This was the original “boy” group that took over the pop charts globally in the 1970s. Although the group had individual talent and individual performances from the siblings, the groups still survived as an entity. Donny and Jimmy had their own solo hits (although Jimmy was a sort of occasional member to the group). Sister Marie had solo success too, and with Donny had a huge TV following with the Donny and Marie Show.
The Osmonds were all born into the Mormon faith and became world ambassadors for the church. Clean cut and virginal, well in theory anyway. The boys were hired by chance to sing in the Disney parks, which led them to being seen by singer and TV star Andy Williams.
It was not long before the young Osmonds were regularly appearing in the And Williams Show doing dancing and mainly barbershop routines. They guys were also regular performers on the Jerry Lewis show too. In 1971 the brothers signed to MGM records and had huge success with their first single One Bad Apple getting to the U.S. No. 1(not charting in the UK). The song is known so well to a certain age of baby boomers as it was also the theme to their own cartoon series. The song was originally intended for Michael Jackson who had to turn it down.
The U.S. charts had two more hits that year with Yoyo and Double Lovin, but nothing in the UK. However 1972 gave the brothers a minor UK hit with Down By The Lazy River followed by a classic No. 2 UK hit called Crazy Horses.
This song is about the pollution cars made on the world’s environment and was a real rock tune compared to their normal sweet melodic material. The song is looked on now as a classic song. The song was written by Alan, Merrill and Wayne.
Alan Osmond was born in Utah in 1949 and has acute hearing problems. Despite the hearing issue he had great taste in women as he use to date Karen Carpenter.
1973 and the group had bigger hits than they did in the U.S. In the UK they were now huge pop stars and when they visited the UK they were mobbed and followed everywhere. The boys had to witness one time when the crowd was too big and the wall at Heathrow airport collapsed causing injuries but no fatalities. The 1973 hits were Goin’ Home and Let Me In both coming from The Plan album.
1974 the single I Can’t Stop got to No. 12 in the UK.
The big hit getting to No. 10 in the U.S. and No. 1 UK was Love Me For A Reason from the album of the same name. It was Johnny Bristol who wrote this single, he also had a big hit in the 1970s singing Hang On In There Baby. Johnny died in 2004.
Merrill Osmond was born in 1943 and married in 1973 and now has four sons. Wayne Osmond born in 1951 is the second eldest of the brothers and suffered a brain tumor in the late 90s but was successfully treated.
1975 they had a UK single called Having A PARTY, but the follow up was much more successful called The Proud One getting to No. 1UK (No. 10 U.S.). The song was written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe who wrote and sometimes performed in the Four Seasons. In fact The Proud One was originally a hit in the 1960s for several groups including the Four Seasons.
The Proud One was the last top twenty hit for the group in the 1970s. Of course Donny, Jimmy and Marie had their solo work and the fans followed the Osmonds everywhere they went, but for pop single hits there time was over.
The Donny and Marie Show aired until 1979 on its first run, and the group has been honoured with the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2003.