Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time, he was known for his unorthodox lifestyle, residing in a private amusement park he called Neverland Ranch, becoming the focus of tabloid scrutiny. Jackson's contributions to music and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades; the eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records, in the early 1980s, became a dominant figure in popular music, his music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool.
Their popularity helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Bad was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, he continued to innovate throughout the 1990s with videos such as "Black or White" and forged a reputation as a touring artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized complicated dance techniques such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, his sound and style have influenced artists of various genres. Jackson is one of the best-selling music artist of all time, with estimated sales of over 350 million records worldwide, his other albums, including Off the Wall, HIStory rank among the world's best-selling. He won hundreds of awards, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, is the only pop or rock artist to have been inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame, his other achievements include Guinness world records, 15 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards, 13 number-one US singles. Jackson was the first artist to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades.
In the late 1980s, Jackson became a figure of controversy due to his changing appearance and behavior. In 1993, he was accused of sexually abusing the child of a family friend; the case led to an investigation and was settled out of court for $25 million in 1994. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further child sexual abuse allegations and several other charges. In 2009, while preparing for a series of comeback concerts, This Is It, Jackson died from an overdose of propofol and benzodiazepine given to him by his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Jackson's fans around the world expressed their grief, his public memorial service was broadcast live. In 2019, the documentary Leaving Neverland detailed renewed allegations of child sexual abuse and led to an international backlash against Jackson. Michael Joseph Jackson was born in Gary, near Chicago, on August 29, 1958, he was the eighth of ten children in the Jackson family, a working-class African-American family living in a two-bedroom house on Jackson Street.
His mother, Katherine Esther Jackson, played clarinet and piano, had aspired to be a country-and-western performer, worked part-time at Sears. His father, Joseph Walter "Joe" Jackson, a former boxer, was a crane operator at U. S. Steel and played guitar with a local rhythm and blues band, the Falcons, to supplement the family's income, his father's great-grandfather, July "Jack" Gale, was a Native American medicine man and US Army scout. Michael grew up with five brothers. A sixth brother, Marlon's twin Brandon, died shortly after birth. Joe acknowledged that he whipped Michael, he recalled that Joe sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed, ready to physically punish any mistakes. Katherine Jackson stated that although whipping is considered abuse in more modern times, it was a common way to discipline children when Michael was growing up. Jackie, Tito and Marlon have said that their father was not abusive and that the whippings, which were harder on Michael because he was younger, kept them disciplined and out of trouble.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, Jackson said that his youth had been lonely and isolating. In 1964, Michael and Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers—a band formed by their father which included Jackie and Jermaine—as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine. In 1965, Michael began sharing lead vocals with Jermaine, the group's name was changed to the Jackson 5; the following year, the group won a talent show. From 1966 to 1968 they toured the Midwest; the Jackson 5 performed at clubs and cocktail lounges, where striptease shows were featured, at local auditoriums a
Commodores is an American funk/soul band, at its peak in the late 1970s through the mid 1980s. The members of the group met as freshmen at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, signed with Motown in November 1972, having first caught the public eye opening for the Jackson 5 while on tour; the group's most successful period was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when Lionel Richie was the co-lead singer. The band's biggest hit singles are ballads such as "Easy", "Three Times a Lady", "Nightshift". In 1986, the Commodores won their first Grammy for the song "Nightshift"; the Commodores came together from two former student groups, the Mystics and the Jays. Richie described some members of the Mystics as "jazz buffs". Together, a six-man band was created from which the notable individuals were Lionel Richie, Thomas McClary, William King from the Mystics, they wanted to change the name. To choose a new name, William King randomly picked a word. "We lucked out," he remarked with a laugh. "We became'The Commodes.'"The band originated while its members attended Tuskegee University in Alabama.
