A Concert and Interview With The Legendary Jacksons – A Dream Come True

Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Renee Sudderth, and Tito Jackson - A Dream Come True - Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
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Lights! Action! There was excitement at the “newly opened” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday, September 1, 2018. The lights were beaming brightly on the Legendary Jacksons at their concert and the Splash Magazines Worldwide interview that followed. Starr Hayes, President of Jackson Doll Productions, the oldest Jackson Fan Club and charitable organization of almost 50 years and her other Jackson Dolls, Tracee Hayes and Renee Sudderth (Splash Magazine Photojournalist) were there, enjoying every exciting moment with the Jacksons.

Once we arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the Jackson Dolls were ready for the concert.

The beautiful Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey where the “Musical Royalty” Jacksons performed September 1, 2018 and the audience pleaded for an “ENCORE” – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

But first, we mingled with the fans listening to how the Jacksons have impacted their lives and how excited they were to be at a Jackson concert once again. The fans were excited to see the Jackson Dolls as well. Starr, the President, has been with them almost 50 years since August 29, 1971. This shows that longevity, perseverance, and dedication pays off especially since many fans remembered her.

Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Starr Hayes, President of Jackson Doll Productions, the Jacksons oldest fan club, and Tito Jackson enjoying this reunion after the concert – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
The Jackson Dolls – Renee Sudderth, President Starr Hayes and Tracee Hayes posing with fans who admire and love both the Jacksons and Jackson Dolls – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Once the Jacksons hit the stage, we all were screaming, dancing and having a good time watching the musical group from our childhood still looking good, singing and dancing like they did in their 20’s. They were interacting with the crowd and we were interacting with each other.

The concert was filled with so much excitement, laughter and passion that after the concert we were still “feeling it!” The Jacksons didn’t have to ask us “Can You Feel It?”

Tito, Jackie, Marlon, and Jermaine Jackson giving the crowd what they want–an amazing, passionate concert displaying their extraordinary talents – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Soon after, the Jackson Dolls were escorted backstage and that’s when this momentous “face to face” encounter with the Jacksons took place!!! I was smiling real big, as were Starr and Tracee.

Since other fans wanted to take photos with the Jacksons, we hurried and jumped in the photos with them. As I positioned myself for the photo, I didn’t realize that Tito was beside me. With great surprise and excitement, I said “TITO”! He smiled at me. That made my day. We really had fun taking photos, and then watching the Jacksons talk, laugh and take photos with their other fans. It was special to see them take time to interact with fans, even though, I knew they had to be tired after rehearsing earlier and then performing an energetic, stunning, upbeat, emotional concert!!

Once the “meet and greet” was over, it was time for the “long-awaited” interview. Jermaine and Tito were not available but we talked quickly with Tito at the photo session. I told him I loved the solo song he sang during the concert “We Made It”. It’s so amazing that Tito and his brothers were performing while his three sons, 3 T’s were performing overseas as they continue to have “Sold Out” concerts.

Tito’s solo performance of “We Made It” was “right on point” – Make sure you go see Tito and his band on tour – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

In a private room, the Jackson Dolls spent an unforgettable, informative, and fun interview session with the oldest son of the family Jackie, and Marlon, the “Dancing Machine” of the group who revealed he was inspired by James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Fred Astaire, The Nicholas Brothers, and others who had spectacular dancing talents.

Marlon Jackson giving all he got on stage – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

We all were still excited about the explosive concert. I didn’t have time to be nervous, just HAPPY AND THANKFUL!!! Surprisingly, they were as excited as we were. Marlon made me feel at ease when — he asked, “Do you want to come over here to conduct the interview?” I stood up, walked over and then Marlon said, “Ok go ahead and do your thang”. We all laughed!!! I was sitting between Jackie and Marlon while Tracee recorded us during our Question & Answer (Q&A) session while President Starr looked on and asked questions too.

Jackie Jackson, Renee Sudderth and Marlon Jackson enjoying the unforgettable interview session – Video “still shot” created by Renee Sudderth and Tracee Hayes

With condolences to the Jacksons and respect for their family losses, we asked if it was permissible to talk about their father, Joseph Jackson and brother, Michael.

