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Who's Loving You Now?
Michael Jackson talking to audience
I'd like to talk to y'all tonight
About the blues
One of Michaels Brothers:The blues?
Yer the blues?
Don’t nobody have the blues like i have
I may be young but i know what its all about
This was the beginning of a show put on by the Jackson 5 when Michael Jackson was about 10 years old or so. It was the beginning intro for their latest hit “Who’s Loving You”? Then Michael goes on to sing the song about how he messed up a love affair and he wonders who is loving the girl now.
I was pretty young when this show first aired but saw it years later on a show that was a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. It got me thinking that when I first heard this song it didn’t really have any effect on me, I mean I liked MJ a tremendous amount, especially his voice as a child, but I never really listened or thought about the words until I read the interview with Michael Jackson by the man that was to write a book about MJ, and recorded hours of tapes with Michael and the tapes are filled with stories about his fame, fortune and sadly his childhood.
That’s when I got to thinking about the childhood that MJ must have had that a boy at the age of 10 could sing the way he did, with such emotion that it just wants to make you cry because you believe every word of it and it pulls all the strings of your heart and you know deep down that whatever the age of this little boy singing this song, it is apparent that he has felt pain, humiliation, love and disappointment. Yes he had a god given talent to sing but being able to proclaim “the blues” in the way that he did took personal experience.
It was exacerbated even more so when I read the interviews with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who was the one interviewing him for the book and the honesty in what Michael was saying about his childhood and what his life was back then.
I personally do not generate any judgments’ about Michael Jackson, he was a man that I never knew, never met. I don’t know anything that he has ever done wrong, I was not on the jury that tried to convict him of child molestation, and I certainly wasn’t there when it supposedly happened. No, I am only writing here about the emotions, absorbing as they were that the song stirred up in me after the interview, and what affect the pain of his childhood might have had on him when he sang the words to the song that was originally for Smokey Robinson, and even Smokey himself said at Michaels funeral that Motown thought that this little 10 year old boy had more soul then him. That is a very telling statement. Here are some of the statements from Michael Jackson about his father that were to be in the book that the tapes were made for.
According to the Rabbi.” Michael Jackson feared his father so much he would faint or vomit sometimes when his father entered the room -- even when the pop singer was an adult.
Michael Jackson's taped statements about his father's treatment of him as a child echoed what he has said previously.
"He was rough, the way he would beat you, you know, was hard," Jackson said. "He would make you strip nude first. He would oil you down. It would be a whole ritual. He would oil you down so when the flip of an ironing cord hit you, you know, and, it was just like me dying, and you had whips all over your face, your back, everywhere. And I always hear my mother like, 'No, Joe, you're gonna kill him. You're gonna kill him. No.' And I would just give up, like there was nothing I could do. And I hated him for it. Hated him."
Another Michael Jackson quote from the book alleged emotional abuse by Joe Jackson:
"God bless my father because he did some wonderful things and he was brilliant, he was a genius, but one day he said, 'If you guys ever stop singing I will drop you like a hot potato.' It hurt me. You would think he would think, 'These kids have a heart and feelings.' Wouldn't he think that would hurt us? If I said something like that to Prince and Paris, that would hurt. You don't say something like that to children and I never forgot it. It affects my relationship with him today."
So here is the song and you may disagree with me on this and that’s fine if you do, but in my opinion when you hear this specific song, it really makes you wonder about the love that Michael Jackson received as a child, if he was ever allowed to be a child, and if you can hear what I hear in this dynamic performance.