After winning the university's annual freshman talent contest, they played at fraternity parties as well as a weekend gig at the Black Forest Inn, one of a few clubs in Tuskegee that catered to college students. They performed cover tunes and some original songs with their first singer, James Ingram. Ingram, older than the rest of the band, left to serve active duty in Vietnam, was replaced by Walter "Clyde" Orange, who wrote, or co-wrote, many of their hit tunes. Lionel Richie and Orange alternated as lead singers; the early band was managed by Benny Ashburn, who brought them to his family's vacation lodge on Martha's Vineyard in 1971 and 1972. There, Ashburn test marketed the group by having them play at outdoor spaces such as parking lots and summer festivals; the Commodores made. They performed the song "Too Hot ta Trot" during the dance contest. "Machine Gun", the instrumental title track from the band's debut album, became a staple at American sporting events, is featured in many films, including Boogie Nights and Looking for Mr. Goodbar.
It reached No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975. Another instrumental, "Cebu" became a staple in the Quiet storm format. Three albums released in 1975 and 1976 are considered the peak of their harder funk period. After those recordings the group started to move towards a softer sound; that move was hinted at in their 1976 Top Ten hits "Sweet Love" and "Just to Be Close to You". In 1977 the Commodores released "Easy", which became the group's biggest hit yet, reaching No. 4 in the U. S. followed by "Brick House" top 5, both from their album The Commodores, as was "Zoom". The group reached No. 1 in 1978 with "Three Times a Lady". In 1979 the Commodores scored another top-five ballad, "Sail On", before reaching the top of the charts once again with another ballad, "Still". In 1981 they released two top-ten hits with "Oh No" and their first upbeat single in five years, "Lady". In 1982, Lionel Richie left to pursue a solo career. Skyler Jett replaced Richie as co-lead singer. In 1982, their manager Benjamin Ashburn who managed another band Platinum Hook died of a heart attack aged 54.
Over time, several founding members left - McClary left in 1983 to pursue a solo career and to develop a gospel music company. McClary was replaced by guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds, while LaPread left in 1986 and moved to Auckland, New Zealand. Reynolds departed for Earth, Wind & Fire in 1987, which prompted trumpeter William "WAK" King to take over primary guitar duties for live performances. Keyboardist Milan Williams exited the band in 1989 after refusing to tour South Africa; the group gradually abandoned its funk roots and moved into the more commercial pop arena. In 1984 former Heatwave singer James Dean "J. D." Nicholas assumed co-lead vocal duties with drummer Walter Orange. The band remained hitless until 1985 when their final Motown album, produced by Dennis Lambert—all prior albums were produced by James Anthony Carmichael—delivered the title track "Nightshift", a tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson who had both died the previous year. "Nightshift" won the Commodores their first Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 1985.
In 2010 a new version was recorded, dedicated to Michael Jackson. The Commodores were on a European tour performing at Wembley Arena, London, on June 25, 2009, when they walked off the stage after they were told that Michael Jackson had died; the band thought it was a hoax. However, back in their dressing rooms they broke down in tears; the next night at Birmingham's NIA Arena, J. D. Nicholas added Jackson's name into the lyrics of the song, thenceforth the Commodores have mentioned Jackson and other deceased R&B singers, thus came the inspiration upon the one-year anniversary of Jackson's death, to re-record, with new lyrics, the hit song "Nightshift" as a tribute. In 1990 the Commodores formed Commodores Records and re-recorded their 20 greatest hits as Commodores Hits Vol. I & II
"My Guy" is a 1964 hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, the song is a woman's rejection of a sexual advance and affirmation of her fidelity to her boyfriend, her ideal and with whom she is happy, despite his ordinary physique and looks.. At the session for the "My Guy" backing track the studio musicians were having issues completing the intro: with the musicians having been playing all day and a half-hour scheduled studio time left, trombonist George Bohanon said to keyboardist Earl Van Dyke that the opening measure of "Canadian Sunset" could be juxtaposed on the intro's chord changes, Van Dyke, the session bandleader, expediently constructed an intro incorporating the opening of "Canadian Sunset" and the "left hand notes" from "Canadian Sunset" composer Eddie Heywood's rendition of "Begin the Beguine". Van Dyke would recall: "We were doing anything to get the hell out of that studio. We knew that the producers didn't know nothing'bout no'Canadian Sunset' or'Begin the Beguine'.
