REPOST: Remembering Michael Jackson

Published by Torrence Glenn on Friday, June 25, 2010 at 8:09 am.

Today marks the one year since the “Anniversary” of the death of the Chief Minister of Pop Music, Minstrel Michael Joseph Jackson. The saints love a title don’t we? Ha! But seriously, gospel artist or not, Michael Jackson was one of the most influential artists of all time and his influence didn’t stop with pop and r&b.  His music and career despite the the hiccups were just as relevant to those of us who proclaim to love gospel music.  So with that in mind, I’m reposting a blog I did right after his funeral close to a year ago.

What’s interesting is that it seems like it was only yesterday that we found out the news that Michael had passed; but at the same times, it feel like it’s been a good while since so much has happened in the past year.  The funeral, the movie, the charges, etc. It’s all been so much in so little time that I sometimes have to remind myself that he really is gone. I won’t put many disclaimers in this part of the post because I get that out of the way in the beginning of the repost, so I’ll just say “It’s my blog and I can blog what I want to!” (*In my best Cyndi Lauper voice.*) RIP MJ!

***passed mic to myself***

No, he isn’t a gospel artist.  I’m not even sure if he professed to be “saved.” (Deep ones, go away! I’m out of flotation devices and this ship will sail REGARDLESS.)

So I know you’re thinking “Why would Torrence take so much time in between blogs about gospel and then have the nerve to dedicate a post to Michael Jackson?” Or perhaps you love and appreciate Michael Jackson as an artist, but at the same time are thinking “Yeah, he was good and all that but he had nothing to do with gospel music!”

So yes, I’ll acknowledge that he was in fact, not a gospel artist. But I’d be remissed (how’s that for church talk!) to ignore the contribution he has made to and received from gospel music.  “What do you mean Torrence?” Well, I’m glad you asked. (So churchy today.)  Full disclosure, I was/am a huge fan of Michael’s music and ministry so this post will read as such. (Yes, I said ministry! If handing out clothes and feeding the poor at your church’s outreach center is ministry, then you have to count the millions of dollars and efforts Michael made to charity as ministry too! So deep ones, if you’re STILL reading stop now! :-) )

So here, in no particular order of importance are my thoughts, tribute, and ramblings regarding Michael Jackson and Gospel:

The Jackson 5 - Come on (or shall I say shum-on), you know The Jackson 5 were really a five-member quartet! The costumes, the choreography, the one guy singing lead and the bitter background singers who had to sing in the shadows? That group had all the makings of a quartet group to me and I haven’t even addressed those vocals.

Joe Jackson was his daddy. – It’s no secret that Joe Jackson was mean, strict and arguably to some (not me) abusive. He beat those notes right on out of those kids. Sounds a lot like some of our favorite choir directors of yesteryear and today now doesn’t it? I’ve heard stories of hymn books  being hurled accross the choir stands for wrong notes and all that. I’m just saying…

White socks and black shoes. – For my entire childhood, I had to watch women in church rock white stockings and black shoes and think it was hot! The excuse? “It breaks up the black.” Whatever. I’d rather you just be honest and say you were trying to look like Michael Jackson.  Which brings us to…

The Glove (and everything that came with it) – Rhinestones? Check. Sequins? Check. Glitter? Check.  Now what about this checklist does not SCREAM 1st Sunday, convention, first lady, etc.  Be honest! And you ushers past and present know you wish you could have spruced up that uniform with one of those gloves.

Kirk Franklin, Tonex, Tye Tribbett, Deitrick Haddon, 21:03, et al. – Nuff said.  Ok, I’ll say a little bit more, ha!  But really, without Michael’s legendary lead of genre mixing and showmanship would any of the artists I mentioned and their counterparts exist.

We Are The World – We’ve all been to a convention, conference or retreat at least once.  And admit it, one of the best parts of these events is the “sing-a-long/mic toss.”  He brought together the top artists of the day, got em in a room together, turned them into a choir and they did a sing-a-long and mic toss.

Neverland Ranch – With all the news coverage lately about Michael’s former home, I kept saying to myself “Every room almost looks like an old school pulpit!” Think about it, all that gawdy and gold furniture with the velvet cushions.  You know your Bishop used to sit in a seat like that…even now. You could tape an episode of TBN’s “Praise The Lord” in any of those rooms.

Michael Jackson spoke in tongues – Ok, seriously, have a laugh! I know he was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and all, but I think he just may have snuck out to a black church pretty regularly. Because umm “mama say, mama sa, mama coo sa” will make you feel some kind of way when the music breaks on “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.” And let’s not forget “shum-on” and “Shondo Annie” from “Smooth Criminal.”  I’m just gonna stop there.  Somebody is going to kick me out the church. LOL

Yeah, I know it wasn’t the most somber “tribute” but I just had to get it out and wanted you to get it out with me.  But seriously, say what you want. Michael Jackson had serious gospel style chops and would wail and tune up with the best of any gospel singer you can name.  Click the link below to the “Bad” video.  Fast forward to about 14 minutes in (it’s the long version) and you’re gonna see the gospel come out of Michael! Ha!

Rest In Peace Brother

And one more thing.  Be mindful of YOUR WITNESS.  Some of Michael’s closest friends were gospel artists and I’m going to believe that through their words and lives, they had an effect on him. I’m not gonna preach, but like always…I’m just sayin…

Torrence

PS. use the comments to talk about your MJ memories and let me know if I missed anything.  Perhaps you have your own Michael Jackson gospel moments.

PPS. Just finished watching that funeral.  Now say what you want about MJ and church.  Somebody planning that funeral knew Jesus! Yes!

***switches mic to other hand***

Well, that’s it folks. Pardon me while while I crank “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and do a devotional clap and foot tap on the vamp!

