching one of music’s most memorable group’s, his vision is also credited with introducing the world to two of music’s biggest icons: Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. The accomplishments of these artists makes Jackson influential in the shaping of today’s music vibe, and to this day he remains one of the most successful music producers in the industry.