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MTV Pioneer J.J. Jackson

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MTV Pioneer J.J. Jackson

The first Jackson on MTV was not Michael. It was veteran rock disc jockey J.J. Jackson, known to fans of the new cable channel as "Triple J." Jackson, who died March 17, 2004, was one of the original five "video jockeys" who served as the faces of MTV after the channel's 1981 launch. Jackson, who had worked in rock ‘n’ roll radio since the late 1960s, brought the voice of experience to the young station. Although he was a full decade older than the next oldest VJ, turning 40 as the network made its debut, Jackson fit perfectly into the young, super-hip world of MTV in the early 1980s.

According to MTV.com, Jackson served as a VJ for five years, covering many key moments in MTV's early history. He covered the 1985 Live Aid concert from London and in 1986 hosted the debut episode of 120 Minutes, the music program that had fans of alternative music staying up late every Sunday night for years. Jackson also made history in 1982 when he interviewed KISS without their trademark stage makeup, the first time the band had ever appeared in public without it.

After his time at MTV, Jackson returned to radio as a modern-rock program director and smooth-jazz announcer at several Los Angeles stations before his death of a heart attack at 62. He was remembered fondly by his fellow "Fab Five" VJs and legions of early MTV viewers.


Written by Seth Joseph. Find him on Google+.