Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

Yesterday was a sad day for me. By now the world over knows about the death of one of the greatest musical talents the world has ever known. The "King of Pop" died yesterday of Cardiac Arrest and as one of his song title suggests he's "gone too soon."

I debated whether or not I would do a blog post about one of my childhood hero's because I don't want to send the impression that I idolized him or anything like that but upon further consideration I came to the conclusion that this man played too big a role in my childhood that I just couldn't ignore the opportunity to honor him here.

Growing up my mom would always leave our T.V. on a popular new channel called MTV. I was glued to that channel. I watched MTV the way most kids these days watch cartoons on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. I loved music and getting my music fix along with videos to go with it was fantastic. Eventually I would grow older and become more curious and soon I found that I didn't watch MTV as much as I used to. But one thing always brought me back in front of the tube anytime I might happen to hear it. That one thing was ANY Michael Jackson song that might be playing. All that had to happen was one of his songs being within earshot and I would literally come running to watch the magic!

Michael Jackson was someone I looked up to the way that Michael Jordan is someone other kids looked up to. Every video that ever played took me to a magical place. I'll never forget the happiness I found when I would catch a video early enough to move the coffee table out of the way so I could watch and imitate the dance moves. I really did that! My parents would always laugh as they looked on at their son trying to emulate one of his hero's. I thought I was good too! I eventually learned how to do enough moves that most my friends would be impressed when I danced like him. And when I did the moonwalk and a few other of his moves at my wedding reception it about brought the house down! Not many people there knew I could do that but when Billie Jean started playing and I took the floor they all got the surprise of their lives!

Michael's music was innovative. He broke the barrier to a lot of things in our culture. In 1972 Michael took center stage as the lead singer of his family group, the Jackson 5. The world fell in love with a kid who was around 9 or 10 and at that time when it mattered more than it really should have his color didn't matter. He could sing and his brothers brought entertainment to the world. They would go on to have a successful career producing 13 records in 7 years! Most of them going gold and most of their songs becoming Motown's greatest hits.

Eventually he would separate himself from his family group by doing a song called "Ben". Ben shot up to one of the most popular songs of that time and the world sat in wonder as they watched Michael evolve into a solo artist. He would go on to produce many great songs in his early career and as the years passed and his career matured he was always able to give the people and his fans more. From Motown's greatest hits, innovative songs and video's and popular T.V. commercials Michael's face was everywhere and his name was as well known as any other.

Perhaps the thing I loved best about his talent was his ability to do some awesome video's. His music was great, the lyrics were perfect but for me the song was best when it was accompanied with the video. (Maybe because I just wanted to try to learn and teach myself how he danced like that!) He had a way of holding your attention and when the video to Thriller came out I still remember how it was the buzz for weeks as young people talked about it.

Michael Jackson will always be someone that I recognize as truly gifted. He had a big heart as you can tell in his effort to "Heal the World." Although I don't know what his relationship was like with our Father I pray he made his peace with him because in my opinion it would be awesome to see him in Heaven when one day I get there. If he does make it there I can't help but wonder if he will have invented something new called the "Cloudwalk."

Rest In Peace Michael. You changed the world, at least for me.

My top 10 favorite M.J. songs
  1. Smooth Criminal
  2. Billie Jean
  3. Beat It
  4. Human Nature
  5. Thriller
  6. Wanna Be Starting Something
  7. You Rock My World
  8. Will You Be There
  9. You Are Not Alone
  10. Remember The Time

Smooth Criminal is my favorite because in my opinion the video displays his dancing talent at it's best!


  1. I've been singing Smooth Criminal all night & this morning (Ricky told me this morning to SHUT UP!!!)

    But you were the first person I thought of when I heard the news!!!! I knew you'd be so upset - I know how much you loved Michael & his music...

    You'll have to carry on the "Whooo-hooo" ...

  2. Joe,
    I dreaded you hearing about Michael's passing. I knew how much he meant to you. I am glad that I was there to see you dance and imitate him in front of the tv when you were growing up. I was very surprised the first time I saw you imitating him. I was also very shocked to see that you really were very good. I guess you will have to keep it up for him.
    Let's hope he was ready to go.

  3. Joe... just one question... can you define a "hero" for me? I think this word is too often used out of context. Was Michael Jackson a great musical talent? Absolutely. Were his videos cutting edge for their time? Again, absolutely. But a hero??? There I would have to draw the line. At no point in his life would I have called him heroic...

    At one point in his life, someone to be admired, probably... but I find it hard to discount the latter half of his life....

    But, I just hope that he was prepared for whatever he met upon his departure from this earth and his arrival before the Father.... only God knows what was truly in his heart.