1988 Legend Continues

Enjoy this rare find of the 1988  documentary on Showtime of Michael Jackson Music Career  –

It begins “His name has become synonymous with Super Stardom”

……. he is simply – Michael Jackson

Transcript –

James Earl Jones (JEJ):  His name has become synonymous with super stardom.  He turned on million selling records when his peers were still in grade school. He has single handedly rewritten recording history. His dancing seems to defy the laws of physics.  His fans are both loving and frightening.

Fans:            “I’d die if I ever got to meet him because he’s just so great”.  “He waved and me and said “HELLO” I can’t believe it. He waved at MEEEE (screaming)

Gene Kelly:            He’s charged with energy

Cyndi Lauper:            He’s got a lot of soul!

Young Fan:            Oh, he’s lovely.

Fan:             This is like the Beatles (Waiting for Michael)

Fans screaming they have seen him, hugging each other

Hermes Pan (Choreographer of Fred Astaire):   You are the greatest!

JEJ:            He has redefined the term “professional entertainer” HE IS SIMPLY…. MICHAEL JACKSON

Young MJ:            I like swimming, playing basketball and other things.

MOTOWN ON SHOWTIME MICHAEL JACKON …. the legend continues.

JEJ:            Michael Jackson’s story is spectacular and intricate.  It covers the more than two decades since he began performing but any story about Michael would not be complete without including Michael’s fans and to let some of Michaels fans become part of the story a contest was prepared by Showtime and MTV.

Announcer:             “What would you ask Michael Jackson?  There’s an MTV contest riding on your answer”.

Katharine Hepburn:            Michael, what is your favorite vegetable?

Announcer:             “Just think of the best three questions to ask Michael Jackson and you could win a tour of Michael’s home, a meeting with Michael.”

Fan:  (translated) “Do you like peanut butter with your sushi?

Announcer:             “MTV Ask Michael Contest”

JEJ:  From all the contestants, Kathy Burke from Atlantic City NJ, Troy Counsel from Tallahassee, FL & Erica Salsbury from Lakewood CA, were chosen to visit Michael’s home  and share their feelings about Michael’s career from the very beginning with the Jackson 5.

(Clip shown from the Ed Sullivan Show)

JEJ:            Michael and his brothers and sisters grew up listening to their father Joe play guitar and often joined their mother Katherine harmonize on country western songs. When Joe realized that their home spun rhythms showed promise he began urging more and more practice.  Before long they had taken their act on the road in the midwest and the east coast including the Apollo Theatre and an appearance on The Miss Black American Pageant.

(Clip of Miss Black America Pageant)

Winning Contestants:  “Well who discovered them?”  “I don’t know, I mean did somebody tell them to go to Motown or maybe somebody heard them sing some place”?

Quincy Jones: I heard that Diana Ross was responsible for it in some fashion.

Suzanne de Passe:  The legend was born because it seemed a good idea at the time that Diana Ross had discovered them because she was a big star and Diana Ross would present them which she did in fact present them but I’m not sure she discovered them.

(Clip of The Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show)

Ed Sullivan:            Out in our audience is Diana Ross and the Supremes who discovered the Jackson 5 in Gary Indiana wasn’t it? Stand up and take a bow there.  Diana Ross!  (Diana stands up in audience) Diana those youngsters are amazing and the little fellow in the front is incredible.

Marlon Jackson:            Some people say Diana Ross discovered them, some people say Gladys Knight, some people say Bobby Taylor but I know the truth because I was there when it all happened

2 ??



Jim Nabors:            5 young brothers from Gary, IN have three number 1 records, well it’s phenomenal and that’s exactly what they are ladies and gentlemen my friends the Jackson 5.

JEJ:  Their next single quickly became their fourth consecutive number 1 hit.

(Clip from the Jim Nabors Hour 1970 Michael singing “’ll be There”)

Interviewer:             What do you do about things like school?

