July 2, 2009

“Michael Jackson: The Legend in the Making” - The Paley Center for Media Presents Rare ‘70s Footage of Michael Jackson and The Jacksons

Early performances of the King of Pop including appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the family’s CBS variety series in the early ‘70s

July 1 though August 23 at New York and Los Angeles locations

New York, NY—The Paley Center for Media pays tribute the enduring legacy of pop culture icon Michael Jackson by presenting “Michael Jackson: The Legend in the Making”—rare performance footage of the young Michael Jackson and his family. Pulled from the Paley Center’s collection of nearly 150,000 television, radio, and new media programs, these featured performances are from the ‘70s variety series, The Jacksons, on CBS, as well as early appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Flip Wilson Show. The Paley Center also holds other pivotal moments of Jackson’s career including his revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, performances on such shows as Sonny & Cher, his innovative music videos such as Thriller, and revolutionary commercials for Nike and Pepsi can also be watched at both locations. For complete list of related Michael Jackson programs, visit

“Michael Jackson is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Through the Paley Center’s extensive collection that represents most of the twentieth century to present day, the dramatic journey of Michael Jackson is documented from those exuberant early performances of the Jackson 5 on The Ed Sullivan Show to his thrilling solo work, including his groundbreaking videos that became events on MTV,” remarked Ron Simon, television and radio curator at The Paley Center for Media. “We also have Jackson’s compelling interviews with such hosts as Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer where he gives insight into his private world which has always fascinated the public.”

Michael Jackson: The Legend in the Making — A Three Pack of The Jacksons
New York: July 1 through July 12 and July 29 through August 9 at 12:15pm and 4:00pm; Free with General Admission   
Los Angeles: July 1 through July 12 and July 29 through August 9 at 3pm; Free
Michael Jackson and his brothers were an exuberant presence on seventies television. CBS’s short-lived variety series The Jacksons, an oft-forgotten credit in the history of MJ, presented not only the quintet of musical brothers who had become recording superstars, but their sisters as well, including ten-year-old Janet. This half-hour combination of music and blackout comedy sketches allowed Michael and his siblings to strut their stuff in full late-‘70’s splendor. Michael certainly honed his singing and dancing skills in this series just before his solo career went “off the wall.” Guest stars on these three episodes are Sonny Bono, Carroll O’Connor, and Ed McMahon. (1976-1977; 75 minutes)

Michael Jackson: The Legend in the Making — High-Five with the Jackson 5 
New York: July 15 through July 25 and August 12 through August 23 at 12:15pm and 4:00pm; Free with General Admission
Los Angeles:
July 15 through July 25 and August 12 through August 23 at 3pm; Free
Five different programs present the Jackson 5 at the peak of their popularity in the 1970s. Two episodes of their short-lived variety series, The Jacksons (1977), feature guest stars Tim Conway and Georgia Engel, as well as 10-year-old Janet Jackson and series regular David Letterman. Michael and his brothers are also seen on The Flip Wilson Show (1971) and on two episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1974), receiving an endorsement from no less than Lucille Ball in the second clip. (1971-1977; 85 minutes)

*Schedule subject to change. For updated information, please visit


The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the collection and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1976 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry.  For more information, please visit


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Terry Lynn Ebright in Los Angeles