This week’s throwback artist really needs no introduction. We’re all familiar with Jermaine Jackson, big brother of pop superstar Michael Jackson and a member of the world famous Jackson 5. In addition to playing bass, Jermaine also shared vocals on some of the brothers’ biggest hits like “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” “The Love You Save” and “Dancing Machine.” What you may not know is that Jermaine had a pretty impressive solo career from 1972 to the early 1990s, complete with several hits. His debut album, released on the Motown label, featured a cover of “Daddy’s Home,” a tune by Shep and the Limelites. The album, simply titled Jermaine, made it to number one on the R&B charts. After his departure from The Jacksons, the question remained if Jermaine could hold his own without his brothers. The answer came in the form of his 1979 album Let’s Get Serious. The super funky single of the same name, written by label mate Stevie Wonder, shot to the top of the R&B chart and made it to number six on the pop chart, earning Jermaine a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. His last Motown album included a collaboration with new wave-rockers Devo, a tune entitled “Let Me Tickle Your Fancy.” Jackson then signed with Arista Records and released the top 20 singles “Do What You Do,” (with a duet with Michael on the b-side) and “Don’t Take It Personal.” Jermaine also produced tunes on Whitney Houston’s debut album and recorded duets with Houston as well as with singer and actress Pia Zadora. Along with his brothers, Jermaine was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Back in 2010 he performed a solo concert in for a crowd of 30,000 in Gambia for the International Kanilai Cultural Festival and plans are in the works for a new Jermaine Jackson album and solo tour.
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, visit him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.