Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and other ghosts from the 1970s

I learned about popular culture in the 1970s. I hadn’t thought of it too much until this week. Too much of 70s culture was bad, and shows like “That 70s Show” reminded and reinforced that for me. I was very glad when the 70s pop culture gave way to 80s pop culture.

But with the passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, and the release of new tapes from Richard Nixon, it all came back again this week. I recalled having a T shirt with Farrah Fawcett on it when I was a kid. (Hey, so did everyone else! :) ) And of course I had seen the Jackson 5 many times on TV.

I pulled up some videos of the Jackson 5 on YouTube and found this:

It may seem strange and funny, but since colour TV was still fairly new back then, and special effect were pretty limited (Star Trek wasn’t just phony looking because of budgetary reasons), this may have been seen as pretty cutting edge. And Carol Burnett and other variety shows — and there were lots back then — would likely have had big budgets.

Whatever you think of all that, one thing I can’t help but notice is that Michael Jackson has always been a great dancer. Great performer, period. As were the Jackson 5. When all is said and done, and all the trappings of the 70s are put aside, they were great.

And if you are hankering for more 70s goodness after that, here are the Jackson 5 on Cher’s show, doing a medley of their hits. (Medleys were HUGE on variety shows.) For this, the only special effect is those tuxedoes.

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