We figured the song would wind up in the trash can anyway". When Wells recorded her vocal she sang over the song's outro with a huskiness evoking the line delivery of Mae West: Wells would recall: "I was only joking but the producers said'Keep it going, keep it going'.""My Guy" became the biggest hit for Wells, Motown's first female star, reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on 16 May 1964. The song led the Cashbox magazine R&B chart for seven weeks. "My Guy" was Wells' last hit single for Motown, except for duets she recorded with label mate Marvin Gaye. An option in her recording contract let Wells terminate the contract at her discretion after she reached her twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1964. Encouraged by her ex-husband, Wells broke her Motown contract and signed with 20th Century Fox in hopes of higher royalties and possible movie roles. However, Wells' career never again reached the heights it had at Motown, she never again had a hit single as big as "My Guy".
Her version of the song was used in the film "More American Graffiti" In the United Kingdom, "My Guy" peaked at number five in June 1964. Lead vocals by Mary Wells Background vocals by The Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow, Louvain Demps Written and produced by William "Smokey" Robinson Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers: Earl Van Dyke: organ Johnny Griffith: piano Eddie Willis: guitar Robert White: guitar James Jamerson: double bass Benny Benjamin: drums Dave Hamilton: vibes Herbert Williams: trumpet Russ Conway: trumpet Paul Riser: trombone George Bohanon: trombone "My Guy" has three times returned to the "Billboard" Hot 100 first as rendered by Petula Clark whose rendition featured on her 1971 album Now peaked at #70 crossing over from the Easy Listening chart where it reached #12. In 1980 Amii Stewart and Johnny Bristol recorded a medley of "My Guy" and another Motown classic, the Temptations' "My Girl": "My Guy - My Girl" peaked #63 in the U. S. - #76 R&B - and #39 UK. The track was re-issued in 1986 with Bristol's vocal being replaced by Deon Estus: this version reached #63 UK.
Sister Sledge remade "My Guy" for their 1982 album self-produced album The Sisters: Kathy Sledge, the group's usual lead singer, would recall - "I had little input, but I did push for'My Guy'." Issued as the album's lead single, "My Guy" afforded Sister Sledge their third Top 40 hit although with a #23 peak its chart impact was well below that of the group's precedent hits "He's the Greatest Dancer" and "We Are Family", which had respective chart peaks of #9 and #2. "My Guy" afforded Sister Sledge a fifth and final Top 20 R&B hit its R&B chart peak being #14. The Sister Sledge version of "My Guy" had its strongest impact on the Easy Listening chart where it rose as high as #2. Sister Sledge performed "My Guy" on the episode of the CBS-TV sitcom The Jeffersons entitled My Guy, George taped 17 January 1984 and broadcast 4 March 1984: in the guise of struggling musical act the Satin Sisters, Sister Sledge wooed George Jefferson to act as their manager by singing him an a cappella rendition of "My Guy" with the lyrics modified to flatter Jefferson.
"My Guy" has twice reached the C&W chart in renderings by Margo Smith. The song has been recorded by Lucia Altieri, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Holloway, Claudine Longet, Barbara McNair, Melba Moore, Dara Sedaka, Helen Shapiro. Mary Wells herself re-recorded the song in a funk rendition for her 1984 album, I'm a Lady. More than via any straightforward remake, "My Guy" has had its highest profile since the Mary Wells original through its appearance on the soundtrack of the Whoopi Goldberg film Sister Act in a rendition that substitutes "My Guy" with "My God," transforming the song into a faux-gospel number. In 1999, "My Guy" was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2008, the Los Angeles-based rock group Warpaint performed a version of the song on their EP Exquisite Corpse under the title "Billie Holliday". Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
The Temptations is an American vocal group who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single "Cloud Nine" in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music; the band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations is among the most successful groups in popular music. Featuring five male vocalists and dancers, the group formed in 1960 in Detroit, Michigan under the name The Elgins; the founding members came from two rival Detroit vocal groups: Otis Williams, Elbridge "Al" Bryant, Melvin Franklin of Otis Williams & the Distants, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams of the Primes. In 1964, Bryant was replaced by David Ruffin, the lead vocalist on a number of the group's biggest hits, including "My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg", "I Wish It Would Rain".
