With all the talk of Michael Jackson this week, I thought it might be nice to remember that brother Jermaine, who appeared on the “Today” show today, has had hit records, too.
Back in 1984, after “Let’s Get Serious” topped the charts, he released a terrific album with Clive Davis on Arista. The album featured’‘”Do What You Do”‘“Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming”‘with Michael on vocals, and a duet with Whitney Houston, who was just starting out. About four years later, Whitney told me she’d had an affair with Jermaine at the time.
Why Jermaine did not go on from there and have a big solo career is anyone’s guess. Bob Jones, Michael’s longtime aide (now deceased) wrote in his self-published book that Michael purposely thwarted the careers of all his siblings so he could be the only star in the family. I don’t know if I believe that. Janet Jackson had a false start with a dud album before her “Control” record broke out like crazy and established her.
Jermaine’s hits shouldn’t be forgotten or written off as ’80s trivia. Frankly, he would do well to get a band together and hit the road playing small clubs.’ I’m sure he still has the chops. As long as the material is strong, he can sing. Don’t forget: it’s his deeper voice that makes and “I’ll Be There” a memorable Jackson 5 record.