TITO Jackson is excited. After 50 years in the music business, he has finally got around to doing the one thing he never had a chance to before... releasing his own record.

"I have just released my first solo album," he says cheerfully. "All my brothers have recorded their own projects, everybody but me. This is my first."

The result, Tito Time features rapper Big Daddy Kane, singers Betty Wright and Jocelyn Brown and Tito's sons Taj, Taryll and TJ – known collectively as 3T.

"The brothers really like the album," he says. "It's going to be a hit."

Tito – real name Toriano Adaryll Jackson – is part of musical royalty – the first family of pop.

Along with Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and, of course, Michael, he was a member of The Jackson Five, responsible for some of the most memorable tunes of the 60s and 70s.

Starting off in talent shows around their hometown of Gary, Indiana, they began working in 1967, finding fame when they were signed to Motown records two years later.

They were the first group to debut with four consecutive number one hits on America's Hot 100 – with I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, and I'll Be There – among 16 top 40 singles, including Never Can Say Goodbye and Dancing Machine.

Leaving Motown for Epic in 1975, and with Jermain's place taken by Randy, The Jacksons scored further hits with Enjoy Yourself, Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) and Can You Feel It.

Michael, it goes without saying, went on to even greater things. The 'prince of pop' becoming one of the biggest selling artists of all time, eclipsing his brothers.

Michael's shock death in 2009, galvanised Tito and Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon into embarking on a Unity Tour, their first without Michael, three decades earlier, with the aim of celebrating their brother's legacy.

That led to a reformed Jacksons tour, which rolls into the unlikely setting of Blenheim Palace on Sunday.

Is Tito looking forward to it? "Absolutely! And the brothers as well. It's been a little while since we were over there and thought it would be good to go back.

"We are celebrating 50 years of The Jacksons and we have a heck of a show for you guys. We are going to power through some old stuff, and part of it will be dedicated to my brother Michael. There will also be solo things and things I've done which we haven't played before. It's going to be quite an experience."

And how do they choose which tunes to play out of a bulging back catalogue? "It's easy... we let the public do it. They say what songs they want to hear and we take it up and add a song here and there as well as Michael's stuff."

He pauses, and adds: "The only sad thing is he's not here with us.

"I feel Michael with us. We've been performing since we were little kids until now and it's hard not to have him here. But it's bittersweet as there's still a good feeling about him and his songs which comes from writing good songs. They live for a long time and that's the difference.

"There are a lot of other big hits out there, but will they still be in 40 or 50 years? Will they be forgotten or will they be anthems?"

He is talking over the phone from his home in Las Vegas. "I love it here!" he says. So does he frequent the slots and tables of the city's famous casinos? "I don't go down as much as I did when I didn't live here. When I'm recording, I'm in Los Angeles, so when I am trying to get a bit of relaxation I come to Las Vegas. I can still see the Strip from here though – 20 miles away!"

He talks proudly of his upbringing as one of 10 kids in a small house in Gary and how his curiosity led to the brothers embarking on their illustrious career, when, aged 10, he was caught playing his dad, Joe's guitar.

"I was playing my father's guitar and broke a string, and he gave me a good beating," he says warmly. "He popped my ass! And then gave me the guitar and said 'show me what you know!' He got me a guitar, told me to learn some songs, learn technique and sing – and that was it."

Tito teamed up with Jackie and Jermaine to form a group – and The Jackson 5 were born.

So what are his favourite songs? "I go with the early stuff," he says. "I Want you Back and ABC, as they laid out the road map for the brothers. With starters like that, what you gonna do? It's been an honour."

And are the brothers still close? "Oh yeah! We've always been close. That's the good thing about family. We've taken a vow: family first and music second."

So how does he rate his family's contribution to music? "We made a lot of contributions but I don't know how to measure them," he says wistfully. "But it's good to look at the popularity of things and the success of things you contributed to. You have to look at everything overall – and it's a good feeling. We have made music people can relate to."

And now there is Blenheim Palace to look forward to.

"We are going to have a great time," he says. "It's going to be one big party with high energy and big love. It's going to be magic on stage!"

  • The Jacksons play Nocturne at Blenheim Palace on Sunday with special guest stars Kool and the Gang.
  • The festival, which began last night, continues tonight (Friday) with Max Richter and the Aurora Orchestra, followed by Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamie Cullum and Gregory Porter on Saturday. Tickets from nocturnelive.com