Late Summer is the time of year to still enjoy the beauty of being outdoors. There was no greater feeling being outdoors with 16 of my friends in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, September 7, 2019 with the Royalty Musical Jacksons taking the stage and having us standing up on our feet the entire exciting, and energetic concert with a screaming Encore.
The evening ended in a rewarding way when the Jacksons were honored by Georgia State House of Representative District 63, Debra Bazemore with a Resolution that acknowledged they were the first African American musical dynasty, releasing their first No. 1 Hit, “I Want You Back” 50 years ago this year, followed with three more consecutive No. 1 Hits and for countless community and musical contributions.
The day before the concert, Tito Jackson, the lead guitar for the Jacksons was heard around Atlanta on Majic FM 107.5. He was excited to be in Atlanta and he made the radio listeners thrilled and fired up too. Tito was telling the audience to come out to their Jacksons’ party because they are hype and ready.
Also, he said he was planning on singing a follow-up to his Tito Time 2016 album with his single “One Way Street” (The Gregg Pagani Mix) available on all music streaming platforms worldwide. Everything Tito promoted, it actually happened at the concert. Tito Jackson-“One Way”
Prior to the concert, the Jackson Doll Production (JDP) and I initially were looking forward for the National Basketball Retired Player Association (NBRPA) – Atlanta collaborating a community project in honor of the Jacksons 50 plus years in the Entertainment business since I am the Co-Administrator for the NBRPA-Atlanta and Starr Hayes, CEO of JDP.
A cruise was previously scheduled so many of the retired players were on the cruise that weekend and couldn’t attend. However, Harold Keeling and his wife Michelle represented the organization. They thanked me and talked about the grand time they shared with the Jacksons and us on their wedding anniversary.
When all my 16 friends arrived at Wolf Creek Park Amphitheater to sit on the second row of tables from the stage, we were so happy to see each other and excited about seeing the Jacksons perform. We talked, laughed and ate all that good southern food but when show time began, all of that ceased.
I had already spoken to them about me being in a different zone when the Jacksons appear on stage; after all, I have loved and admired them since I was actually nine years old.
My friends ranged from mid-50’s to the mid 60’s with several traveling from out of town just to share this enchanted evening with me and the Jacksons.
When the Jacksons music started that’s when all of us “almost” Senior Citizens turned into teenagers screaming, laughing, dancing, singing and being entertained by Joseph and Katherine’s boys from Gary, Indiana.
The concert was so energetic, amazing, well-choreographed, very sentimental in parts but overall, they gave us, the fans, what we have been screaming about for over 50 years.
The thrilling part is how they have become true legends who gave their all for us, despite the sweltering heat and other adversities. The Jacksons demonstrated with class, “the show must go on”.
Jeanine Jackson, my best friend and a Jackson fan since she was 10 years old, was laughing about how Jackie at the end of the concert was shaking the fans hands and when he shook her hand she didn’t want to let it go. She said, “I felt that was one of the best nights of my life. I don’t get out much anymore but baby when I did, it was done right! Up close and personal with three fabulous sexy men…Tito, Jackie and Marlon. My night was complete. I loved it!!! I wished I could have gone back stage to hang out with them but I’ll take what I got….a dream come true.”
Bernard Foster with excitement said, “My best experience was seeing the Jacksons walk up to the stage to cheers; the exact same way it’s been for the past 50 years”.
State Representative Debra Bazemore said, “The event was outstanding. The Jacksons lived up to their name and expectations. We were amazed, entertained and taken back to our childhood. Each song brought back pleasant memories and reminded us where we were when that song came out. Experiences are always made better when mutual and like-minded friends are present, which occurred that night.
When my father viewed the photos he was saying, “Yea Tito, that’s my man, he was sweating, working hard for his money, and he looks like he’s in another world.” I told daddy I was screaming, he replied, “Like I don’t know that, you don’t have to tell me that.”
I was so proud of the hard work the Jacksons still exhibit with entertaining us through their voices, stellar dancing, their gorgeous smiles, and amazing physique.
I imagined we were entertaining them too because we were dancing, hollering, and enjoying ourselves to the fullest. The next day, I laughed at my friends and including myself. One friend said her son came to check on her and she couldn’t get out of the bed after using muscles she hadn’t used in years from the concert.
After the concert, I was right by my friend, State Representative Bazemore’s side when we were cordially escorted backstage to come face-to-face with those hard-working men, the Jacksons.
But before we saw them, we were stopped in our tracks by Academy Award Winner Lou Gossett Jr., from “Officer and The Gentleman” (1982), who I first saw in “Roots” mini-series in 1977. We all were smiling because we were backstage after the concert.
I asked Mr. Gossett what he thought of the concert, “Oh, it was a great, an exciting show. I have known the Jacksons since they were young boys and now over 50 years they can still perform with excellence”. I agreed wholeheartedly and Representative Bazemore concurred definitely with his assessment of the evening.
It was so electrifying when we were in the Jacksons presence. It is so unbelievable how they work so hard onstage dancing, singing, smiling, laughing, interacting with the fans, still moving like they were in their 20’s, and still find the time and energy to meet and greet everyone with perfection.
State Representative Debra Bazemore made her honorable presence known when she presented the Legendary Jacksons their prestige Resolution from the State of Georgia.
While the Jacksons looked with pride and beautiful smiles, they felt this was another proud moment in their lustrous career. In addition to Representative Bazemore giving this deserving Resolution that night, she invited the Jacksons to the Georgia State Capitol to receive recognition in the presence of the Georgia General Assembly. That will be an exciting moment and I will be there too with other Georgia residents and Jacksons fans to witness another part of history.
Representative Bazemore said, “Having the honor to embrace and present the Jacksons with a Resolution is something I will never forget! The Jacksons have not only touched us adults, but my son and grandson who know all the words and steps to their songs. This demonstrates, the Jacksons’ music transcends generations. They have left a mark on the musical industry and it can not or will not ever be matched.”
I know I will treasure this moment forever because I actual was there with my eyes and heart absorbing this golden moment when the Jacksons were receiving one of their numerous awards they have received in their lifetime with so much up beat.
I told Jackie I had brought 16 friends to the concert, he chuckled and said, “I saw you guys, and I thank you, thank you”. Afterward, I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the evening.
I will not forget how Jackie, Tito and Marlon said they read and liked my last Splash Magazine article when I interviewed them with Starr Hayes from the Jackson Doll Production last September in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Jackie said he enjoyed it and we have to do it again. I carried on conversations with them but I didn’t conduct an interview because we didn’t plan for it. Now, I regret deeply I did not listen to Jackie and conduct a follow up interview.
The other regret I had was that all my friends could not go back stage with Representative Bazemore and myself to share this magical night with the Jacksons after the concert. As a special group of friends including my sister, we will never forget how we had a blast from the past with the Jacksons still performing at the top of their game.
Overall, I thank you God for allowing all this to happen and to spend another amazing and remarkable night with the Jacksons, the Royalty Musical Entertainers Forever. Everyone, make sure you go see them perform in a concert or whether they are accepting another accolade. You will not have any regrets knowing you would be part of history!!!! May God continue to strengthen and watch over the entire Jackson family that Papa Joe Jackson had to leave behind.