Joe was the one who brought Michael into show business, but it came at a price. Allegations of mistreatment of the pop star as a child hounded Joe, leading to a strained relationship between the two men. Yet, Joe's been doing most of the talking since Michael died.
In 1968, Michael Jackson debuted as a member of "The Jackson 5" -- and his father was the driving force behind his kids' overwhelming success.
CBS News consultant and Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli told CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy on "The Early Show" Tuesday, "There were times when Michael was a kid, and Joseph was a bully, and (it's) safe to say it was probably abusive."
But Joe denies the claim.
"I never beat him," Joe is quoted as saying. "I whipped him with a stick and a belt. I never beat him. You beat someone with a stick."
The allegations, Tracy reported, are part of a bizarre and tense relationship between the two men.
But Michael's star rose far beyond his father's arm with albums such as "Off the Wall" and "Thriller."
And, Tracy said, Michael pushed his father further away. But when Michael was accused of child molestation, Joe showed up with him in court in 2005.
Perhaps a sign the two had made amends?
People who knew Jackson, Tracy reported, say Michael turned a corner with Joe, when Michael himself became a father of three.
"I think Michael began to realize that, even though Joe did many of the wrong things," Taraborrelli said, "perhaps he did them for the right reasons."
But even in death, Tracy said, their strange bond was on display yet again. Joe promoted a new music company during a news conference on his son's death, and Michael excluded his father from his estate in what's thought to be his final will.