June 25 was the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. I have been hearing a lot of stories about how Michael made so much money and yet died pretty close to bankruptcy (and then his estate made over 600 million since his death). People had a lot to say about him (even though not all of it was good). I have even heard some people say that he was “not” that great a singer. Well, I am going to have to disagree wholeheartedly on this one. Michael was an incredulous singer, but I think most of his critics focused on how he was “after” he grew up. He could still sing great then, but if you really want to hear Michael at his best, then you need to listen to his recordings as a younger child. For the record, his greatest selling album was “Thriller,” which he did as an adult, but even though that was his best seller, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was his best “performance.” So what else could he have done that could possibly have been better than that? I will gladly tell you. If you ever get the opportunity, take a listen to his “Got to be There” album. The music on this is nothing short of “incredible” and Michael’s singing was “amazing.” The title track “Got to be there” was a big hit for Michael, and even though his vocals were doubled on certain parts of the track, he still hit notes that would be tough for anyone to match. Also, the song “I wanna be where you are” was “artfully done.” The guys who wrote this song were “extremely gifted” and Michael’s range of notes help to make it even more fascinating. “Rockin’ Robin” was an old classic that was redone, but Michael sang the “fool” out of it and performed it “way better” than the original. However, if you really want to hear just how incredible his singing was, I invite you to listen to a “B side” track on this album entitled “Maria.” He sang the song with “incredible soul” just like a grownup would do, but with a kid’s voice. I think this song might have featured his “best” vocal performance. If this album doesn’t convince you, then check out his other recordings as a child as well. “Who’s loving you, I want you back, and ABC” were sung “masterfully” by him. “I’ll be there” features his brothers “actually singing background” (On most recordings, only Michael, Jermaine or occasionally Jackie would be the ones allowed to sing background). One of the “I’ll be there” singing background parts is “horrendously off key and off pitch, but Michael’s performance in this song was “exemplary.” One of my biggest regrets is that I never got the chance to work with him. My brother Bill met up with him a long time ago over a song that his father Joe wanted Michael to perform. My good friend Clifton Davis wrote Michael’s song “Never Can Say Goodbye” and after Michael died I asked him how his money was going (because during that time the radio stations were playing all of his hit songs). Clifton said that due to Michael’s death the “checks were coming in.” People can say whatever they like about his personal life. However, what he did as an adult has nothing to do with the magic he performed as a younger child. Michael deserves to be listed as one of the greatest singers in history, and I challenge anyone to dispute that. With each anniversary of his death I only hope that more of his positives can be showcased, because all that other stuff only detracts from his greatness. If you get the chance, please take a listen to his material from his younger days. If you are not impressed with what he did, then that makes “one” of us. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and have a great day.
Clifton Davis and Brett Jolly performing “Never can Say Goodbye”