MJ:             Well we have a tutor when we go on the road, we do about three hours or four

(MJ’s report card is shown with all A’s and B’s)

Marlon Jackson:  And after that we did what we did. Have rehearsal and sound check on the road or whatever. (clip of rehearsals, etc)

JEJ:            Some of the Jackson 5 early steps toward stardom were organized and guided by a young Motown executive Suzanne de Passe

Suzanne de Passe:             I can remember working out the choreography to “I want you back” in my living room.  We would put the record on and someone would have an idea, I would have an idea and we would put it all together.  In those days we did it ourselves. They became so successful so quickly that none of us were prepared for it. We went from being able to go anywhere to get a hamburger, go to a movie, go shopping to being able to go nowhere.

(Clips of fans mobbing the Jackson 5)

(Stephanie Edwards Interview 1971)

Stephanie Edwards:               With me are the guest stars of the Diana Ross Special. The group that has sold more single records in the country this past year than anyone else – The Jackson 5 and from left to right they are:  “I’m Jermaine”, “I’m Jackie”, “Marlin”, “Tito”, “and I’m Mike”

SE:            Now Michael you are the lead singer of the group and you’re also the youngest.  You are how old?

MJ:            Eleven

SE:             Eleven.  Do they give you any trouble, your brothers?

MJ:            Not really, cus we all sing and whatever we do, we do it together as a group.

SE:            Now we would like to have you hear some of their latest important record which is my favorite while they go off to school can you bear it? It’s called “Never can say Goodbye” and thanks for coming fellows.  (Clip of “Never can say Goodbye” Flip Wilson Show 1971)

Going back to Indiana Special 1971)

Bill Cosby: (In reporter character)  This is your roving reporter Scoop Newsworthy standing in front of the actual rehearsal hall where the Jackson 5 have been preparing for their Indiana Concert.

Tom Smothers:  Hi, what’s going on?

Bill Cosby:    Jackson 5 is rehearsing in there but you can’t go in.

Tom Smothers:   J5?

Bill Cosby:  J5, J5… but you can’t go in.  You’re going to be thrown right out.

(Tom Smothers walks in)



Announcer:  Let’s all stand and welcome the Jackson 5  (clips of performance on stage)

JEJ:  The Jackson 5 grew up in Gary IN so this concert was really a celebrated and joyful return to their roots (singing “Going back to Indiana”)

(Clip of Rona Barrett 1973)

Rona Barrett:   Not since the hey day of the Beatles has the music world seen anything like the Jackson 5 about to receive yet another platinum record denoting sales of two million discs.  These amazing little Motown cats already have four platinums to their credit now being honored in Atlanta by Mrs. Coretta King and hosted by the black luminaries.

Dick Clark:             A man of many versatile talents, not the least which is always being a gentleman.  Would you greet our special guest Mr. Michael Jackson.  (Clip of MJ singing Ben)

JEJ:            In the late 70’s Michael and his brothers worked their already perfected style into some of the best and most successful music of the time.

(Cher Show 1976 Singing “Dancing Machine” with Cher)


JEJ:             The Motown Years were a blur of hit records and professional growth for Michael and his brothers. Under the direction of Barry Gordy they had become one of the most successful recording groups in history. (Clips of the family)  The Jackson 5 epitomized the Motown slogan “The Sound of Young America” and fit perfectly the Motown philosophy of reaching both soul and pop music.  In their 7 years at Motown Michael and his brothers sold nearly one hundred million recordings but in 1976 The Jacksons chose to move to CBS Epic Records.

5 Transcript only – (Video can not be accessed due to SME restrictions)


Marlon Jackson:  So 5 guys went to a different company and one guy stayed at Motown and we respect Jermaine’s decision because that was a very difficult decision for him to make.  The time we left Motown was a growth period for us because I’m sure what I’m going to say everbody can relate to because there comes a time in life where you want to grow and branch and try something different. It was like a challenge for us. The first time we got to produce a whole album and that was the first platinum album we had on Epic Records.

