Osmonds Bring Down Curtain
by Martin Hutchinson
January 13, 2012
The Osmond Brothers have been entertaining us for over 50 years and their anniversary tour a couple of years ago was almost a complete sell out.
However, good things must eventually come to an end and they are undertaking their final UK tour.
But it’s their biggest ever.
Thanks to their appearances on The Andy Williams Show on TV, The Osmonds became world-wide stars and when they started to release records and tour the reaction was so powerful that ‘Osmondmania’ broke out around the world, with scenes reminiscent of ‘Beatlemania’ from the previous decade.
Their hit catalogue is pretty impressive, with One Bad Apple, Let Me In, Crazy Horses and Love Me For A Reason being the pick.
Not only that, but it wasn’t long before members of the family went solo and for a time the charts included hits by The Osmonds, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Donny & Marie Osmond and Little Jimmy Osmond.
They have sold over 100 million records and garnered 59 gold and platinum discs.
Jimmy was never a part of the group back in the Seventies. He arrived on the scene in 1972 with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool. But 20 years ago he decided to join them on tour.
Speaking from his home in Utah, Jimmy tells me that Britain has a special place in his heart.
“I’ve always been welcomed in whatever I do, whether it be singing or doing panto.”
“Since the Seventies, the UK has been amazing, not just to me but to all my brothers, too.
“Our fans in the UK are all friends – and we don’t deserve them.”
The line-up for this final UK tour is Jimmy, Jay, Wayne and Merrill. Jimmy says: “This line-up has been the core. We’re the longest running group in history with the same members and it’s all down to the older brothers who made it happen.”
After a trio of Top 20 hits, Jimmy seemed to disappear from the scene and got involved with other things.
“I never really stopped, actually. I performed a lot in Japan and then I got involved in other people’s careers, from Bon Jovi to Michael Jackson.”
“Then about 20 years ago I was thinking that I wanted to get involved with my brothers again. Afterall, they had sacrificed a lot and pushed us younger ones forward.”
When he had the hit with Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, he was reported as not knowing where Liverpool was – but that was soon put right.
He laughs. “It’s true that I had never been to Liverpool and didn’t know anything about it but I soon learned.”
And despite the fact he celebrates his 48th birthday on April 16 (a rare day off on the tour), he still has to sing the hit he had before he was ten years old.
“I learned a long time ago that you don’t mess with people’s memories. I once left the song out of the set but we were at Wembley Arena and the place erupted so I had to sing it. Basically it was a case of ‘just shut up and do your job’.”
He admits to not really having a favourite Osmonds song.
“I don’t really listen to our songs as I’m not that narcissic. I tend to like classic rock and The Eagles.”
But he does have a soft spot for one of his brothers’ albums.
“I love The Plan (their 1973 concept album about their Mormon religion). Up to then, all the hits had been chosen by the record company but the brothers rebelled and it paid off – I think people recognise what’s sincere.”
* The Osmonds Final UK Tour – Up Close & Personal will be coming to Symphony Hall, Birmingham (0121 780 3333) on Thursday March 29 and The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton (0870 320 7000) on Wednesday April 11.