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Roots & Influences - World of Michael Jackson

Artist Song Buy
James Brown  I Got the Feeling   buy on itunes
Diana Ross  Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)   buy on itunes
Jackie Wilson  Baby Workout   buy on itunes
Sly & the Family Stone  Stand!   buy on itunes
The Temptations  My Girl   buy on itunes
The Miracles  Who's Lovin' You   buy on itunes
The Four Tops  Reach Out (I'll Be There)   buy on itunes
Stevie Wonder  Superstition   buy on itunes
Wings  Girlfriend   buy on itunes
John Lennon  Imagine   buy on itunes
Marvin Gaye  Pride and Joy   buy on itunes
Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers  Why Do Fools Fall In Love   buy on itunes
Sammy Davis, Jr.  Mr. Bojangles   buy on itunes
Cliff Edwards & Disney Studio Chorus  When You Wish Upon a Star (From "Pinocchio")   buy on itunes
Fred Astaire & Oscar Peterson  Steppin Out with My Baby   buy on itunes


From his early years in Indiana, Michael dreamed of being a [i]total[/i] performer, so his influences ranged far beyond your by-the-numbers Top 40 playlist. In the presence of the Godfather of Soul, Jackson testified, "No man has influenced me more than [i]this man right here[/i]." Even at age 9, Michael mimicked James Brown's funk-soul freight train "I Got the Feeling" . . . right down to the [i]yow[/i]! In many ways, singer/dancer/actor/former child star Sammy Davis, Jr. was pop culture's Jackie Robinson, breaking through the wall that Jackson would ultimately tear down; on "Mr. Bojangles," Sammy takes you from the cell to the stage in a tour de force story-song. And check out Paul McCartney's Jackson-esque falsetto on "Girlfriend," which Michael covered on [i]Off the Wall[/i]. In addition to being McCartney's occasional collaborator, Jackson worshiped the Fab Four's pop powers (hey, he even bought their publishing). And there's more: Michael's roots extended from divas like Diana Ross to dancers like Fred Astaire — and we have 'em all.
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