Day 291: I’ll Be There

Song: “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5
Reached #1: October 17, 1970 (their fourth, 5 weeks)

Four in a row…

I’m not sure which turned out to be the more surprising statistic: the fact that the Jackson 5’s first four singles all hit #1… or that they never hit #1 again after that burst at the top of the charts in 1970.

“I Want You Back” came first in January 1970.  Then there was “ABC” (April), “The Love You Save” (June), and this single, probably the one we most associate with the Jackson 5.

And that’s it for #1 singles.  For any number of reasons – timing, lineup changes, song choice – the Jackson 5 never got higher than #2 after “I’ll Be There”.  In fact, the group has the four #1s, three #2s, one #10, and no other Top 10 singles.  It was clearly feast or famine for the Jackson 5 – and their post-Motown incarnation as The Jacksons only scored three Top 10 singles.

Of course, that’s not all the Jackson family ever did – Michael had a little bit of solo success, as did Jermaine, and sister Janet dabbled in music as well…

“I’ll Be There” got a second life as a #1 single in 1992, when Mariah Carey made it a last-minute add to her MTV Unplugged concert as a duet with Trey Lorenz.  The reaction was so huge that Columbia Records was forced to release it – and the song went quickly to #1 again.

Tomorrow, an Atlanta-based rapper who, at one point, released an album from prison…

Other songs that reached #1 on October 17:
1960 –
“Save The Last Dance For Me” by the Drifters (their first, 3 weeks)
1964 – “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Mann (his first, 2 weeks)
1981 – “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” by Christopher Cross (his second, 3 weeks)
1987 – “Lost In Emotion” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (their second, 1 week)
1998 – “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies (their first, 1 week – of course)
2009 – “Down” by Jay Sean feat. Li’l Wayne (his first, 2 weeks)

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