Tonight On The Summer Mini Concert Series At 8 – Michael Jackson (Majic 102.3) DC

Sources: Majic 102.3 – By John Monds| All Things Michael


We’ve covered the music prior to Michael becoming a solo artist for the last two nights.  Get ready for  more Michael tonight as our celebration of his upcoming birthday continues.  Here’s one from his debut solo album “Off The Wall” to get you in the Michael mood. Starts at 8PM eastern time.

Listen Live here

Gary To Celebrate Michael Jackson’s Birthday With His Family

Sources: Post – Tribune -By Teresa Auch Schultz  | All Things Michael


Celebrations for Michael Jackson’s birthday have grown from a block party around his boyhood home to a three-day festival set to start Thursday in what local officials and event promoters hope will become an annual affair.

The Michael Jackson Tribute Festival of the Arts will focus not only on the the famous musician, however, but also on encouraging new artists.

“[We want to] let them know it’s a good thing to develop the arts,” event promoter Karvin Johnson said. “Develop your creativity.”

Previous events celebrating Jackson’s birthday Aug. 29 have centered around the former family home at 2300 Jackson St. This year’s event — the fifth since he died in 2009 — has grown to encompass the nearby Roosevelt High School campus and will feature local and new artists.

Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, spearheaded the event, Johnson said, and she and other family members, including Michael Jackson’s children, will attend.

“She wants to set something in place that will be something to commemorate and celebrate Michael’s legacy,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he expects about 5,000 people a day at the festival, including people from Brazil, Canada and China.

The festival will kick off Thursday with an orchestra and choir made up of Gary students singing and playing a medley of Michael Jackson songs. The Gary Community School Corp. conducted an audition last week for the lead singer.

“Michael Jackson has always been one of the most beloved if not most beloved artists in R&B history,” school district spokeswoman Charmella Greer said. “Students, whether young or older, it doesn’t matter, they’re excited about [the festival].”

The musical performance will be followed by a ceremony at Roosevelt High School on Thursday afternoon, which will include remarks by local officials.

Other highlights include a stage next to the former Jackson home for new and emerging artists, a chance to scratch records and play drums, and a trivia competition that will, of course, focus on the Jackson family. Saturday will include a car show and a dance competition judged by Michael Jackson’s children, Johnson said.

The festival will conclude Saturday night with a live performance by Mindless Behavior and fireworks.

“The main thing is to encourage kids that you can express yourself through art,” Johnson said.

The event will have 24-hour private security to help Gary police officers, he said.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said she sees the festival as a key piece to a week of events in Gary, including the Fuller Center Build, a service project that will build four homes in the area of the Jackson family’s former home.

“It provides a new look, a positive look [for Gary],” Freeman-Wilson said.

Both Freeman-Wilson and Johnson said they would like to see this event continue and grow each year. Johnson said the event promoters hope to add even more events in coming years, including possibly a circus.

Another event promoter, Sharon Chamber, a Gary businesswoman who became involved after the Jackson family contacted her about home insurance for the house at 2300 Jackson St., said she would love to see the event become a regular tourist attraction like Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home.

“I was just kind of hoping this becomes an annual thing — a national tribute to Michael,” she said.

Freeman-Wilson said she would like to work with the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority to find a way to quantify what the festival brings to the city, including in money spent.

“We know it’s going to be a positive thing,” she said. “The question then becomes what does it look like and how much.”



Noon: Gary School Marching Band enters Jackson Street toward 2300 Jackson. Dance troupe performs tribute to Michael Jackson. Opening ceremony with opening remarks from Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and city officials. Festival Village opens at Roosevelt High School Football Field.

1 p.m.: Dedication of homes by Fuller Center for Housing of Gary, CEO remarks; Introduction of the family and presentation of key. Closing remarks by Phyllis Barlow.

1:30 p.m.: Artist performances on all stages. DJs play Michael Jackson mix in the Festival Village and at 2300 Jackson St.

3:30 p.m.: Special ceremony in the Roosevelt High School Auditorium, hosted by Deborah Chang.

Ceremony will play on the big screen in the Festival Village.

5:30 p.m.: Special ceremony ends. Artist performances on all stages.

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open from noon-7 p.m.


Noon: Festival Village opens at Roosevelt High School Football Field. Artist performances on the small stage and in Festival Village. DJs play Michael Jackson mix in the Festival Village and at 2300 Jackson St.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open from noon-7:30 p.m.; petting zoo open from 2-6 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m.

