Snapshot: Jackson 5, Santa Monica (1969)

Lawrence Schiller photographs the Jackson brothers dancing barefoot on the beach to mark Labor Day and the end of the summer vacation

To mark Labor Day and the end of the summer vacation, the above photograph, taken in 1969 by Lawrence Schiller, a photojournalist who went on to work with Norman Mailer on the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Executioner’s Song, shows five brothers from Indiana dancing barefoot on Santa Monica beach, Los Angeles, as the waves roll in behind.

The image captures the Jackson 5 (above, from left, Tito, 15, Marlon, 12, Jackie, 18, Jermaine, 14, and Michael, 11) just before the launch of their debut Motown album Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. The record was an immediate, phenomenal success, the singles “I Want You Back” and “Who’s Loving You” selling 6m copies in six weeks.

The photograph is one of 150 images featured in Los Angeles: Portrait of a City, part of Taschen’s Portrait of a City Piccolo series.

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