Inside the Abandoned Gary, Indiana Hospital Where Michael Jackson Was Born
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, the Jacksons' legendary career at Motown Records has many Michiganders thinking they were from Michigan. Sure, many other Motown stars were from here, like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Diana Ross – but the Jacksons were barely in Michigan at all...but we kind of have adopted them as one of us.
The Jackson family grew up in a small, two-bedroom house at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary. Michael was born at St. Mary's (Mercy) Hospital in 1958, the eighth child out of ten. The hospital is now abandoned.
Their father, Joseph, had formed a group that consisted of Michael's brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, of which Michael joined them in 1964 when he was six years old. The group toured the Midwest, opening for established acts like Gladys Knight and Etta James. In 1968, they landed a deal with Chicago's Steeltown Records and recorded their first single, “Big Boy”.
After opening for Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, the Jacksons were taken to Motown by Taylor himself for an audition. It didn't take long for the Motown bosses to sign the brothers to a contract. Even though it's believed the Jacksons recorded in Detroit, they had moved to Los Angeles after being signed and were based in California.
Also, it was widely believed that Diana Ross discovered them, which is false. On the cover of the Jacksons' first album it reads “Diana Ross Presents The Jackson Five”. This led to the misconception, when it was actually Bobby Taylor who 'discovered' and brought them to Motown. Berry Gordy, who was having an affair with Ross, wanted the public to believe Diana was responsible for the group. He thought it would boost her television career...somehow.
I'm still confused on that one.
Michael has a memorial marker in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, but is actually buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California.
Look at the photo gallery below, and see the hospital – inside and out – where Michael was born, as well as the old Jackson homestead in Gary, Indiana.
Hospital Where Michael Jackson Was Born
Motown's Martha Reeves
Inside Motown's Legendary Recording Studio
Aretha Franklin's Childhood Michigan Home
Abandoned Blaine Street Synagogue, Detroit
Where Eminem Lived in Michigan