If so, please share with us your fondest memory of both. Marlon responded, “Thinking how it was back in Gary (Indiana), I didn’t understand it then, but now I understand and appreciate what our father was trying to do when we were growing up. He was trying to keep us out of the streets and keep us focused.” Jackie responded, “We thank him for trying to make a name for ourselves and yes we rehearsed and rehearsed, not because we were forced to by our father but because we wanted to and we were trying to get famous. Marlon quickly replied, “We’re still trying to get famous”. Most definitely, we really laughed at that.

Papa Joseph Jackson with his sons: Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Jermaine, Michael and Randy Jackson “Back In The Day” – Photo Courtesy – Jackson Doll Productions’ Facebook Site

The fondest memory Marlon shared about Michael was “Jackie, Michael and I used to do the choreography. So, we miss the times spent putting our shows together and I miss the talks we use to have back in the day”. Starr, Tracee and I found that to be so touching.

“Going Back To Indiana” 1971 album – “The Early Best Years” Marlon Jackson was speaking about – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Also, Jackie mentioned that their father taught them how to be strong. “One day after his burial, we had a concert in Europe and Janet had a concert somewhere. We know that’s what he would have wanted us to do. And yes, the show must go on.”

Then Jackie asked, “Can I say something? When we performed in Detroit in June, we went to our dressing rooms, and surprisingly, we had a large bouquet of flowers that were given to us from Aretha Franklin. We really appreciated that but I didn’t realize she was so sick until about two weeks ago prior to her passing.”

Jackie stressed the point that all kids have talent and it’s up to the parents to help them find that talent. A lot of people thought our father forced it on us, but we loved what we were doing. Jackie talked proudly of his “soon to be 5-year-old” twins; they already know our dance moves and the pointing (The Jacksons’ signature dance move). They know Marlon’s songs; Janet’s music and they travel with us overseas. They know how to play tennis and soccer already.” It is so remarkable his twins are that active already, likewise Jackie is still an active athlete himself.

Jackie and Tito Jackson the two oldest brother of the Dynasty Jackson shows they were born to entertain!!! – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Talking about Jackie’s twins, we had to ask do they remember their first arena concert when they were young. Jackie laughed and said, “Yes, I remember it because I was scared. We were used to dancing for 5 or 10 minutes and now we had to dance one hour or more, oh yes I was scared.”

We had to ask Jackie and Marlon, do you think the Jackson fans will ever get a chance to see the Legendary Jacksons and the “Gen X” Jacksons perform together in concert. They both looked as though they were deep in thought in a good way, therefore we will stay in suspense.

Jackie is proud that he has his own Record Label “Critically Amused” and has two signed artists D.B.L and Gold Lemonade. In response to my question regarding influences, he replied, “Absolutely, I learned from my father and Berry Gordy, managerial and producing skills”. Starr and I asked Jackie if he plans to do more writing, producing and managing or retire in the upcoming years. He let us know clearly, he is not retiring anytime soon. Oh, he amazed us on that one and we all shared a big pleasant smile!!

Starr asked Marlon to elaborate on the etched message “Study Peace” on the baseball cap he was wearing. He said “it’s easy to say it but so hard to accomplish it. We are set in our own ways, but if we “Study Peace” then more people will gravitate to it. The world needs peace. It’s up to all of us to do something!!!” Also, when asked about his legacy, Marlon replied “I finally understand it’s truly a blessing the Lord has given to us”. We nodded with total agreement!!!

Marlon Jackson, advocate for “Study Peace” – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Conversing with Jackie and Marlon I could hear and feel the passion they have for their family and fans. Both were laughing and said they saw us on the floor dancing with the music. Jackie said, “It’s fuel to our engine on stage and it makes us feel good having people jumping around and seeing grandmothers out there too. Whenever we go to other countries, we see many nationalities together dancing, getting down and being happy. This brings us joy when we look out in the audience and everyone is having a good time. We want people to say we had an effect on them.”

The Jackson Dolls – Renee Sudderth and Starr Hayes enjoying the Jacksons and remembering Michael and his famous leg kick – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

Our conversations felt genuine. I thought about how their parents, Mr. Joseph and Mrs. Katherine Jackson had instilled in them true values they have never lost.

The Jackson Dolls told Jackie and Marlon we were really enjoying ourselves dancing with other fans feeling the excitement in the air and coming from the stage during the concert. Exhilarated by it all, we realized it was time to wrap up and thank the Jacksons again for allowing us to interview them, and share with us their lustrous careers and rewarding lives.