Ruffin was replaced in 1968 by Dennis Edwards, with whom the group continued to record hit records such as "Cloud Nine" and "Ball of Confusion". The group's lineup has changed since the departures of Kendricks and Paul Williams from the act in 1971. Members of the group have included singers such as Richard Street, Damon Harris, Ron Tyson, Ali-Ollie Woodson, with whom the group scored a late-period hit in 1984 with "Treat Her Like a Lady". Over the course of their career, the Temptations released four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles and fourteen R&B number-one singles, its music has earned three Grammy Awards. The Temptations was the first Motown recording act to win a Grammy Award - for "Cloud Nine" in 1969 - and in 2013 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Six of the Temptations were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Three classic Temptations songs, "My Girl", "Just My Imagination", "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
The Temptations was ranked at number 68 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time. As of 2018, the Temptations continues to perform with founder Otis Williams in the lineup. Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams started singing together in church as children. By their teenage years, they formed a doo-wop quartet in 1955 with Kell Osborne and Wiley Waller, naming themselves the Cavaliers. After Waller left the group in 1957, the remaining trio left Birmingham to break into the music business; the group settled in Detroit where they changed their name to the Primes under the direction of Milton Jenkins. The Primes soon became well known around the Detroit area for their meticulous performances. Jenkins created a sister group, The Primettes known as the Supremes. Kendricks was seen as a "matinee idol" in the Detroit area while Williams was well received for his baritone vocals. Texas teenager Otis Williams moved to Detroit as a youngster to be with his mother. By 1958, Williams was the leader of a vocal group named the Siberians.
The group included James "Pee-Wee" Crawford, Vernard Plain and Arthur Walton. The group recorded a song, "Pecos Kid" for a label run by radio deejay Senator Bristol Bryant. Shortly after its release, the group changed its name to The El Domingoes. Following this, Montgomery native Melvin Franklin replaced Arthur Walton as bass vocalist and Detroit-born Richard Street replaced Vernard Plain as lead singer. Signing with Johnnie Mae Matthews' Northern Records, the group had their name changed again to The Distants; the group recorded two Northern singles including "Come On" and "Alright". Between these releases, Albert "Mooch" Harrell replaced Pee-Wee Crawford. "Come On" became a local hit and the Warwick Records label picked the record up for national distribution. Following the release of "Alright", Matthews appointed Williams the group leader, the group's name was changed to Otis Williams & The Distants. During this period, both the Primes and Distants were influenced by other vocal groups including the Miracles.
Other inspirations included the Cadillacs, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Drifters, the Isley Brothers. Though "Come On" was a local hit in the Detroit area, the Distants never saw much record sales and "Alright" was not as successful. After receiving an offer from Berry Gordy to sign with Motown Records, the Distants got out of their contract with Northern Records. However, Mooch Harrell and Richard Street shortly departed from the group and the remaining members lost use of the Distants name. Richard Street formed another Distants group who recorded for the Thelma label in the early 1960s. Members of the Distants were acquainted with the Primes as both groups participated in the same talent shows and performed at the same public venues. Friendly rivals, the Primes were considered to be the more polished and vocally stronger group of the two; the Primes disbanded in 1960 after Kell Osborne moved to California. Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams returned to Alabama following the band's dissolution.
While visiting relatives in Detroit, Kendricks called Otis Williams, who needed two more members for an audition for Gordy's label and offered Kendricks a lead singer place in his new group. Kendricks agreed on the condition. Otis Williams agreed and Kendricks and Paul Williams moved back to Detroit to join th
The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity, it is said that their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success. Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, Betty McGlown, the original group, are all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, they formed the Primettes as the sister act to the Primes. Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, the group signed with Motown the following year as the Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, Ross and Wilson carried on as a trio.