Torrence

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Tweets that mention REPOST: Remembering Michael Jackson | The Gospel According To Torrence | BET.com -- Topsy.com Said on

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gerard Bonner, Torrence Glenn. Torrence Glenn said: "The Gospel According To Torrence" Remembers Michael Jackson http://bit.ly/bSGQQv #fb [...]



KAnne Said on

Torrence,

All of the passive aggressive comments are NOT necessary, why do journalist, bloggers, etc do that. Just speak your words and keep it moving, leave the bones for the dogs. Just stop it already!



Shannon Said on

There’s other people out there who think of him as the 21st century Arch angel Michael, and a gift from God. Michael meant more to the music industry than we know it. I believe God put him here to help inspire positive people cause you see how the music industry is with him gone. Nothing but a bunch of over sexualized people out there doing to much for the shock factor. Soon you’ll see more teens dressing like prostitutes just to get attention cause they might think that’s the only way to make it in life. Influence is big in this world, and we needed someone like Michael to help bring up a new generation of people like he already did.

Michael Jackson Symbolism Part 1 [HQ]
http://www.facebook.com/shavice1#!/video/video.php?v=1494486010652&ref=share



MMC-NEWS Said on

Entertainment news: This is it: all Michael Jackson, all the time…

Insightful. Inspirational. Beautifully Designed :) . The experiences and skills gained through your website be carried throughout my professional career. If only everyone had the same level of perseverance – the world would be an enjoyable place to l…



rheather Said on

R.I.P., MJ! Thank you for the music & memories! You are missed!

Any other MJ fans planning to watch TV Guide’s Michael Jackson special, Gone Too Soon, tonight? I’m really excited about it!

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3b9oXa9v8c

http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/gone-soon/305026



Ashley N Said on

I will never forget Michael Jackson. He will always live in my heart. I grew up listening to him. I was crying when I heard that he had passed away. He will forever be known as the KING OF POP. R.I.P MICHAEL JACKSON.



corie Said on

I miss michalejakson…don’t you…you guy’s….



Flora Said on

I remember Michael at the age of 5 when i was 10. He was good in his singing, You know Jesus loves everybody. each and everyone of us have a chance to accept Christ we don’t know if he was saved or not but if he wasn,t . The Bible says what does it profit a man to gain the whole and loose his own soul. Michael did some good work , but we are not save by our works. we are the one that put people up high . Example just like Elvis as a King , and James brown and Michael. If we are save then Jesus is our king if you are not then satan is your god. Like the old people used to say give me my flower while i am living. I will never forget Michael , but I am not going to loose any sleep over it either, when we die we are gone he want have to suffer anymore in this mean old world. May he rest in peace. Love, Flo.



Evern Williams Said on

The greatest entertainer that I have known miss you sooooooooo much……
RIP



Evern Williams Said on

Thank you Torrence Glenn for all you do we love you…



Jennifer Broughton Said on

Praying for the Jackson Family!



CMWbet Said on

alone trying to say that someone is not at rest. NO ONE new his frame but GOD. His music wasn’t gospel…it wasn’t evil either. All I know…is every time he came out with a new song, or doing something of good…not to gain anything from it…but only to give that of HIS HEART and share LOVE from what his HEART was built to do.HE was a giver not a taker…He had a child like heart not a killer. Every time HE gave HE got more back in return. Then as time went on…He WAS BEING ATTACK FROM LEFT TO RIGHT FRONT TO BACK and all corners of his life. He wasn’t perfect but he was HUMBLE and so much more. GOD knew him and why he was being lied on…ridicule, persecuted. The more he put out or wanted to do…there was always a set back. I never seen anyone evil be abused like he was…you don’t know his life with GOD. None of us do. HE was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness…that doesn’t mean HE follow their ways…but HE did try to live accordingly to GOD’S truth ways and life. Like I said…he wasn’t perfect. You didn’t know his demeanor…only those who truly knew him…and been around him did.



CMWbet Said on

alone trying to say that someone is not at rest. NO ONE new his frame but GOD. His music wasn’t gospel…it wasn’t evil either. All I know…is every time he came out with a new song, or doing something of good…not to gain anything from it…but only to give that of HIS HEART and share LOVE from what his HEART was built to do.HE was a giver not a… See More taker…He had a child like heart not a killer. Every time HE gave HE got more back in return. Then as time went on…He WAS BEING ATTACK FROM LEFT TO RIGHT FRONT TO BACK and all corners of his life. He wasn’t perfect but he was HUMBLE and so much more. GOD knew him and why he was being lied on…ridicule, persecuted. The more he put out or wanted to do…there was always a set back. I never seen anyone evil be abused like he was…you don’t know his life with GOD. None of us do. HE was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness…that doesn’t mean HE follow their ways…but HE did try to live accordingly to GOD’S truth ways and life. Like I said…he wasn’t perfect. You didn’t know his demeanor…only those who truly knew him…and been around him did. I agree with Torrence one million per cent.



CMWbet Said on

Thank you Torrence Glenn…very much.



CMWbet Said on

Michael was a giver in life. Thank you Torrence Glenn.



Evern Williams Said on

Michael you would have been proud of Cris Brown last night, chris God has forgiven you



Soul Summer Said on

Great article! It really is a shame we lost him so early. I’ve been remembering him thru the Ultimate Michael Jackson Playlist http://bit.ly/9TFZM0 ….just in time for summer :)



Sumerki Said on


cpciv Said on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOxSAnnoI3E
The REal cause of Michael Jacksons death.



Silvily Said on

Michael’s not gospel? Man in the Mirror, Keep the Faith……I’m just sayin’……
It’s all L.O.V.E.