Search This Blog

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson: Special to CNN

You can read the full text of Gene Seymour's commentary at


"We wanted the loop of performances and hit singles. Retrieve for us, please, the electricity of the 10-year-old wunderkind who literally leapt into our consciousness in that shattering year of 1968 with "I Want You Back" and "ABC."

Let us see that transfiguring moment 15 years later at the Motown Anniversary TV special when Jackson seized dominion over the pop firmament with his shattering, moon-walking recital of "Billie Jean." We wanted the videos -- "Beat It," "Bad," "Thriller," "Black and White" and all that incredible, unearthly dancing. That was all we needed to see and hear. Save the armchair psychoanalysis for later. Maybe, much later."


Michael Jackson had an on-going presence in our household for many years. His music, videos and yep, his dance moves were watched more than once. This photo was Halloween, probably 1998. The biggest event was yet to come.

September 10, 2001: Chafin Seymour performed with Michael Jackson

Madison Square Garden was the venue for what is now Michael Jackson's last solo concert - it was the first live concert he had done in 11 years & was the 1st reunion of the Jackson 5 in 20 years.

Chafin Seymour sang with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus at this performance - doing "Heal the World." The concert was also a CBS television special that aired in November. The line-up on the stage at Madison Square Garden was star-studded, to say the least. The list included for starters Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. Gene (Seymour) was in Toronto at the Film Festival, but I remember Chafin talking with him at home after the concert and asking him, "Who is Elizabeth Taylor?"

Watch Michael Jackson sing Billie Jean at this concert.
The next day - September 11, 2001 - is the day we will never forget!