 

Renee Sudderth, President Starr Hayes and daughter Tracee Hayes of Jackson Doll Productions, the oldest Jacksons Fan Club of almost 50 years – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth
The Jacksons’ 50 + Years together definitely are standing the test of time – We still love them!!! – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

I thank God whole heartily for the many precious memories on this night that will forever be etched in my mind as a dream come true for many reasons!!!

The Jacksons will continue to perform their electrifying concerts internationally. Jackson Doll Productions will continue our mission providing resources for children, serving the homeless, and seniors in need, on the Jacksons’ behalf. And Splash Magazine will continue “adding style to your life”.

Please don’t miss your lifetime opportunity to experience this legendary musical dynasty, and appreciate their humble beginnings and the success they have and continue to achieve. Yes– they can truly say “WE MADE IT”.

The Jacksons – the Greatest Musical Dynasty Family Entertainers of All Time – Photo Courtesy of Renee Sudderth

The Concert Tour Schedules

The Jacksons 2018 Tour

titojackson website

3t.com/news

Janet Jackson 2018 Tour

Related articles:

An Outpouting of Love from Detroit

Starr Hayes-Shining Bright

Stay tuned for this article’s continuation.

15 Comments

  1. ERNEST HOLTON – Sept 15, 2018 – Via EMAIL – I am thankful that you are keeping me in the loop. I wish I could had been there for this concert! I’ve read a few articles in Splash Magazine and come to find them to be very interesting and informative. May God continue to bless you all.

  2. C. CARTER – Sept 15, 2018 – Via EMAIL – Great article. I’m so…proud of you. God is so… Good and yes he makes dreams come too. Remember Joseph (in the Bible) was a dreamer.

  3. CARITA JOHNSON – Sept 15, 2018 – Via TEXT – Girl your article was off the chain and was awesome!!! – How deserving of a kind person such as yourself! You did that!

  4. JEFF JARRET – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK – Great article, Renee! I know this was a dream come true for you. You have always been the Jackson’s #1 fan! Your skills as a photojournalist have really paid off, as I think this is one of your finest articles to date, maybe due to the passion you share for these Legends! God bless you with continued, amazing success, my friend! You NEVER disappoint!!

  5. I’m so, so happy for you Renee! You deserve this. Thanks for sharing with me after going thru breast cancer, and treating me to see the Jacksons at Chastasin Park (Atlanta) for the first time. I enjoyed them and you and friends so much. I will never forget that for the rest of my life. Your childhood friend.

  6. MIDO HUSS – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK on Jackson Doll Productions – WOW WHAT A WONDERFUL READ..THANK YOU FOR THE POST….

  7. NANCY HENERT – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK on Jackson Doll Productions – I love them all and have since 1969

  8. YOLANDA PEACEANDHAPPINESS – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK on Jackson Doll Productions – So Happy for you Starr. Beautiful picture

  9. SIP JACKSON – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK – My Air Force & friend 4 life Renee Sudderth I am so proud of your Splash Magazine. You have many talents our star point guard at Lackland AFB , singer, journalist and The Jackson Dolls what else. This article and pictures of interviewing The Jackson’s was great. Three years ago Labor Day weekend by accident we were in Orlando at the same time. U was at The Tom Joiner Family Reunion at The Jackson 1st comeback tour. Just to say u will be anywhere at any time at any given minute. I just want u to post that real #tb pic in the comments below of my family Jermaine, Jackie and u.

  10. TERRY CROSBY – Sept 15, 2018 – Via FACEBOOK on Terry Crosby – It is such a Blessing for me to know people throughout the WORLD..! A very Dear Friend..Renee Sudderth achieved her Lifetime Dream with a LIVE Face to Face Interview with the Legendary Jackson 5..! Dreams become.. REALITIES!!! Congratulations..!! Renee Sudderth

  11. Well,well,well what can I say you are truly a Jackson doll no doubt! Renee I’m so proud of you girl you did that all I can think about reading your article is your 50th Michael Jackson theme birthday celebration. I’m so glad your dream have come true with all your dedication and determination you made it happen God is good. Continue to keep up the good work your light is shinning bright.

  12. Yes, God still gives out blessings. To me your the number one Jackson Fan. Thanks for sharing. Marlon if you read this let’s reconnect. Last time we spoke was back in the Excel Telecommunications days.

    May God continue to bless you Renee!!

  13. Yee Renee I’m so proud of you. You finally got a chance to make a dream come true. That is a good article. I am proud of you and glad to have you as a friend.
    LOVE YOU forever

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