Joseph “Joe” Jackson, the patriarch who launched the musical Jackson family dynasty passed away on June 27, 2018 after a battle with cancer. The story of how the Jackson 5 rose to fame from Gary, Indiana is a well known tale. It’s also a well publicized story of how the entire Jackson family cemented their role in all facets of entertainment, making them music royalty. Over the years Joe Jackson faced his share of the wrath of the media, the same media that preyed on his son Michael Jackson before his death in 2009 and after.
In 2014, I spoke with Joe Jackson for SoulTrain.com, that was also shared on his website, in a rare exclusive interview about how he was working on telling his life story, if he had any regrets about his career, and what’s missing in music. However, there’s no word if the project he mentioned in 2014 was completed.
Here is an excerpt of that interview:
Shameika Rhymes (SR): Mr. Jackson it is an absolute pleasure to be speaking with you. Are you still working on the documentary “A Journey in My Shoes” that you mentioned on the “Piers Morgan Show” in 2013?
Joe Jackson: Thank you. I am, but instead of a documentary it will actually be a book instead called “A Journey in My Shoes” that will be my legacy. It’s about my life story. It’s about how I tried to get my boys out there and how hard I had to work several jobs to sustain my family. It’s about the rejection, the fighting, and the struggles, and the bad press that I’ve received for what I have done. It’s about the things that I had to go through to make my boys the superstars they became all over the world. It even addresses the flack I received about the way that I decided to raise my children.
SR: The music industry has changed so much since the Jackson 5 signed on with Motown. Mr. Jackson, what do you think is missing in music today?
Joe Jackson: It was easier back then, artists wanted it and wanted to be stars and they showed up prepared and they were developed, so they had lasting careers.
There’s a lack of artist development today, artists are just focused on putting out their music and then you never hear from them again. That’s just my thoughts on it.
SR: We spoke with Eddie Ray and he was the first African American executive at Capitol Records that tried to get the Jackson 5 signed onto their label. However, you made the decision to go with Motown instead. Do you think things would have been different had you decided to go with Capitol instead of Motown?
Joe Jackson: I think I made a good choice wouldn’t you say? (laughs)
SR: Absolutely! Mr. Jackson, when you look back on your life, especially your career, do you have any regrets?
Joe Jackson: No regrets at all. I enjoyed what I did and reached the goals that I set. My goal was to help my family make it and I achieved that. People had a lot to say about how it was done, but my family laughed all the way to the bank.
SR: Are you pleased with the way fans have kept your son Michael’s memory alive?
Joe Jackson: Yes, very much so. I appreciate it so much how they have remembered Michael. When I travel all over the world, fans show our family so much love. I just want to say thank you very much to the fans. I really appreciate all that they do for our family.
Rest in peace Mr. Jackson, your contributions to America’s soundtrack will always be remembered. Thank you for sharing your musical family with the world.