7 p.m.: Dancing on the lawn with music provided by a DJ followed by a live band.

8:30 p.m.: Live band performs.

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.


9 a.m.: Car show starts.

Noon: Artist performances on the small stage and in Festival Village.

3 p.m.: Car show winner announced on main stage.

6 p.m.: Winners of all competitions and headliners start performing.

8 p.m.: OMG Girlz

8:30 p.m.: Mindless Behavior

8:55 p.m.: Fireworks

9 p.m.: End of day’s events.

Kids Pavilion: Corner of Festival Village, open noon- 7 p.m.; petting zoo open noon-4 p.m.

Michael Jackson ‘King of Pop’ Tribute Festival of the Arts

For more information, visit Admission is free.

 Read more at Post-Tribune

Dance Like Michael Jackson In Honor of His Birthday

Sources: CBS8 – By Alicia Summers | All Things Michael

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – The King of Pop transformed the face of pop music and popular culture and now this “woman in the mirror” is going to try and transform your dance moves and make you move like Michael.

No one will ever dance quite like Michael Jackson did, but Devra Gregory makes a solid attempt and she’s teaching those that want to learn in honor of MJ’s birthday.

Michael Jackson died five years ago and Friday, August 29 would have been the King of Pop’s birthday. So to pay homage, Devra – a Michael Jackson impersonator – will be teaching you how to move like him at Culture Shock Dance center in Old Town this Friday…on what would’ve been MJ’s 56th birthday.

She will teach some choreography from Jackson’s iconic music videos, like “Beat It” and other iconic moves like the moon walk, spins and kicks and fancy footwork.

Read more / see video here

An Autistic Teen’s Guide To Impersonating Michael Jackson (A Must Read)

Sources: | All Things Michael

Impersonating Michael Jackson made it easier for Lorenzo Manuel to deal with the social pressures of middle school.

Impersonating Michael Jackson made it easier for Lorenzo Manuel to deal with the social pressures of middle school.

It was homecoming dance at Roosevelt High School, and the Roosevelt football team had just been crushed. As it started getting late, the energy sunk even lower. People were mostly slow dancing; it was all Taylor Swift at that point.

Just then, a familiar tune started to play. The thinning crowd began to roar. A spotlight came on. As the first lyrics of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” shook the room, a skinny kid with short brown hair and a sparkly glove began to dance.

“When I impersonated, I just kind of would think… like, what would Michael do?”

That skinny kid was Lorenzo Manuel, now a senior at Roosevelt. But he just goes by his first name, Lorenzo. His story started when he was 13 years old. It was the night Michael Jackson died, and for Lorenzo it was a near-cosmic shift.

“The night he died,” Lorenzo said, “I had this dream where I was in a field and he was at an ice cream cone stand, and he gave me an ice cream cone.”

This mystifying dream had an unexpected effect. Lorenzo felt called to impersonate Michael Jackson.

He had just been diagnosed with autism, though he had known his whole life that he didn’t quite fit in with the other kids. He couldn’t handle the social pressures of middle school.

The cover to 18-year-old Lorenzo's self-produced first album includes a tribute to his idol. Can you spot the Michael Jackson face hidden in the image?

The cover to 18-year-old Lorenzo’s self-produced first album includes a tribute to his idol. Can you spot the Michael Jackson face hidden in the image?

“People were bullying me because I was a little bit more feminine, because I was more artistic, and people would call me gay,” Lorenzo said. “And even though I am gay, back then it was just hard, and I didn’t know it then.”

His mom, Christine, remembers him coming home from school every day depressed and confused about the teasing. She even considered transferring him to a different school.

But impersonating Michael Jackson changed all that. With Lorenzo’s newfound passion, he started having easier interactions with his peers. He would even pretend to be Michael Jackson when he felt uncomfortable in social situations. He felt a connection to Michael. They were both shy people with an almost obsessive interest in music. When he couldn’t rely on his own skills, he called on Michael’s.

The response Lorenzo got for impersonating Michael Jackson surprised him. People at school became more accepting of him, not less. Most surprising, even Lorenzo’s dad seemed to accept him more. “He’s usually very critical,” said Lorenzo. “And the fact that he was pretty accepting of it … that was one of the reasons I wanted to keep pursuing it.”

