behindthegrooves: On this day in music histor…

behindthegrooves:

On this day in music history: October 7, 1971 – “Got To Be There” by Michael Jackson is released. Written by Elliot Willensky, it is the debut solo single for the then thirteen year old Motown superstar. New Jersey born Elliot Willensky, a graduate of Boston University and the University Of Massachusetts at Amherst, originally intends to pursue a career as a research scientist, when he abruptly quits his post graduate studies in 1969 to follow his true passion to become a professional songwriter. Not long after getting his initial break writing “The Singer” for The 5th Dimension, Willensky writes “Got To Be There”. Producer Hal Davis hears the song demo, and immediately knows that is perfect for Michael Jackson. The track and vocals are recorded Motown’s Hitsville West Studios in Hollywood, CA in June and July of 1971, and is produced by Davis (“I’ll Be There”, “Never Can Say Goodbye”). Though it is released as a solo single, it does also feature Michael’s brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon on background vocals (w/ additional studio background singers). “Got To Be There” peaks at #4 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts on December 11, 1971, becoming Michael Jackson’s first million selling single as a solo artist. It is also featured as the title track of his debut solo album “Got To Be There” in January of 1972.