Today in MJJ HIStory
1976 – The TV Show “The Jacksons” began airing on CBS. “The Jacksons” is an American variety show based on their Las Vegas set featuring the Jackson siblings (except for Jermaine, who was signed to Motown while the Jackson group was signed to the CBS record label). It was the first variety show where the entire cast were siblings. As with the Jackson 5 regular performances, Michael Jackson was the lead performer in musical and dance performances.
The 30-minute Wednesday evening show began airing on CBS as a summer 1976 show and it continued into the 1976–1977 season, after running for 12 episodes; each show featured different celebrity guests, singing, dancing & comedy sketches: including Sonny Bono & Mackenzie Phillips, Mohamed Ali, Redd Fox and Linda Carter. It was the first time an African American family had starred in a television series. The first season ran for four weeks and the ratings were so good that they were signed on for a second & third season. The last show was broadcast on March 9, 1977. The show was written by Thomas C. Chapman, Ray Jessel et. al. & directed & produced by Bill Davis along with Richard Arons & Joe Jackson.
1988 – Michael performs a concert at St. Jakob Stadium in Basel, Switzerland, which was attended by Bob Dylan and close friend Elizabeth Taylor. The following day, he pays a visit to Oona O’Neill Chaplin, the widow of Michael’s biggest idol, silent film legend Charlie Chaplin, who told Michael he and her late husband had a lot in common since they both rose to success and distinction from poverty.
Michael said after the meeting, “I have just fulfilled my biggest childhood dream.” Chaplin’s Smile is Michael’s favorite song.
1995 – Michael releases “HIStory: Past, Present & Future Book 1.”
Statues of Michael Jackson constructed by his record company were ceremoniously unveiled in several European cities to tie in with the MJ bust which appears on the cover of the album.
HIStory has been cited as one of the best-selling multiple disc album ever released, with worldwide sales of 20 million (40 million in terms of units). It is the top grossing album of Michael’s career behind Thriller.