By Roger Friedman
Michael Jackson recorded a whole new album of material in the fall of 2007. The information about the album was only recently revealed by sources close to the late pop star.
Readers of my old column will recall that I reported on November 19, 2007 that Jackson spent three months with the Cascio family in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey after decamping from a Northern Virginia home he’d been renting courtesy of then manager Raymone Bain.
Jackson, his kids, nanny and tutor landed on the Cascio doorstep at the end of the summer of 2007 and stayed until November 7th. During that time Michael was not idle, as some thought. He recorded at least a dozen tracks with Eddie Cascio, who is also known as Angel.
I’m told that Jackson’s manager and adviser, Frank DiLeo, knew that Jackson was working on a new album. DiLeo and the Cascios all declined to comment for this article.
The song titles that I’m aware of include: “Water,” a song Michael actually sang a little bit of in the movie, “This is It” (Jackson fans have commented on this on fan blogs), plus “Breaking News,” and “Burn Tonight.”
According to one source who’s heard the material, Michael’s vocals are “perfect.”
The question now, of course, is what happens next. The Jackson estate just signed a record deal with Sony Music that could be worth $200 million, but it includes re-releases of previously recorded music, live albums, and an album of unreleased songs that were in the Sony vaults or recorded during Jackson’s contracted time with the label.
That deal does not include newly discovered material. This could mean that other record companies could bid for the collection of songs.
Eddie Cascio, who’s 28, is the second oldest son of Dominick (Sr.) and Connie Cascio, who were friends of Jackson since the 1990s, Dominick Cascio Sr. met Jackson in 1984-85 when he was the general manager at the Helmsley Palace Hotel in New York City. Jackson recognized the Cascios immediately as a “normal” family, and quickly befriended them. Since Jackson’s death, the Cascios have been frequent visitors at Katherine Jackson’s home in Encino, California.
Over the years, Jackson reciprocated the Cascios’ hospitality with enormous generosity. Although the Cascios were not named in Jackson’s will, the song tracks should prove to be multi-million dollar bonanza—and a lasting gift to people whom he really considered family.
The Cascio’s were so close to Jackson that a message from them, written by Eddie, was included in the booklet distributed at Jackson’s Staples Center memorial service in July 2009. Here’s what it said:
“Doo Doo, It is only once in a lifetime where you meet a true Angel sent
from the Heavens above. I count my blessings each day for I have experienced Heaven on
Earth. The wisdom, guidance, and knowledge will always be remembered and put into
action. I thank you for the memories, for they will remain in my heart forever and ever.
Our friendship will always be treasured. I write on behalf of my family.
We promise to always remain ‘The First Family of Love’.
From the Bottom of our Hearts
WE THANK YOU and will love you FOREVER and ALWAYS.
ANGEL ‘Dr.Heat’ Cascio and the Cascio Family”