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  1. #1

    Did Don Cornelius Help Screw Up Michael Jackson's Head About Self Imaging :

    Surely no harm intended, but listen to what Don says at :30 and watch Michael's reaction:



    the audience doesn't take too well to it either.

  2. #2
    I think you’re reading too deep into it.

  3. #3
    Maybe. But he's at a very impressionable age here to be told in front of people ( & on national television!) that he's growing up and getting ugly ....
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-23-2020 at 04:43 PM.

  4. #4
    No, he did. Michael. But I don't think his family helped. But Don isn't to blame.

  5. #5
    I did not watch the whole interview but I sure did not hear anything offensive. Don never was a great interviewer.

  6. #6
    I’m sure Don’s comment did nothing to help Michael’s self esteem, but I think the problems started before all that. If anything, Joe’s constant teasing about his nose is more to blame.

    What I really want to know is whether or not Don Cornelius slept with Suzanne DePasse, as implied on “American Soul”.

  7. #7
    Im sure that’s more fictional
    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    I’m sure Don’s comment did nothing to help Michael’s self esteem, but I think the problems started before all that. If anything, Joe’s constant teasing about his nose is more to blame.

    What I really want to know is whether or not Don Cornelius slept with Suzanne DePasse, as implied on “American Soul”.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Surely no harm intended, but listen to what Don says at :30 and watch Michael's reaction:



    the audience doesn't take too well to it either.
    He, Michael couldn't have been that sensitive. He was still a guy will a bunch of brothers. So I don't anything was made of what Don said as a joke.

  9. #9
    Wow, I was only familiar with Troop's recording of this song. I didn't know it was a remake of a Jacksons song.

    Michael was so sensitive about his appearance that he would have been wounded by any little comment. I don't think Don meant any harm. I have certainly seen him be more directly unflattering to his guests.

  10. #10
    The J5 original was cute but I prefer Troop's version. Maybe cause the Troop version was the one I first heard growing up.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightman View Post
    The J5 original was cute but I prefer Troop's version. Maybe cause the Troop version was the one I first heard growing up.
    I agree with you! I too grew up with the Troop cover. Excellent! Guy is right too.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I did not watch the whole interview but I sure did not hear anything offensive. Don never was a great interviewer.
    Yes Don was never that skilled at it, always seemed hesitant when approaching the stage, like he had no idea what he was going to ask , then kind of mumbled his way through....lol!

    I find this whole appearance rather strange. Why even dig out the earlier piece (let's go down memory lane, remember when you were young and hot!!?)
    Don acts like its an archive found of ancient history, wondering out loud if the crowd even remembers.... well,it was five years ago!! lol!

    Then the J Five do one song .... a ballad for a SOUL TRAIN appearance... a ballad that's not even a familiar hit... . they definitely seem in trouble..... Michael pulls out some dance moves but they seem out of place for this sleeper they are performing.

    Maybe Don thought he was shepherding their last SOUL TRAIN appearance.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Yes Don was never that skilled at it, always seemed hesitant when approaching the stage, like he had no idea what he was going to ask , then kind of mumbled his way through....lol!

    I find this whole appearance rather strange. Why even dig out the earlier piece (let's go down memory lane, remember when you were young and hot!!?)
    Don acts like its an archive found of ancient history, wondering out loud if the crowd even remembers.... well,it was five years ago!! lol!

    Then the J Five do one song .... a ballad for a SOUL TRAIN appearance... a ballad that's not even a familiar hit... . they definitely seem in trouble..... Michael pulls out some dance moves but they seem out of place for this sleeper they are performing.

    Maybe Don thought he was shepherding their last SOUL TRAIN appearance.
    Artists usually did at least two songs on SOUL TRAIN, sometimes even more. This seems to be their second performance on this particular appearance. Interviews usually came after they had performed at least one song. They might very well have done FOREVER CAME TODAY (the a-side) earlier. ALL I DO... ended up charting on its own later.
    Last edited by reese; 07-25-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  14. #14
    If I'm not mistaken, this ST appearance came after Jermaine left them following a concert at the Westbury (sp?) Theater. So "the Jackson 5" that showed up was Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Michael and Randy. This was a rough period for the family at that time.

  15. #15
    The whole show was dedicated to the Jackson 5. Michael did Just a Little Bit of You and one day in your life. Hen thh hi e Jackson did Forever Came Today and All I Do is Think of You.
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Artists usually did at least two songs on SOUL TRAIN, sometimes even more. This seems to be their second performance on this particular appearance. Interviews usually came after they had performed at least one song. They might very well have done FOREVER CAME TODAY (the a-side) earlier. ALL I DO... ended up charting on its own later.

