Osmonds are a little country, a little rock and roll
She’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock and roll. Donny and Marie Osmond bridged both of those genres to become pop music and television stars in the ’70s, and they continue to perform together today. The brother-and-sister duo performs on July 14 at Grand Sierra Resort.
The Osmonds’ touring show is modeled on what audiences are now seeing at their long-running show at the Flamingo Las Vegas. During “Donny and Marie,” the siblings sing their big hits as solo artists and in duets. There’s also a riff on a popular part of their ’70s TV variety show, where Marie Osmond sings songs by other artists that are “a little bit country,” while Donny Osmond sings songs that are “a little bit rock and roll.”
It’s fitting that Donny and Marie Osmond found the peak of success on variety TV, since that is how most Americans first saw them. Donny Osmond and his brothers were first hired by pop singer Andy Williams to be featured on his variety show in the ’60s, with Donny making his debut at age 5 in 1963. Marie was also occasionally featured on the Williams show.
Donny Osmond’s career took off into the stratosphere, though, when he teamed with four of his brothers as The Osmonds. The pop group had six top 20 singles in the early ’70s, including a No. 1 with “One Bad Apple,” a No. 3 with “Yo-Yo” (both in 1971) and a No. 4 with “Down by the Lazy River” in 1972.
Donny Osmond also had a parallel solo career with eight top 20 singles and another No. 1 with “Go Away Little Girl” in 1971. His other big hits of this era include “Sweet and Innocent,” “Hey Girl, “Puppy Love” and “The Twelfth of Never.”
For younger sister Marie Osmond, the path to success was in country music, although she did have a No. 5 pop hit with her 1973 debut, “Paper Roses.’ From there, Marie became the youngest artist with a No. 1 country song (also with “Paper Roses”). Her other ’70s solo hits include “Who’s Sorry Now” and “In My Little Corner of the World.”
As a duo, Donny and Marie Osmond had three top 20 hits in the ’70s: “I’m Leaving It All Up To You,” “Morning Side of the Mountain” and “Deep Purple.”
After the chart success, from 1976 to 1979, the “Donny and Marie” TV variety show featured the two singers in comedy skits, musical numbers and even ice skating routines. The Osmonds had another TV show called “Donny and Marie” from 1998 to 2000, but this was a syndicated daytime talk show. The duo also stared in a feature film in 1978 called “Goin’ Coconuts.”
Both Osmond siblings had second acts when it came to musical careers. Marie had a string of top 20 country songs in the mid-1980s, including “There’s No Stopping Your Heart” and “Read My Lips.” Donny also returned to the pop top 10 in 1988 and 1989 with the songs “Soldier of Love” and “Sacred Emotion,” respectively.