During the mid-1960s, the Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer and Holland-Dozier-Holland as its songwriting and production team. In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, so the group's name reverted to The Supremes. During the mid-1970s, the lineup changed with Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene joining the group until, after 18 years, The Supremes disbanded in 1977. In Detroit in 1958, Florence Ballard, a junior high school student living in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, met Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who were two members of a Detroit singing group known as the Primes. Ballard sang, as did Paul Williams' girlfriend Betty McGlown, so Milton Jenkins, the Primes's manager, decided to create a sister group to be called the Primettes. Ballard recruited her best friend Mary Wilson. Mentored and funded by Jenkins, the Primettes began by performing hit songs of artists such as Ray Charles and the Drifters at sock hops, social clubs and talent shows around the Detroit area.
Receiving additional guidance from group friend and established songwriter Jesse Greer, the quartet earned a local fan following. The girls crafted an age-appropriate style, inspired by the collegiate dress of popular doo-wop group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Within a few months, guitarist Marvin Tarplin was added to the Primettes' lineup— a move that helped distinguish the group from Detroit's many other aspiring acts by allowing the girls to sing live instead of lip-synching. After winning a prestigious local talent contest, the Primettes' sights were set on making a record. In hopes of getting the group signed to the local upstart Motown label, in 1960 Ross asked an old neighbor, Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, to help the group land an audition for Motown executive Berry Gordy, who had proven himself a capable songwriter. Robinson liked "the girls" and agreed to help, but he liked their guitarist more. Robinson arranged for the Primettes to audition a cappella for Gordy—but Gordy, feeling the girls too young and inexperienced to be recording artists, encouraged them to return when they had graduated from high school.
Undaunted that year the Primettes recorded a single for Lu Pine Records, a label created just for them, titled "Tears of Sorrow", backed with "Pretty Baby". The single failed to find an audience, however. Shortly thereafter, McGlown became left the group. Local girl Barbara Martin was McGlown's prompt replacement. Determined to leave an impression on Gordy and join the stable of rising Motown stars, the Primettes frequented his Hitsville U. S. A. recording studio every day after school. They convinced Gordy to allow them to contribute hand claps and background vocals for the songs of other Motown artists including Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells. In January 1961, Gordy relented and agreed to sign the girls to his label – but under the condition that they change the name of their group; the Primes had by this time combined with Otis Williams & the Distants and would soon sign to Motown as the Temptations. Gordy gave Ballard a list of names to choose from that included suggestions such as "the Darleens", "the Sweet Ps", "the Melodees", "the Royaltones" and "the Jewelettes".
Ballard chose "the Supremes", a name that Ross disliked as she felt it too masculine. On January 15 the group signed with Motown as the Supremes. In the spring of 1962, Martin left the group to start a family. Thus, the newly named Supremes continued as a trio. Between 1961 and 1963, the Supremes released six singles, none of which charted in the Top 40 positions of the Billboard Hot 100. Jokingly referred to as the "no-hit Supremes" around Motown's Hitsville U. S. A. offices, the group attempted to compensate for their lack of hits by taking on any work available at the studio, including providing hand claps and singing backup for Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. During these years, all three members took turns singing lead: Wilson favored soft ballads, Ballard favored soulful, hard-driving songs, Ross favored mainstream pop songs. Most of their early material was produced by Berry Gordy or Smokey Robinson. In December 1963, the single "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" peaked at number 2
The Tears of a Clown
"The Tears of a Clown" is a song written by Hank Cosby, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla Records label subsidiary of Motown, first appearing on the 1967 album Make It Happen. It was re-released in the United Kingdom as a single in July 1970, it became a #1 hit on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 12 September 1970. Subsequently, Motown released "The Tears of a Clown" as a single in the United States as well, where it became a #1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts; this song is a 2002 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. Its success led Miracles lead singer and producer Smokey Robinson, who had announced plans to leave the act, to stay until 1972. Stevie Wonder and his producer Hank Cosby wrote the music for the song, Cosby produced the instrumental track recording. Wonder brought the instrumental track to the 1966 Motown Christmas party because he could not come up with a lyric to fit the instrumental. Wonder wanted to see.
