Sunday, August 29, 2010

Scoop Newsworthy Goin' Back To Indiana w/ Rod Coffman

A few days ago, I had an opportunity to speak to a friend of mine that I used to work with at a major logistics company. Rod Coffman, grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and hung out in Gary, Indiana, quite often. When I first met Rod and discovered he was a J5 fan, I had to drill him and test his knowledge. He passed the test! He knew all the songs and would sing them very well, "Lookin' Through the Windows", comes to mind. Thank you Rod for being a fan, friend and exposing me to so much music! So Scoop has the scoop and went back to Indiana with Rod...

1) When did you first catch wind of the J5?
Oh man, I believe the first time I caught wind of the J5 was around the time 'ABC' was a hit!

2) How many times did you see the J5?
I believe I saw them at least 4 times. I never missed an opportunity to see The Jackson 5 when they came to Indianapolis which was at least once a year.

3) What do you remember the first time you saw them?
It was the most phenomenal, most electric concert I ever seen in my lifetime. It was packed, shoulder to shoulder. I believe the ticket was $7. Me and my "play cousin" Sharper Cunningham went to the show. To this day when I think about it, I get chills. Back then, people were mesmerized by the steps of The Four Tops and The Temptations. When the J5 came along, it was a whole new ball game, they took it to another level. The precision in the dancing, the energy, their showmanship, the vocals, they had the whole package! To see a young group so polished, we were stunned, they were good, genuine, they had passion and they played their own instruments, it was exciting!

4) Which J5 album did you have first?
I got it on was..."Maybe Tomorrow". Now, I had 45's prior to the album, but that was my first one. I played the vinyl off that sucker!

5) What was your favorite album?
By Michael, it was "Ben" and my favorite J5 album was "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Lookin' Through the Windows". Oh my god, 'Don't Let Your Baby Catch You'...when I put that on now and thump that bass...I'm tellin will rock! I don't care what age you are, color, when you put it on everyone will stop and say Whoa! That song and that album has a strong hold on me. And you know a lot of people would only go for the hits on the album, I wanted to know every song front to back. I believe I played that album as much as "Maybe Tomorrow".

6) What was it like growing up throughout J5 Mania?
It was crazy for African American kids at that time, you had this little kid that could blow like nobody's business. In school you'd know when they were going to be on tv and the word was out! If you were outside playing and you knew they were on tv, the streets would clear! Everybody wanted to grow the afro like Michael and Jermaine's. We were intrigued by their costumes and we'd see them in all the magazines, we dreamed about being like The Jackson 5. It was a trip! I remember them being a topic of conversation in the barber shops.

7) Do you remember any song that would come on the radio or get played and it made you stop in your tracks? The one particular song was "Get It Together". I went to a house party when I was a sophomore in high school and the whole night we played "Get It Together", not one person complained. Every time they started the song over, we were rockin! I'll never forget a school bully attending the party and everyone was afraid of him, but when we played "Get It Together", he danced all over the house, I never seen him so happy in my life.

8) Do you recall when the Jackson 5 left Motown?
Yes, people were discouraged and we thought that they were breaking up. The music during the transition didn't seem to capture the passion, however they would always have that one or two that would pull them through that rough period. I believe that was the key to their survival.

Adam Worthy (Scoop Newsworthy) has been a Jackson 5 fan since 1981 when he first saw the Jacksons on TV at age four, and he has been a collector since 1991. He loves to listen to music, dissect music, make music, and spend time with his wife and children.


  1. It's great to read the memories of another early fan. Something Rod said really hit home -- the part about how important it was that the Jackson 5 played their own instruments, and were a self-contained band. That was a really big deal to us kids because it showed they were a serious musical group, not some made-up group like the Partridge Family.

    Also the part about how news would spread when the J5 were on TV. I grew up in a mostly white neighborhood, and we experienced the same thing. Everyone was excited by the Jackson 5 and we couldn't wait to see what they would do next.

    I loved reading the part about the neighborhood bully at the house party -- pure gold! Thanks, Scoop and Rod, for a great inteview!

  2. Nice column, makes me remember a lot of stuff. When J5 left Motown I remember Motown acting really petty and unprofessional - saying "How could they, we capped their teeth, we gave them steak to eat!" Yeah, and they paid you back a million fold! It's just business, but Motown made it ugly. The J5 was just leaving because the company wouldn't let them grow and write their own songs. What else could J5 do? Just become another Motown oldies act? I'd always had a shining image of Motown until they did that. Oh well, the JACKSONS showed 'em!!!!