Lorenzo’s idol is ever present in his life. He pointed out a prized possession in what he called the Michael Jackson area of his bedroom: “He actually signed this paper. See? That’s his writing.”

Lorenzo’s bedroom also includes a Michael Jackson cut-out from the “Bad” era, an old turntable with records, and some collectible dolls. One is still in its box from 1995, the year Lorenzo was born.

But being Michael wasn’t enough. Now, through years of studying how to be someone else, Lorenzo has found a way to be himself. Through Michael, he has found acceptance for his own creativity and ingenuity.

“I definitely knew I was an artist,” mused Lorenzo, “because of all the different phases I’ve gone through with drawing, and painting, and acting, and singing, and dancing, and music, and photography. I just knew I was meant to do something in the arts.”

Now, his days of impersonation are behind him. He’s started writing, recording, and performing his own music. “I really enjoy that,” said Lorenzo. “And performing as myself now … I feel a lot more free.”

Click here to read and hear more


Sources: American Popular Culture (Published June 2009) | All Things Michael


Don Wilson produced, directed, and edited one of the most popular music videos of all time, the video for Michael Jackson’s hit song “Man in the Mirror.” We caught up with him to ask him about his experience working on that compelling artifact of American popular culture history.

Americana: With the recent passing of Michael Jackson, TV stations such as VH1 and MTV have been playing Jackson video retrospectives. One of the most revered is your “Man in the Mirror.” How does that make you feel?

Don Wilson: Well, firstly, I’m shocked and saddened by his death. It was obvious that Michael was not in a good place mentally or physically, so I hope for his soul that he’s found some peace. Regarding the video, it was a life and career changing thing. A friend played the newly released Bad record for me on a Walkman with small speakers and when I heard “Man in the Mirror,” I was blown away and told my friend that the song would be huge. I couldn’t get it out of my head. As fate would have it, I got a call to meet with Michael the day after Thanksgiving 1987 to talk about doing a video for the song, so, needless to say, it was a magical thing for me. It was an honor to be chosen to do the video and a task I did not take lightly. As I traveled from city to city looking for the footage, I realized the task was a big one. I soon understood that much of the footage had been seen on news programs, and I needed to present it in a way that made it compelling and watchable. I decided to make the video “reversible.” What I mean is if one were to play the video in reverse they’d notice that it begins with purity and innocence, and man’s innaction and injustices create chaos, hopelessness and war. I wanted people to feel tearful and affected and maybe for a second they’d think about doing something to change things. I’m glad people still like it. They tell me it’s on a lot of top ten lists, all time greatest music videos. I’m very proud of it.

A: Since you worked with him, Michael took quite a hit in terms of his reputation. Do you have any thoughts on the media frenzy concerning his personal life?

DW: You know, Michael was always a tender, sweet guy. He truly believed in the purpose behind “Man in the Mirror.” I know he struggled with some issues, but when I worked with him, he was generous, caring, and spared no expense to do everything the right way.

A: It’s quite a big deal to do such a music video with such a worldwide superstar.

DW: No question. He gave me opportunities that changed my life. The person at his record company, Larry Stessel, also had a lot to do with helping me as well and continued to support me in the music video business until it changed in the 1990s.

A: So you worked on other Jackson projects.

DW: Yes, the first thing I ever did was the Jackson’s Live in the early 80s. I edited other music videos, biographies, and directed a CBS Special called Michael Jackson: The Magic Returns.

A: Let’s return to “Man in the Mirror.” The video is noted for the footage. How did you get all that compelling material?

DW: I literally traveled the world gettting all that footage together. Some of it was archival. Other sequences, we shot. It was grueling too. I would give a list of shots I was looking for, and they would wheel out stacks of tapes with famine, war, disasters, and other imagery that would leave me shell shocked. It was a gut wrenching task for sure. One of the things we did, and it was a new thing at the time, was to paint color on certain images to emphasis something. For instance, the black and white scene of the Kennedy funeral procession, I had the American flag draping the coffin painted red, white, and blue. I had the bullets being fired from a Vietnam era bomber painted bright red. These things were subtle, but subconsciously it made it watchable and sort of reset the subconscious circuit breaker.

A: How did you get the idea to do a video without the star in it? You know, not featuring the star.