Robinson, who remarked that the song's distinctive calliope motif "sounded like a circus," provided lyrics that reflected his vision and sang lead vocal. In the song, his character, sad because a woman has left him, compares himself to the characters in the opera Pagliacci, comedians/clowns who hide their hurt and anger behind empty smiles, he had used this comparison before: the line "just like Pagliacci did/I'll try to keep my sadness hid" appears in the song "My Smile Is Just A Frown," which he had written in 1964 for Motown artist Carolyn Crawford. The record is one of the few hit pop singles to feature the bassoon, played by Charles R. Sirard."The Tears of a Clown" was an album track on 1967's Make It Happen but was not released as a single. "The Tears of a Clown" on the monaural version of Make It Happen contains an alternate lead vocal. By 1969, Robinson had become tired of touring with the Miracles, wanted to remain home in Detroit, with his wife Claudette and their two children and Tamla.
Robinson informed his groupmates Pete Moore, Bobby Rogers, best friend Ronald White that he would be retiring from the act to concentrate on his duties as vice-president of Motown Records. In 1970, to capitalize on the Miracles' success there, due to a lack of new material from the group, Motown Britain selected "The Tears of a Clown" from the group's catalog for single release; the single became a #1 hit in the UK seven weeks after its July release. This newfound popularity prompted Motown to release the song as a single in the United States, using a new mix of the song made in February 1970, where it became a #1 hit on both the pop and R&B charts within two months of its release. Despite the fact that the Miracles had been one of Motown's premier acts in the early and mid-1960s and its first successful group act, "The Tears of a Clown" was their first and only #1 hit while Smokey Robinson was lead singer; the 45 single was issued with two different B-sides: the first pressing had an alternate version of the 1967 Miracles Top 20 hit single "The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage.
Motown released a Tears of a Clown LP in 1970 as well, a re-packaging of the Miracles' 1967 Make It Happen. It was included again on the group's 1971 LP One Dozen Roses. Two years Smokey Robinson decided to follow through with his plans to leave the Miracles and retire. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles embarked on a six-month farewell tour, culminating in a July 16, 1972 performance in Washington, DC, where Robinson introduced the Miracles' new lead singer, Billy Griffin; the song charted again in the UK in 1976, peaking at #34. "The Tears of a Clown" continues to be a popular radio request. The MiraclesSmokey Robinson – lead vocals Claudette Rogers Robinson – background vocals Pete Moore – background vocals Ronnie White – background vocals Bobby Rogers – background vocals Marv Tarplin – guitarOther personnelWritten by Stevie Wonder, Hank Cosby, William "Smokey" Robinson Produced by Hank Cosby and William "Smokey" Robinson Charles R. Sirard – bassoon Other instrumentation by The Funk Brothers There is some uncertainty about who from the Motown session musicians The Funk Brothers played bass on the recording.
Variously Tony Newton, Bob Babbitt, James Jamerson have been noted as playing on takes of the song. Petula Clark recorded the song in 1971 for her album Petula'71. A ska-flavored recording of the song was a #6 hit in the UK for the English ska/new wave band The Beat in 1979, their rendition was hit in Ireland, reaching #16. The song was recorded in a funk re-arrangement. In 1984, The Flying Pickets recorded the song on their album Lost Boys. In 1986, Baby Tuckoo recorded the song as the A-side for an EP release; the song was covered on Enuff Z'Nuff's compilation of their original demos, 1985. In 1987 a cover was done by "Bassix." In late 1993, Australian punk-rock band Caligula had an Australian #25 hit with the song. The song was recorded by La Toya Jackson in 1995 for her album Stop! In the Name of Love! The J-ska band Potshot recorded it on the album Pots and Shots, released in 19
Jermaine La Jaune Jackson is an American singer, bass guitarist, member of the Jackson family. He was a member of The Jackson Five, a singing group composed of four of his brothers and him, from 1962 to 1975, where he was the second lead vocalist and played bass guitar. Jackson sang the lead on some of their songs and had featured vocals on many others, including many of their biggest hits such as "I'll Be There" and "I Want You Back"; when the group left the Motown label and reformed as "The Jacksons", Jermaine stayed with Motown, due to loyalty to Motown founder Berry Gordy, whose daughter he had married, was replaced in the group by youngest brother Randy. He rejoined the group in 1983, has remained with them since, through various breakups and reunions. Jermaine had a solo career concurrent with his brother Michael's, had a number of top-30 hits throughout the 1970s and'80s, he produced and recorded duets with American singer Whitney Houston in her early years as a recording artist, was a producer for the band Switch.
