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Jackson Brothers Share Family Memories On Bonnie Hunt

Bonnie Hunt announced that the four Jackson Brothers, Marlon, Jackie, Tito and Jermaine were guests on her show.

(Image of Jackson Brothers DVD from new reality show - Amazon.com - All Rights Reserved)

The talk show hostess pointed out in her introduction of the Jackson Brothers that they had "22 Top Forty songs, sold more than 250 million records and are now starring in their own reality TV show called "The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty".

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Bonnie showed a clip of the Jackson Brothers at a photo shoot.  She pointed out there has been some drama involving the photos shoot.  When she showed the clip there was indeed drama due to the fact Jermaine had not showed up for the photo shoot because supposedly he had pink eye.  One of the remaining three brothers noted Jermaine normally wears dark glasses so pink eye was probably not a viable excuse.

When the Jackson Brothers appeared on Bonnie's stage they presented the talk show hostess with a signed ornament for her Christmas tree.  The ornaments presented to Bonnie from her celebrity guests this months and leading up to Christmas as being displayed on her Christmas tress on the set and will be auctioned off for Bonnie's favorite cancer charity.

Oddly, there were only three of the Jackson Brothers who appeared on the show.  Jermaine was not present.  When Bonnie asked why Jermaine was not there she was told by Marlon Jackson that Jermaine "well, he has pink eye again."

Bonnie then told the three Jackson Brothers "Now come on, I'm from a big family, there was seven of us, how do you deal with Jermaine's you know?"  Marlon said "missing in action?"  Bonnie said "yes"  Marlon replied "oh he disappears quite often but he's still a part of us but he disappears."

Bonnie asked the three brothers "may I ask whose the oldest of you, Marlon, Jackie, Tito."  Marlon pointed to Jackie, who was sitting in the middle on the couch between himself and Tito and said "Jackie's the oldest."

Bonnie asked Jackie "now come on, as the oldest, don't you get frustrated with Jermaine?"  Jackie said "of course I do sometimes but Jermaine is Jermaine but you know he's there, he'll be here."

Bonnie asked "how are you guys doing with everything?"  Before they could answer she said "oh I want to clear up, a lot of people were saying 'how could they do this reality show with this kind of timing.'  But this (the show) was already in place before Michael passed away.  Correct?"

Marlon said "we started shooting the show in January of this year (2009) so it was definitely in place before he had passed.  But we stopped shooting and took some time off to mourn our brother's passing, which was tough for all of us.  And it's still tough for us."

Bonnie pointed out it must have been difficult with all the information that came out after he passed away, but she thought the brothers wanted to celebrate the goodness in Michael's life, the talent in his life.

Marlon said "and we do.  I think not only Michael has been blessed, I think we have been fortunate, the whole family has been blessed to spread love and entertain people across the globe."

Bonnie said "when you guys were growing up, your folks had this dream, especially your dad, that you guys would be this team and it was unbelievable.  I mean you're a soundtrack of all or our lives."

Bonnie showed photos of the five brothers together during their time as The Jackson Five.   She said "look how cute you guys were.  I can tell you personally I never ever get tired of watching The Jackson Five.  That was your dad's dream.  Did you ever have anything else, like when you were a kid 'I want to be a doctor, or I want' were there any other individual dreams that you guys had?"

Jackie nodded and said "baseball player."  Bonnie said "you did Jackie?"  Jackie confirmed "I wanted to be a baseball player, yes."  Bonnie said "so did you ever have time to be on a team?"  Jackie replied "we played baseball quite a bit.  All of us."  Tito, who was wearing a jaunty blue hat and Marlon, agreed with Jackie that they "played often and played on Little League and all that."

Bonnie said "you guys didn't stay in a neighborhood and go to school?"  Marlon said "oh yes we did."  The family lived in Gary, Indiana and Marlon explained "in Gary, Indiana we did.  We were doing this five years prior to Motown and it's been going on for a long time.  And let me make a correction, actually it was my mom who noticed the talent in the family and my father said 'they don't have no talent'.

Bonnie and the brothers laughed.  Bonnie said "your mom is an amazing women."

Jackie pointed out "we started singing Country Western songs with our mom."  Marlon explained "my mom was a huge country western fan."  In fact, Jackie confirmed to Bonnie his mom is still into country western and they "listen to all type of music."

