The Jackson Five were an American pop music group signed to Motown in the late 1960s through to the mid-1970s.
Brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon formed the group as The Jackson Brothers in 1963, and Michael joined one year later. They at first performed in talent shows before signing to Steeltown Records in 1967, and there released several singles. They won a talent contest the same year, and singer Gladys Knight (of Gladys Knight & The Pips) sent a tape of the group’s demo to Motown Records, hoping to get them to sign, only to have their tapes rejected. After another taped audition was sent to Berry Gordy by Bobby Taylor (of Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers), they were turned down again (what are you doing, Berry!!?). Berry eventually came round and signed them to his label (phew) in 1969.
They first performed as the opening act for Diana Ross & The Supremes (Diana Ross was marketed as having discovered the group) then had massive success at the company in the early 1970s, with many of their hits songs written by newly-formed songwriting team The Corporation. They appeared on various TV shows (and had their own one) and a lot of Jackson Five-themed merchandise was produced (a teen magazine was even started for them). Both Michael Jackson and Jermaine Jackson began recording material as solo artists while still members of The Jackson Five.
Towards the mid-1970s success began to elude the group and they became frustrated at a lack of creative control and royalties. The group then signed to Epic Records in 1975 as The Jacksons (as Motown owned the name “The Jackson Five”), although Jermaine (who had just married Berry Gordy’s daughter, Hazel) remained at Motown. Randy Jackson replaced him.
The group continued their successful career with songs like “Blame It On The Boogie” and “Can You Feel It?” in the 1970s and 1980s. Michael, who had already began recording separately as a solo artist, left the group for a solo career in 1983, along with Marlon the following year. The remaining brothers continued to record until 1989 when they disbanded. There have been several reunion concerts and tours since (even after Michael Jackson’s death) but no more studio albums.