The single that launched one of music’s most famous dynasties debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly 48 years ago today. “I Want You Back,” the first Motown single by the Jackson 5, began its journey up the chart dated Nov. 15, 1969.
It wasn’t the first single by the group of five brothers from Gary, Indiana. Their father, Joe, approached a local label, Steeltown, about signing his five sons. The Jacksons spent several consecutive Saturdays at Steeltown, recording a number of tracks, and on Jan. 31, 1968, the small independent firm released “Big Boy.” “It felt good to have a single out,” says Tito Jackson, second oldest of the group. “It made us feel like we were getting somewhere. We saw our record selling in stores. But we didn’t realize what a small level we were at in Gary, compared to the world.”