DW: We actually shot a lot of material with Michael, but it didn’t work with all the difficult images we were showing. You can’t really show a mega-star getting out of a limo after you’ve just shown kids starving in Africa. So the lyrics really dictated the content. You know, as I began to edit the piece together, I quickly realized it was way bigger than any one person. Larry Stessel, Michael’s record exec, agreed.

A: How involved was Michael in the edit bay?

DW: He left me alone. He came in once to see a cut, and he was moved to tears. When he finally gained his composure, he looked at me and said, “No changes.” We did have to change two shots because of logos that we could not get clearance for, but no creative changes were ever made from the first version. That’s pretty much unheard of.

A: Is it true that he didn’t see the final cut until he was on the stage singing the song live at the Grammys?

DW: Yes, that is true. They put up a forty foot screen, so he could see the video as he sang. He was stunned by the whole experience. At the end of the song, he collapsed on the stage and had to be helped to his feet. I was stunned too, and I think that is when it all sank in.

A: A lot of people are impacted by the video. Some even say they changed their lives after seeing it. What’s your response to that?

DW: I think “Man in the Mirror” is a very important song. I mean, the lyrics are just incredible. I felt a responsibility to do something great. We did realize at the time that we wanted to impact humanity. I’m glad to hear that some say we did.

A: Did you ever consider doing a remake?

DW: We always wanted to do an updated version and were very close to having discussions with Michael, but fate changed all that.

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This Week in Civil Rights History: Legendary Michael Jackson Was Born!

Sources: The Clarion – Ledger – By Jerry Mitchell | All Things Michael


August 28, 1963: About 250,000 gathered for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, calling for racial harmony.

August 29, 1920: Jazz’s greatest saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas. His complex, improvisational style helped to redefine jazz.

August 29, 1958: R&B and pop singer Michael Jackson, who helped break down racial barriers in music, was born in Gary, Ind. He began performing with his brothers in the Jackson Five and as a solo artist released the best-selling album of all time (Thriller). 

August 30, 1983: Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first African American in space, four years after beginning his astronaut training. Before retiring, he returned to space several more times.

August 31, 1936: School teacher Marva Collins was born in Monroeville, Ala. In 1961, she opened the Westside Preparatory School in innercity Chicago, welcoming students that others labeled “unteachable.” Many of her students went on to graduate from Ivy League schools. In 1981, CBS aired a made-for-TV movie about her life.

Read the complete list of facts here

Michael Jackson Was And Still Is “The King of Pop!”

Sources: New Pittsburgh Courier Online – By Bill Neal | All Things Michael


Ok, so you do know Michael . . . “The King of Pop” Jackson is dead . . . right? So I guess you also know that he, well kinda, has the #1 song in the land, but somehow you can’t understand why he was and still is “The King!” Even you haters gotta love that!

And while I have you haters’ attention, let me put you on Front Street. If you’re over “50,” don’t act like you didn’t do the robot to “Dancin’ Machine”. Don’t pretend like you didn’t want to know who “Billie Jean” was, and for goodness sake, don’t even think about trying to tell me you didn’t sing “I Want You Back” after your girl walked out on you for  the fifth time. Yeah, you cried over “Ben” the rat . . . we all did. You marveled at the dance routine of “Smooth Criminal”. You thought “Remember the Time” was super cool.  You ran to the dance floor the first moment you heard “You Rock My World.” And if you open your mouth to try and convince me that you have never done the entire “Thriller” dance at a wedding reception at least five times, I’ll smack all the taste out your mouth! (Go ahead, put the C.D. in . . . nobody’s watching).

Read more here


Indian Version of LNFSG And STTR Set For Release On Michael’s Birthday

Sources: The Times of India | All Things Michael

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On the occasion of King of Pop’s birthday, music giant, Sony Music will release versions of two popular songs from Michael Jackson’s album XSCAPE. The tracks Love Never Felt So Good and Slave to the Rhythm have been given an Indian feel with introductions of elements such as tabla beats and harmonium melody.

Created by the legendary musician A. R. Rahman’s K M Conservatory music school, the official versions of MJ songs are sure to create quite a stir among the MJ fans. The students who were given the opportunity to work on these tracks were completely thrilled with the experience.

Paying homage to his legacy, they have captured the spirit and essence of Michael Jackson’s music and infused it with elements from different Indian traditions to make 2 new musical masterpieces which will be released on August 29, 2014.

Read more here