(Clip from “Blame it on the Boogie” 1978) (American Bandstand 1978 “Shake you Body”)

JEJ:  Michael and his brothers ended the movie video era early with a level of sophistication never seen before.

Dick Clark:  The Jacksons have put together a film and Michael has personally had a hand in this. I think to tell you the truth, he has hand in everything, not only the music but the directing and the concept and he asked me to look at it and I said “Michael we don’t show films, I don’t want to show films, what do I want to show films for and then i saw it and said aaaaaaah (takes a deep breath in)

(Clip of “Can you Feel It” 1981)

Sammy Davis Jr.:  Going on your own opens up many avenues for you and I think that’s what Michael was probably thinking about was the ambition that comes from being in this business from a child and you see another horizon over there and  you know the best way to get over that peak is to do it alone.

(Clip from the Wiz (1978)

JEJ:  So Michael travelled to New York to costar with his friend Diana Ross in the film version of “The Wiz” and there a professional partnership began that would change popular music forever.

Quincy Jones:  I ran into Michael as one of the principals in “The Wiz” I was the musical director of the film and he was trying to find a producer for his next album. The more I knew him and the more I became fascinated with  the idea of maybe working with him

Dick Clark:  Quincy and Michael… now ummm.. you know what?  All you have to do is look at what they have done together.  There’s never been a success that could touch this.  These two guys fit like a glove.

Quincy Jones:  …and I said Michael why don’t we try and work on an album together and we did.

(Clip from “Rock with You” 1980)

Contestant Winners:  My favourite album from Michael Jackson is the “Off the Wall” album, it really is and my favourite song on the album is “Don’t Stop til you Get Enough”

(Clip of “Dont Stop Til You Get Enough” 1979)

JEJ:  Although “Off the Wall” was not Michael’s first solo album, it was his first with Quincy Jones. The remarkable success of this album helped push Michael to further dazzling heights.



Winning Contestants:   (Looking at MJ’s wall)  “Whoaa look at all the stars”, “there’s Jackie Onassis, there’s Sophia Loren”, “and here’s Barbara Streisand and there’s Elizabeth Taylor”.

JEJ:             Michael grew up watching stars like Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.  There strengths and talents gave Michael a path to follow.

Hermes Pan: They inspire him with their artistry. Now an artist is always inspired by another good artist.

Katharine Hepburn:  I think he is a brilliant dance and a wonderful singer and an amazing produce of this universe.

Elizabeth Taylor:  I have absolute faith and trust in Michael’s abilities. I think they are much larger than anyone has dreamt of. I think he is going to be one of the great superstars of all time.

Sophia Loren:  When I met him it was really (chuckles) love of at first sight. I think when you get to know Michael you understand the nature of his charisma.

Gene Kelly:  I think he will go on and on because I think there are too few song and dance men around.

Sean Lennon:  I never met him before and I had no idea what he was like and it turns out he is the nicest person in the world.

Yoko Ono:  I think Sean feels that Michael is a brother who is more experienced than him so Sean tends to listen to Michael.

Elizabeth Taylor:  I think Michael appeals to the child in all of us and I think he has the quality of innocence that we would all like to obtain or have kept.

Sophia Loren:  He’s shy, he’s delicate and he looks at the world with innocent eyes of a child.

Elizabeth Taylor:  (Smiling)  I love you Michael.

(Clips of Michael with children) “With a Child’s Heart”

Elizabeth Taylor:  … and there’s a quality about Michael that is so rare and unique. He is E.T.  He’s not really of this planet

Quincy Jones:  Somehow Steven Spielberg talked us into getting involved in a song for an ET children’s storybook.  (Michael narrating ET The Storybook)

JEJ:             The spell cast by Steven Spielberg’s film and Michael’s narration was strong, strong enough to capture another Grammy for Michael for his performance.

