It isn’t very often that I’m shocked at the passing of one of our musical heroes, but when I heard about Michael Jackson I was devastated. I’ve known Michael since he was 12 years old and he recorded a song I co-wrote, “Little Christmas Tree” (Clinton/Wayne)

I met him and his family at the Tokyo Music Festival in 1974, and had a chance to tell him how much I liked his recording of my song. I also told him that he was one of my biggest dance influences, which made him smile considering I was three times his age.

When I told Michael that I was a songplugger and I couldn’t go out dancing late at night like I once did, he said in that high little voice of his, “Artie…why don’t you build a dance floor in your office?”.

As soon as I got back to Hollywood, Warner Brothers Music built me a four foot circular plywood dance floor, but a few months later when I went to run A&Ms publishing company they constructed a six foot mahogany one for me! To this day I’m proud to tell everyone that it was Michael Jackson’s idea.

The last time I was in touch with him was when he was about to do the “Thriller” album. He was holding onto one of my songs for over a year, and even made a few suggestions to improve the bridge, but in the end he didn’t record it. I was still grateful for the opportunity.

From now until the end of time millions of words will be written about him and his influence in music, dance, and fashion, but the most important gift he has given the world is everlasting hope and inspiration.


Thank you Michael and R.I.P. may you ROCK IN PERPETUITY!


Respectfully, Artie https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/