‘King Of Pop’ Will Be Missed For His Musical Versatility

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Three weeks after the shocking news that Michael Jackson passed away, I’m sitting here still shaking my head that the “King of Pop” is no longer with us. I was really looking forward to his comeback tour that was to begin later this summer.

Michael Jackson was unquestionably the biggest pop star of the 1980s, and certainly one of the most popular recording artists of all time. In his prime, Jackson was an unstoppable juggernaut, possessing all of the tools to dominate the charts, seemingly at will. He had an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and immeasurable raw star power.

Michael’s 1982 blockbuster, “Thriller,” became the biggest-selling album of all time (probably his best-known accomplishment) and he was the first black artist to find stardom on MTV, breaking down innumerable boundaries both for his race and for music video as an art form.

Jackson was born in 1957 in Gary, Ind., the seventh of nine children. He became the lead singer of his brothers’ group, The Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons) at age 5. The three Jackson sisters — Rebbie, LaToya and Janet — backed the group.

Each of The Jackson 5’s first four hits on Billboard’s pop chart soared to number one, and the group was awarded Billboard’s #1 Hot 100 Artist award that year, 1971.

While never abandoning The Jacksons, Michael concurrently had his own highly successful solo career, charting 13 number one hits — from “Ben” in 1972 through his 1995 hit “You Are Not Alone” — earning Billboard’s #1 Hot Artist of 1983.

This week’s music trivia question is: Which of the following statements about Michael Jackson is not true: A) He played “The Lion” in the 1978 musical “The Wiz,” B) He was married to Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, from 1994-1996, C) In 1988, his autobiography, “Moonwalker,” became a movie or D) His song “Billy Jean” has always been one of DJ Craig’s favorite songs to which to dance?

If you are caller number five this week and have the correct answer, you will win a CD that I have put together of Michael Jackson’s top 20 hits. Good luck!

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s question, which was: Can you name the popular blues singer/guitarist who recorded the hits “Texas Flood” (1983), “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” (1984) and “Tick Tock” (1990). At 35 years of age, he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash. Is this popular blues recording star: A) B.B. King, B) Ray Charles, C) Stevie Ray Vaughn or D) John Lee Hooker?

The correct answer was C) Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Congratulations to this past week’s first-time music trivia winner, Sue McRae.

Sue and her husband, Darrell, have lived in Payson for the past year-and-a-half. They moved to the Rim Country to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren, who live in the Valley. Sue and Bob are both retired — Darrell after spending most of his adult life working in the field of telecommunications.

With a smile in her voice, Sue told me she and Darrell were high school sweethearts at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord, Calif. Their first date was to the Junior Prom. They dated steadily after the prom and were married in November, following their graduation from high school. They will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary this coming November.

Some of Sue’s interests are sewing and working around the house. She says she enjoys most kinds of music, but particularly likes pop music from the 1950s and ’60s and both new and classic country music. Her favorite artists are Elvis Presley, George Strait and Reba McEntire.

Last, be sure to check out this Saturday night’s Concert Under the Stars at Green Valley Park, with local favorite Junction 87 performing. Bob Kennedy, lead vocal and guitar; Jim Norman, bass guitar; and Billy Ichida, guitar and fiddle; will be playing many of your favorite country hits.

Jim told me that over the past year the trio has added four or five new fiddle songs to their repertoire — including two of my favorite songs, Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Charlie Daniels’ “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye.” It should be a down-home, knee-slappin,’ foot-stompin’ good time!

God bless!

DJ Craig — Phone: 468-1482

Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com

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