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Johnny Jackson 3/2006

Johnny JacksonMarch 1, 2006 – Johnny Jackson was born March 3, 1951 in Gary, Indiana was noted for being the drummer for The Jackson 5 from their early Gary, Indiana days in 1967 when he replaced original drummer Milford Hite, until the end of their famed career at Motown in 1975.

The label presented Johnny as the cousin of Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, but contrary to popular belief, Johnny Jackson was not related to the Jackson family of entertainers.

Jackson grew up a few blocks from the Jackson family and had made a name for himself as a drumming prodigy before he started high school, said Gordon Keith, who has sued Jackson family members over the rights to their early recordings made for his Steeltown Records.

“He was a show drummer,” Keith recalled. “There were times that he would outshine Michael at their shows.” In recent years, Jackson played with Acoff’s band, White Dove

He was 54 when his girlfriend stabbed him to death on March 1, 2006. Yolanda Davis, 44, turned herself in on Friday. She was charged with killing Jackson following a domestic dispute at his Gary home on Wednesday.

“It hurts me so bad,” said boyhood friend Anthony Acoff. “I called him that night. We were supposed to go to a jam session.”

Janet Jackson paid for his final expenses. Johnny was well known to the Pentad Jazz Band of Gary, Indiana. Pentad Jazz’s founder Donell Bonds said of Johnny: “This was one of the greatest drummers in the world! Johnny was a great brother.” Jackson 5 members except Michael attended his funeral.

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