Jackson was born December 11, 1954, in Gary, after his brother Tito Jackson. He is the fourth child born to Katherine Jackson, his siblings are Rebbie, Tito, La Toya, Michael and Janet. His father Joseph had musical aspirations, playing guitar with his brother’s band, The Falcons, Katherine was a passionate pianist and singer, but their large family and lack of money ended their dreams with Katherine becoming a housewife, Joseph, a steel worker at nearby Inland Steel Company in East Chicago, Indiana. While his father worked long hours as a crane operator and his brothers and Jackie, secretly practiced their own songs using their father's guitar. Jermaine became the original lead singer of the Jackson Brothers—an earlier incarnation of The Jackson Five until 1966, when younger brother Michael began singing lead. Jermaine would continue to provide some leads over the years. Jermaine graduated from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California in 1973. Jermaine and his brothers first signed as The Jackson Five with Gordon Keith of Steeltown Records in November 1967, their first single "Big Boy", was released on January 31, 1968.
After the group recorded three more songs with the Steeltown label they were signed with Berry Gordy of Motown Records in 1969. As the co-lead singer of The Jackson 5 after his brother Michael, Jermaine sang notable parts of "I Want You Back", "ABC", "I'll Be There", "The Love You Save", "Dancing Machine", many other Jackson 5 songs. Jermaine performed as part of the group for six years. Not feeling that they were being paid fair royalties by Motown Records for their success as well as their desire for creative control, the Jackson 5 decided to leave the label and sign with Epic Records in 1975. However, Jermaine decided citing loyalty to the company as the reason. Others argue that Jermaine's marriage to Motown founder Berry Gordy's daughter Hazel, whom he married in 1973, was a deciding factor. Jermaine split from the Jackson Five to start a solo career at Motown, was replaced by his brother Randy Jackson. Unbeknownst to the group, Gordy had trademarked the name The Jackson Five and did not allow the group to continue using the name when they left the label.
Once signed with Epic, the group became known as The Jacksons. Several years in 1983, Gordy asked the group to perform at the Motown 25: Yesterday, Forever television special. After the success of the broadcast, Jermaine rejoined the band to record the album Victory which featured all six brothers on the Jackson's album cover. Jermaine participated in the band's Victory Tour, he stayed with the group for their final album, 2300 Jackson Street, in 1989. In 2001, he reunited with his brothers to perform for the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special. Like Michael, Jermaine began a solo career while still a member of The Jackson Five, had a hit with the 1972 Shep and the Limelites cover "Daddy's Home", it sold over one million copies by March 1973, was awarded a gold disc. When The Jackson Five left Motown, Jermaine stayed at Motown. Jermaine was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his 1980 album Let's Get Serious, he had a number of Billboard Top-30 hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including "Daddy's Home", "That's How Love Goes", "Let's Be Young Tonight", "Bass Odyssey", "Feel the Fire", "Let Me Tickle Your Fancy", "Let's Get Serious", "Dynamite", "Do What You Do", "I Think It's Love".
A duet with his brother Michael, "Tell Me I'm Not Dreamin'", hit number one on the dance chart in 1984. Michael and he collaborated with Rockwell, both providing guest vocals on his 1984 hit single, "Somebody's Watching Me". In 1985, his duet with Pia Zadora, "When the Rain Begins to Fall", topped several singles charts in Europe, his final chart success, 1989's "Don't Take It Personal", hit number one on the R&B singles chart. Some of Jermaine's finest moments as a singer can be heard in the soulful "Castle of Sand" and the Earth Wind & Fire-inspired "You Need To Be Loved". Jackson is a talented bass guitar player. At an early age, he performed the parts of legendary bass player James Jamerson and others when the Five performed live. Jermaine composed and produced for other artists, such as Switch, he produced and sang duets on Whitney Houston's debut album for Arista Records. Jackson was the first housemate to enter the Celebrity Big