African American History & Music Collection

The Jackson Five's 1st Contract signing them to professional label

Original signed contract between Joe Jackson and Steeltown Records, November 21, 1967. This contract signed The Jackson Five to their first professional label.

First sheet of contract is a copy of the original. Signature sheet is original, measures 13 x 8 1/2'', and has been signed in blue pen. Dated as having been executed on the November 21, 1967. William Adams, of Steeltown Records, has signed on both the President and the Secretary lines. Joseph Jackson has signed the artist line. Document has been stamped and signed by a notary public. Wear around edges of paper, as well as deep crease along bottom due to the paper having been folded. Some slight age spots. Three small tears have been slightly taped on back.

Steeltown Records, in Gary, Indiana, is best known for being the label with which The Jackson Five got their start. Their first album, The Steeltown 45s, was released on this label. The story of their first signing went as such: Joe Jackson invited the owner of Steeltown to come see the Jackson kids perform at Beckman Junior High in Gary. Hestitant at first, he eventually agreed - and he was hugely impressed by what he saw. After the performance, Steeltown offered the Jacksons a record deal. The Jackson Five ever only recorded 8 songs with the label, 2 of which were unreleased. In July of 1968, The Jackson Five signed with Motown Records - a move that was controversial, as their contract with Steeltown had not yet expired.

Plus vintage sheet music of The Corporation's Maybe Tomorrow, as recorded by The Jackson Five (12 x 9''), and the December 1974 edition of Ebony Magazine, with The Jackson Five on the cover (13 1/2 x 10'').

Steeltown Records was located in Gary, Indiana. This contract comes to us from that label's original founder.

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First sheet of contract

Signature sheet