Little Known Black History Fact: J.J. Jackson, MTV’s First Black VJ

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J.J. Jackson, also known as Triple J, was the first black VJ or video jockey on music television. He made his debut with the MTV network in 1981. J.J. Jackson was the premier VJ of the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert in London. He introduced the world to the real faces of a group called KISS in 1982. He was also the first DJ to introduce The Who and Led Zeppelin.

Jackson started his career on MTV along with another new VJ, Mark Goodman, who went on to become a major TV network producer. Known as MTV’s original “Fab Five,” Jackson and Goodman were accompanied by VJ’s Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn.

It was J.J. Jackson who gave an artist named Bruce Springstein his first television interview.  Jackson got his start in radio as a well-known rock DJ for WBCN-FM in Boston. He then moved to Los Angeles to work at KLOS station, a job he would maintain for ten years. Jackson’s voice made its film debut when he starred as a DJ in the 1976 film “Car Wash.”

J.J. Jackson died on March 17, 2004 of a heart attack while driving. At the time of his death, Jackson had been set for a job with his former co-worker, Mark Goodman, at Sirius Satellite radio.

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