Michael Jackson:            Of all the awards I have gotten I am most proud of this one, honestly (Best Children Recording Grammy)

Katharine Hepburn:             He’s just an enormously gifted fellow. He’s a really fine dancer.  I didn’t realize what a fine dancer he was until I saw one sort of tape that he did which I thought was amazing.

Suzanne de Passe:            Michael did not want to do Motown 25.  Not because he didn’t want to do anything for Motown but I think as much as he didn’t want to do television.  Once he decided he was going to do it, the man was obsessed.

(Clip of Jackson 5 Motown 25 -1983)



MJ:             Thank you, thank you.  You know I would have to say those were the good old days . I love those songs and those were magic moments with all my brothers including Jermaine but those were good songs, I like those songs a lot but especially I like the new songs.

(Clip of MJ on Motown 25 – 1983 “Billie Jean”)

Suzanne de Passe:             You had to be the old Pasadena Civic Auditorium that night because I don’t think before or since will there ever be anything that would rival the discovery, the artistry, the expression.  The entire audience was caught in a spell.  Michael was hot record wise but we had only seen him in videos and here he was all by himself on stage doing something that no one had seen him do before.

Katharine Hepburn:             I think what makes him a star is he can do it and you can’t help looking at him.

Hermes Pan:              When I had dinner with him the other night I was tempted to ask “Michael, how do you do that walk?”  I was dying for him to show it to me.

JEJ:            Michael’s real success that night was that he had reached an audience that he had not reached before.  He reached those that did not watch MTV or seen his videos. He reached those that have might not bought his albums and through this one television appearance he had suddenly gained millions of new admirers.

(Clip of Thriller Video – 1983)

MJ:            I have something I wanna tell you.

GF:             Yes Michael?

MJ:             I’m not like other guys.

Sammy Davis Jr.:             You wanna see the boy next door? Open up the door to your kitchen and look at the boy next door. Don’t go see Michael Jackson because he ain’t the boy next door.

JEJ:            Although each new work from Michael was more successful than the last. Nothing could have prepared him for what happened with this album.  “Thriller” won 58 platinum records in 28 countries on six continents and in America an incredible eight Grammy awards. The total sales of the album have exceeded 40 million copies, earning a place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest selling album of all time.



Dick Clark:            Everybody always talks about the “Thriller” album.  First thing you have to realize is that thing sold 40 million copies. That is the biggest selling album in the music business.  It was really unusual and what was extraordinary about that album was that Michael captured the very young, the very old and everybody in between.  White, black, young and old and that magic happens once in a lifetime.

(Clips of Michael’s fans all over the world)

JEJ:             While “Thriller” was on it’s crest of popularity, there was hardly a day where Michael’s name or face was not seen in print or on television.

Contestant winner:             He took everything and put it down and he said “world here I am, here I come” and the world said “this is Michael, this is the man”

JEJ:              Through it all Michael does not seem resentful. His love for his craft and his desire to learn and communicate with every one stem from the very beginning of his career.

Smokey Robinson:  Mike has always been an observer and in fact, I won’t even put that in past tense because he’s the same way now.

Elizabeth Taylor:   I think Michael is like litmus paper. He’s always trying to learn and he’s so intelligent, he’s alarmingly bright. He’s very curious and he wants to draw from people who have survived, people who have lasted. He wants to find out what it is that staying power because Michael is going to be a stayer.

Marlon Jackson:  I remember sitting on the side of the stage watching Little Dion, watching Jackie Wilson, Temptations, James Brown, learning.. just watching and learning.

JEJ:             Learning from the Godfather of Soul was something that Michael began very early.   Even today the culture of music is still influenced by “the hardest working man in show business”

(Clips of James Brown and Jackie Wilson)

MJ:             Some people are great entertainers, some people are followers and some people make the path and are pioneers.  I would like to say Jackie Wilson was a wonderful entertainer.  He’s not with us anymore but Jackie wherever you are I would like to say thank you and I love you and thank you so much.