  16. #16
    You really need to watch more ST episodes. And this wasn’t their last appearance. They s as appeared again Feb 1979 to promote the Destiny album.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Yes Don was never that skilled at it, always seemed hesitant when approaching the stage, like he had no idea what he was going to ask , then kind of mumbled his way through....lol!

    I find this whole appearance rather strange. Why even dig out the earlier piece (let's go down memory lane, remember when you were young and hot!!?)
    Don acts like its an archive found of ancient history, wondering out loud if the crowd even remembers.... well,it was five years ago!! lol!

    Then the J Five do one song .... a ballad for a SOUL TRAIN appearance... a ballad that's not even a familiar hit... . they definitely seem in trouble..... Michael pulls out some dance moves but they seem out of place for this sleeper they are performing.

    Maybe Don thought he was shepherding their last SOUL TRAIN appearance.

  17. #17


    Forever Came Today

  18. #18

    Just A Little Bit of You

  19. #19


    One Day In Your Life

  20. #20
    Dang, now we wanna blame Don for Michael's de-railing?....People really would do better
    to consider how much DC contributed to American Black and popular culture. That said
    I never really bought the excuses as to why EWF and P funk were never on Soul Train. Each
    case was given the tired line about him insisting they lip sync and they won't do that. I
    believe there had to have been more to it than that because a number of acts have performed live on the show. I think there were other stipulations they couldn't agree
    on. It was good to know Don and Maurice remained friends....

  21. #21
    I don’t think this hurt MJ all. The damage had been done long before.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    You really need to watch more ST episodes. And this wasn’t their last appearance. They s as appeared again Feb 1979 to promote the Destiny album.
    You missed my point. I didn't say it was their last performance on SOUL TRAIN, but rather that perhaps Don was thinking it possibly was .... as mentioned this was a rocky time for The Jacksons ...leaving the label , growing up and losing that kiddie image, the group fragmenting with Jermaine's departure...Michael's soloing. I was trying to understand why Don was choosing this episode to reminiscence with old footage, not realizing this was a Jackson Five dedicated showcase show.

    You neglected to include this other song Michael performed that day (You really need to watch more ST episodes )



    Interesting that they divided the show this way....giving Michael so much solo time (first) , in fact he does three songs while the entire family only does two.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    Dang, now we wanna blame Don for Michael's de-railing?....People really would do better
    to consider how much DC contributed to American Black and popular culture. That said
    I never really bought the excuses as to why EWF and P funk were never on Soul Train. Each
    case was given the tired line about him insisting they lip sync and they won't do that. I
    believe there had to have been more to it than that because a number of acts have performed live on the show. I think there were other stipulations they couldn't agree
    on. It was good to know Don and Maurice remained friends....
    I know, it's poor Michael this and poor Michael that. If anything, his family and MJ himself later on that was the reason for why he didn't like himself. He obviously had issues with self-hate. He didn't love himself. Anyone who has surgery that much are not pleased with themselves.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by blackguy69 View Post
    The whole show was dedicated to the Jackson 5. Michael did Just a Little Bit of You and one day in your life. Hen thh hi e Jackson did Forever Came Today and All I Do is Think of You.
    This explains another issue I was wondering about, I can't recall SOUL TRAIN making a habit of showing old footage ( reese??), and this stood out to me that they did so on this show.

    So then why the decision for this spotlight show airing at this time??? Who pushed for it? Certainly not Motown who was losing the group.... and likely not CBS with them performing tepidly successful Motown material....

    And the five songs performed were not particularly showcase material ...they were not hot at this time --- as a group or Michael as a solo artist. Kind of curious ....
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-26-2020 at 02:02 PM.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    This explains another issue I was wondering about, I can't recall SOUL TRAIN making a habit of showing old footage ( reese??), and this stood out to me that they did so on this show.

    So then why the decision for this spotlight show airing at this time??? Who pushed for it? Certainly not Motown who was losing the group.... and likely not CBS with them performing tepidly successful Motown material....

    And the five songs performed were not particularly showcase material ...they were not hot at this time --- as a group or Michael as a solo artist. Kind of curious ....
    This is all conjecture on my part but I'm assuming this special episode with the Jackson 5 was probably initiated by Joe Jackson, who I believe was managing his sons at the time. It looks like this show aired in January of 1976. So this appearance (amongst others, including their own CBS series) would keep the group in the spotlight until their first CBS release later that year. I remember many tv shows during this period where they sang FOREVER CAME TODAY. RIGHT ON! magazine even said something like "even though the group's music is at a standstill, their popularity is not."

