Donny and Marie Osmond The History Behind The Music
Born Donald Clark Osmond and Olive Marie Osmond, the brother and sister duo we know as “Donny and Marie” are part of a singing family sensation. Both born in Utah to George and Olive Osmond, they were raised in a devout Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints home. There were nine children in the family. Marie is the only daughter. The two oldest Osmond brothers, George and Tom were born deaf and never in involved in show business, but they had an impact on the family. Patriarch George Osmond loved to sing and was sadden that his two oldest sons would not be able to enjoy his love of music. The Osmond’s were raised as a very close family valuing traditions and the love of music. The children were all taught to sing by their dad.
The rise to fame of Donny and Marie may never have happened without the notoriety of “The Osmond Brothers”. The Osmond Brothers included their four older brothers, Alan, Merrill, Jay and Wayne. The four older Osmond brothers began their quartet in a traditional barbershop style of music, taught by their father George. They performed in church and eventually Disneyland. They initially were singing to raise money to pay for their older brothers hearing aids. They eventually went on to audition for “The Lawrence Welk Show” but they were turned down. In 1962, The Osmond Brother’s success started with an appearance on “The Andy Williams Show”. From then on they were a sensation and eventually a highlight of that show performing weekly. Later on as the group became successful their younger siblings, brothers Donny and Jimmy, as well as their sister Marie joined in the act. Donny was an immediate stand out hit with fans. His charisma and charm won over audiences. It wasn’t long before the entire family became a national phenomenon. The Osmond’s sang on “The Andy Williams Show” for seven seasons.
The family eventually opened up their own recording studio in the basement of their home. There they produced over 30 Gold and Platinum records. They began touring across the country. Donny and Marie both had separate solo careers from their brothers. Marie was performing country music and is the youngest female to ever have a Grammy nomination and a #1 hit single on the charts at the age of 12 with her song, “Paper Roses”. The family continued to perform and tour together. Often Donny and Marie would perform together as a duo, which eventually led them to record six albums together in four year, beginning in 1974.
Donny and Marie took the family’s recognition to a new level. They were getting attention from many Hollywood television producers. In 1976, Donny and Marie at the ages of 18 and 16 respectively became the youngest duo to have their own TV variety show, “The Donny and Marie Show”. They became an iconic squeaky clean pop duo. They were teen idols and gave performers such as “The Partridge Family” and “The Jackson 5” a lot of competition. Their wholesome variety act continued on until 1979, while attracting many popular guests including Bob Hope. They became known for many of their hit songs on the show the most popular being, “I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll”.
Although the show was very popular, especially amongst teenagers, many speculate that the show became less popular once it was recognized that Donny was dating and eventually married his girlfriend. Many female fans no longer had as much of an interest in the show and it eventually was canceled.
After their variety show ended, Donny and Marie both took their hand in the acting field on TV shows and theater. They also continued working together at times and co-hosting on TV events and shows. Since the end of their variety show, both Donny and Marie have gone back to recording music. Most recently they have been performing in their own Las Vegas show. As for the “The Osmond Brothers”, they eventually opened up their own theater in Branson, Missouri, “The Osmond Family Theater”. Many Osmond family members including the brothers continue to perform there.
Donny and Marie are one famous duo that has been able to stand the test of time, nearly five decades! Although over the years they have endured many personal challenges, including the loss of both parents, they continue to sell out crowds and are adored by millions of fans.