Aired on Treasure Island OldiesMay 26, 2024

Thanks to television becoming mainstream throughout North America, we experienced some significant events during the 60s that will remain with us forever. Do you remember where you were when President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, a day often referred to as “the day America lost its innocence”?

Where were you on the evening of February 9, 1964, the night the Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show?

And finally, who were you with on July 20, 1969 when astronaut Neil Armstong planted his foot on the moon and proclaimed, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”?

For those who remember the foregoing, there’s a good bet you remember a 1983 historic 25th anniversary TV special that featured an unforgettable and stunning performance that many of us still talk about today.


That TV special, Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever aired on NBC on May 16, 1983. This tribute to Motown, which was founded in January 1959, was taped before a live audience two months previously at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California.

Among the show’s highlights were Smokey Robinson’s reunion with the Miracles, a Temptations/Four Tops “battle of the bands,” Marvin Gaye’s inspired speech about black music history, a Jackson 5 reunion, and an abbreviated reunion of Diana Ross & the Supremes, who performed their final #1 hit, “Someday We’ll Be Together,” from 1969.

The climactic performance of the evening came right after the Jackson 5 segment when Michael Jackson took center stage alone.

For those several minutes that are widely hailed as his breakthrough performance as a solo artist, Jackson danced while singing to prerecorded vocals of a song that at the time was in the middle of a seven-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100. It was the only non-Motown song performed on the show.

The audience went into a frenzy when he introduced what would become his signature move…the moonwalk.

Beyond its immediate impact on Jackson’s career, this performance had a lasting influence on the world of dance and popular culture. The moonwalk quickly became synonymous with Jackson, with countless dancers and entertainers emulating his moves in homage to his legacy.

In the years that followed, Jackson’s concert performances of “Billie Jean” would mirror his appearance at Motown 25, from the opening pose with the fedora, black sequin jacket, and glove, to the moonwalk routine in the song’s bridge. And it’s this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.

YouTube video of this song:

This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.

This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.