Bonnie then showed a clip about the four brothers talking about why Jermaine did not want to leave Motown and why not all of them ultimately went to CBS.

In the clip Jermaine was crying about "the reason why" he "stayed" at Motown and Tito was very comforting.  Jermain said "this hurts, the reason why I stayed at Motown is because Motown introduced us to the world as The Jackson Five."  Tito said "it was OK"  Jermaine said "and to be told we're going to CBS and they're going to make us like the Beatles, we were the Jackson Five and that was all I wanted."  Jermaine said "and so the fact that we started there, it was loyalty, just being loyal to where we started."

Bonnie said "Tito, you were so comforting to him (Jermaine) you told him 'it's OK'

Tito talked about when the Jackson Five left Motown to move to CBS Records.  He said "that was about 1975 I would say when the Jackson Five left Motown to move to CBS Records and my brother Jermaine had stayed with Motown Records to nurture his career there and the other brothers moved onto Columbia Records and it was a bittersweet moment because we wanted the best for both sides and at the same time we had missed him and hadn't performed with him for three or four years and he had come back to the group and we hadn't discussed the issues that had taken place at that time."

Bonnie said "and when you think about the companies involved, the record labels.  What was their advantage to, you think they would offer all or nothing to all five."

Jackie said "the reason we had wanted to go to Sony records was because we had the chance to write our own songs and that was very important to us.  Motown wrote great songs for us but this was our chance to write our own songs and to produce our own records.  And we did that at CBS Records."

Bonnie wanted to know "how did it come up again" and why all of this was just coming up now.  "It was a huge turning point."

Marlon said "we really never talked about it until that moment.  No, we never really knew what Jermaine felt about it (staying with Motown versus leaving to go to CBS).  We respect Jermaine's decision, and he had respected our decision.  Also we want to make it clear, that we definitely appreciate everything Motown Records had done for the brothers.  So we don't want people to think we're not appreciative."

Bonnie said "it never appears that you guys were ungrateful. No, no, no"

Jackie said "they were incredible.  They were an incredible company, Motown."

Bonnie said "but you always grow and go off to other things.  And there's always respect for the opportunity provided.  But you guys worked really hard.  As young men, you were working really hard."

Jackie said "actually it (Motown) taught us everything in the music business.  It was a learning process with Motown.  They taught us everything.  How to produce records, how to write songs, how to carry ourselves in front of press and everything.  They're a great company."

Bonnie asked "would you ever do a reunion.  Just like you guys going out."

Marlon "we'll probably do something, but it'll be different, becasue as you know,  the passing of our brother, that piece will not be there.  But we'll keep forging forward.  Our brother Randy you know, he will be a part of that, he's not a part of the reality show because he elected not to participate in it.   But he did say he would make a cameo appearance so people can understand that we're still together."

Bonnie asked about their life in the public.  She noted they had had a lot of privacy unlike Michael who had been so in the public.  She also wanted to know what the new reality show was like with them having their life filmed by the cameras.   She wanted to know about them showing their life now as adults.

Tito said "I think it's a great thing because he gives the public an opportunity to see who you really are and not the perceptions the articles and things they read in the papers and other things.  So I like it."

Jackie said "we're a family, we're a family like everybody else.  We're no different than anyone else."

Marlon said "one of the reasons the brothers decided to do this show is because we have fans across the globe and there had been so many things written about this family and I think we owe it to our fans to at least let them have a snippet of our private life.  Because there's a private, private side that at least stays with us.  That's with our family. Just to let them know what we're doing on a day to day basis and some of the other projects we're doing."

Bonnie mentioned "I'm sure there's a certain side of you where misunderstandings are so painful, aren't they?"  She said "when people write about them like they're fact."

Jackie said  "it's part of the business model.  When you're an entertainer and you reach a certain level, that come with it.  It comes with the territory."

Marlon said "but it doesn't just affect me.  It affects my kids, my grandkids."  Jackie pointed out "I have two grandkids."  When asked by Bonnie he said "oh yes, I'm a grandpa.  It's great.   I mean, my kids are 33, 30. yes."  Jackie gave Marlon a shoulder squeeze and said "he's a great grandpa."  Marlon said "yes, and my kids, they love me."

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