    And even though the group's rankings on the pop chart weren't what they were at the beginning of the decade, they were still charting well on the r&b chart, with FOREVER CAME TODAY and JUST A LITTLE BIT OF YOU becoming top 10 hits.

    As for the showing of the Ed Sullivan clip, I don't think there's anything deep behind it besides showing how the guys were now young adults.

  26. #26
    January 1976...

    The Jackson 5 tried to leave Motown in June of 1975 but Motown blocked them from recording so they had to continue to "promote" their Motown recordings until their contract finally ended in 1976...

    Their hasty exit out of Motown could've ended their careers had cooler heads not prevailed in helping them to get the PIR/Epic deal.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    Dang, now we wanna blame Don for Michael's de-railing?....People really would do better
    to consider how much DC contributed to American Black and popular culture. That said
    I never really bought the excuses as to why EWF and P funk were never on Soul Train. Each
    case was given the tired line about him insisting they lip sync and they won't do that. I
    believe there had to have been more to it than that because a number of acts have performed live on the show. I think there were other stipulations they couldn't agree
    on. It was good to know Don and Maurice remained friends....
    According to the books written by both Maurice White & George Clinton, the main reason that neither EW&F or P-Funk played on Soul Train in the mid '70s is that both of them were encouraging people to see them live in concert instead of on television. This was a tactic that was also used by the big rock groups of the time such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin & The Rolling Stones (during their peak years in the '70s). And EW&F did allow Cornelius to use a portion of their live show on an airing of Soul Train.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 07-28-2020 at 05:46 AM.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    I don’t think this hurt MJ all. The damage had been done long before.
    Agreed! Michael had a problem with his looks long before that appearance on Soul Train. I also feel that becoming rich & famous allowed him the money to indulge in plastic surgery to the extant that he did.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 07-28-2020 at 05:44 AM.

  29. #29
    Please note the thread's title and the presence of the word "help":

    Did Don Cornelius Help Screw Up Michael Jackson's Head About Self Imaging :

    Do not replace the word "help" with the concept of "cause", "initiate", "sole factor" , "primary source" etc... when deciding your answer as to what impact this encounter might have had on a teenaged (and sensitive) Michael who was coming of age and losing his identity as the "cute young one", and was already struggling with this issue of his looks when The J5 made this ST appearance . Tito and Jackie, for instance, as a brotherly term of endearment, were calling him "Big Nose".

    All the more reason I'm sure Michael felt blindsided when out of the blue, in a public setting , on national TV, the elder Don Cornelius, probably someone Michael respected and held in high esteem, when introducing a younger tape of them , gesturing toward Michael says ..."When you were all much...pause...uh better looking"... This is followed by a very awkward dumbfounded reaction by the brothers and the audience. The joke's a dud, then Don realizing it , taps his dumby head, shifts about , replants his feet and says "no, no" ...but its too late, the dagger has already found its mark.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-28-2020 at 04:38 PM.

  30. #30
    Just watched this clip and I thought that Don's comment was mean. He also sorta pointed towards Michael with his hand, when he said it. Not nice.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Please note the thread's title and the presence of the word "help":

    Did Don Cornelius Help Screw Up Michael Jackson's Head About Self Imaging :

    Do not replace the word "help" with the concept of "cause", "initiate", "sole factor" , "primary source" etc... when deciding your answer as to what impact this encounter might have had on a teenaged (and sensitive) Michael who was coming of age and losing his identity as the "cute young one", and was already struggling with this issue of his looks when The J5 made this ST appearance . Tito and Jackie, for instance, as a brotherly term of endearment, were calling him "Big Nose".

    All the more reason I'm sure Michael felt blindsided when out of the blue, in a public setting , on national TV, the elder Don Cornelius, probably someone Michael respected and held in high esteem, when introducing a younger tape of them , gesturing toward Michael says ..."When you were all much...pause...uh better looking"... This is followed by a very awkward dumbfounded reaction by the brothers and the audience. The joke's a dud, then Don realizing it , taps his dumby head, shifts about , replants his feet and says "no, no" ...but its too late, the dagger has already found its mark.
    You're right Boogiedown & I stand corrected. The comment that Don Cornelius made to Michael might've helped to fuel his problems with self-imaging. I forgot that Michael (like other teen-age performers) was very sensitive as he was coming of age.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Please note the thread's title and the presence of the word "help":

    Did Don Cornelius Help Screw Up Michael Jackson's Head About Self Imaging :

    Do not replace the word "help" with the concept of "cause", "initiate", "sole factor" , "primary source" etc... when deciding your answer as to what impact this encounter might have had on a teenaged (and sensitive) Michael who was coming of age and losing his identity as the "cute young one", and was already struggling with this issue of his looks when The J5 made this ST appearance . Tito and Jackie, for instance, as a brotherly term of endearment, were calling him "Big Nose".