(Clip of Michael Jackson seeing on Diana Special 1971 – (Frank Sinatra song)

Sammy Davis Jr:             What I find fascinating about Michael is that he smacks of my era of show business. He is the modern day vaudevillian so that subsequently when he did the  two man thing and they were doing the road show type of thing (Say, Say, Say) the style fit him.

Gene Kelly:  I’ve seen some of his moves that are reminiscent of Fred and myself, yes and that’s the way music and dance should be.  They should have some influence on a generation behind them and also, for Fred and myself, it’s very flattering.


Hermes Pan:  I mean If I tried to compare him to say Gene Kelly or even Fred Astaire something like that I would do him an injustice because the thing that makes Michael great is his own style and his own originality.

9 Transcript (Video could not be accessed due to SME restrictions)


(Clip of Michael performing “Beat It” playing)

JEJ:  Of course its always nice to hear that one’s work is appreciated by others.

(Grammy award presention clips – Michael Jackson wins 8 Grammys)

Award Presentators:  “Record of the Year is Beat It by Michael Jackson.  “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.  “Michael Jackson”.  “Beat It – Michael Jackson” “Thriller”.  The Song of the Year is “We are the World”.

Quincy Jones:  For years Michael and I had been taking about  a song that was like an eighties version of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” – a faith song of the eighties you know that would be an anthem.  He and Lionel got together and we had to have that song quick and he jumped dead in the middle of it I mean it was right on target and just what we needed.

(Clip of behind the scenes on Heal The World)

Cyndi Lauper:  Michael was going around quietly directing in a very easy manner

Constenant Winners:  Do you remember when Heal The World was broadcast simultaneously around the World?  I was thinking really “What Can I do to better the lives of other people in the world”.

“We Are the World is incredible that is the kind of thing that gives good vibration to the world and I think he’s doing that.

(Clip of the video “We Are The World”)

JEJ:  The power of music was never more clearly demonstrated then the overwhelming response to this simple song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie.

(Clip of a children’s choir singing “We Are The World”)

JEJ:            As important as the other world was to Michael, it was one of only many examples of his willingness to act and speak out for what he believes in.

(Clip of Michael, President Regan at the White House – 1984)

President Ronald Reagan:  “To Michael Jackson with the appreciation with the outstanding example you have set for the youth of America and the world.

JEJ:            And after a serious accident during the filming of a television commerical he created the “Michael Jackson Burn Centre” in Los Angeles.

(Clip of Michael Jackson meeting a young boy from Make A Wish foundation)

Patrick Tuohy: (Make A Wish Foundation)  We are here today because of a little boy named George.  A thirteen year old boy from San Diego who is suffering from a life threatening illness.  It was always George’s desire to meet Michael Jackson.


Transcript –

JEJ:  Meeting Michael Jackson for thousand, perhaps millions would surely be a dream come true and for Troy Counsel, Kathy Burke and Erika Salsbury that dream came true when they met Michael after a record breaking performance in Australia.

(Clip of Michael performing “Heartbreak Hotel” in Australia live)

(Clips of Michael throughout the years and Michael singing “When you wish upon a Star”)

JEJ:             For every one of us there will always be hopes and dreams and wishing upon a star to achieve those dreams has been a legend since the childhood of us all but for Michael Jackson the legend continues….

Also Please note: 2,5,9 were not located  – We are Searching for bits that are missing

This entry was posted in In His Words, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 1988 Legend Continues

  1. ISAURA says:

    Thank you for this great pics – He lives in all of us around the world — L.O.V.E


    • Thank you so much for the links.. but unfortunately SME restrictions do not allow us to view them.. is it possible for you to get the audio transcripted? …WE would be thrilled just to have that at the very least.. Buds


  2. Keyheart says:

    Thank you sooo much for doing this transcript, can you please do the part 2 too? There’s part 2 in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIb8lXZfVv0
    I really want to understand, but English is not my mother tongue… Also I want to translate this in my language so our MJ fan club could understand it too. Thank you.


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