    All the more reason I'm sure Michael felt blindsided when out of the blue, in a public setting , on national TV, the elder Don Cornelius, probably someone Michael respected and held in high esteem, when introducing a younger tape of them , gesturing toward Michael says ..."When you were all much...pause...uh better looking"... This is followed by a very awkward dumbfounded reaction by the brothers and the audience. The joke's a dud, then Don realizing it , taps his dumby head, shifts about , replants his feet and says "no, no" ...but its too late, the dagger has already found its mark.
    Well Don was kind of an a**hole off screen. But as “American Soul” revealed, he did suffer from mental & physical health issues that more often than not, played a role in his behavior on and off the set. He also made unsettling remarks with the DeBarges as well. I’ll have to find that clip as well.

  33. #33
    Don Cornelius definitely had issues. And yeah he did poke fun at people a lot. Which is why I'm glad Rick James didn't play that mess with him lmao

    Whatever Don had, Rick always had a comeback.

  34. #34
    Actually they were on ST. But EWF performances were concert appearances shown on S T
    Quote Originally Posted by splanky View Post
    Dang, now we wanna blame Don for Michael's de-railing?....People really would do better
    to consider how much DC contributed to American Black and popular culture. That said
    I never really bought the excuses as to why EWF and P funk were never on Soul Train. Each
    case was given the tired line about him insisting they lip sync and they won't do that. I
    believe there had to have been more to it than that because a number of acts have performed live on the show. I think there were other stipulations they couldn't agree
    on. It was good to know Don and Maurice remained friends....

  35. #35
    Funkadelic was on Soul Train May 23, 1981

  36. #36
    I'm sure lots of things added to MJ's distorted perception of himself. Primarily his father's abuse, bullying, him feeling uncomfortable in his own skin as a teenager, and having to deal with people who were 'fans' saying things like "Eww what happened?" when they saw him in airports as a taller, acne suffering teenager. He was extremely sensitive and I can imagine off the cuff remarks probably did bother him.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatkliqkid View Post
    I'm sure lots of things added to MJ's distorted perception of himself. Primarily his father's abuse, bullying, him feeling uncomfortable in his own skin as a teenager, and having to deal with people who were 'fans' saying things like "Eww what happened?" when they saw him in airports as a taller, acne suffering teenager. He was extremely sensitive and I can imagine off the cuff remarks probably did bother him.
    Yeah just like it was featured in the Jacksons miniseries.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    You're right Boogiedown & I stand corrected. The comment that Don Cornelius made to Michael might've helped to fuel his problems with self-imaging. I forgot that Michael (like other teen-age performers) was very sensitive as he was coming of age.
    I admire your openness to reevaluating the material as presented Eddie, your taking the time for a second assessment of it was appreciated. (and I wasn't singling you out BTW )
    I'm not trying to be right , I don't think there is a right or a wrong opinion of it, it is what it is. We all know what a rough time Michael had growing up, his carefree youngest years denied, and we've heard about the teasing , but to witness it like this really brings it home imo. I was shocked and disappointed when I stumbled on it, by watching it, it 's such a vivid illustration of what Michael was experiencing, it helps in understanding the "why" behind the older Michael Jackson's behaviors and his obsession to reconfigure himself.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-31-2020 at 10:28 PM.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    Just watched this clip and I thought that Don's comment was mean. He also sorta pointed towards Michael with his hand, when he said it. Not nice.
    I agee. The camera angle lends room to make it inconclusive, but watching it repeatedly, it certainly seems like Don is fixated on Michael with that comment.
    I guess little editing was done on that show ( any??) because I'd like to think a more thoughtful Cornelius would've said let's take that part out , if he had the ability.

    jboy88:

    Well Don was kind of an a**hole off screen. But as “American Soul” revealed, he did suffer from mental & physical health issues that more often than not, played a role in his behavior on and off the set. He also made unsettling remarks with the DeBarges as well. I’ll have to find that clip as well.
    I'd be curious to see that footage too. Maybe you'll post it??
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-31-2020 at 03:59 PM.

  40. #40
    On a lighter note, it's mentioned that this was filmed just as Jermaine had exited , so it's entertaining to watch what happens during Jermaine's parts in the song:
    '

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