Why I Still Love Donny Osmond

Autographed photo from the fan club in 2004. Yes, you're reading that right, it's to my daughter, Jodi. She was a year old at the time. I was getting one for myself and thought, hey, who knows, maybe she'll be glad she has it someday. Who knew years later she'd go to one of his concerts and end up liking him so much?

Everyone has their favorite entertainers while they're growing up and beyond. Mine were Bobby Sherman (wish he were still singing), Rick Springfield, Parker Stevenson (who is the bees knees for doing an interview for this website, love you, Parker!), Ingo Rademacher (okay, you probably have to look him up unless you're a long-time General Hospital watcher), and Donny Osmond. Someday, maybe I'll be able to interview all of them. Can you imagine the travel tales they could tell with Ingo's living an amazing life in Hawaii, and Rick being from Australia and Donny from beautiful Utah, who have both traveled the world? I'm sure with touring there's not always time for sight-seeing, but I'm sure they both have favorite places and foods and exciting adventures. Hey, I can dream! Does Parker's interview and belief in this website help my case?

Seeing him recently in Atlantic City, NJ reminded me why I still love him after all these years and what an exceptional talent and person he is. And I've traveled here and there to see the Osmonds over the years so thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane.

Way back in 1972, it was all about how cute he was and how great a singer he was. Well, he's still handsome and still a wonderful singer, but more than that, he's a good person. I'm always telling my two children that nothing much else matters in this world except being a kind, compassionate human being, and being true to yourself. Through the years, Donny has been all of these things. He has had his share of tough times, when no record company would touch him after the Donny and Marie show ended, when his friend Michael Jackson suggested he change his name, when someone suggested he be busted for drug use to break his image, enough to make anyone give up. But not Donny. He was determined to stay in the entertainment industry, on his own terms, never compromising his values or morals.

He is someone I can tell my kids to look up to. In fact, my 13-year-old, Jodi, went with me to Atlantic City and thought he was "awesome." You can't get a better endorsement than a teenager in this day and age. :) My friend, Penny, also came with us. She had only known Donny from the "Donny and Marie Show" 70s days. But she went along for the ride and after the show said, "I had no idea. I have to buy some CDs. I really like Donny." LOL And my friend, Joan, who really hadn't thought much about him, borrowed some of my CDs and surprisingly enjoyed them as well. So there you go, 3 new fans in a short amount of time. And I knew it all along. :)

Thank you, Donny, for not giving up on show business so that we can still enjoy your amazing talent.

And just for the record, here are some of the things he has done over the years. He's a guy who always adapts and finds new things to try:

  • Debuted on the Andy Williams show with his brothers at age 5
  • Became a best-selling group and solo singer (his latest album, The Soundtrack of My Life, is his 60th!!!)
  • He and Marie where the youngest co-hosts of a variety television series
  • Donny had the greatest comeback of the 1980s with Soldier of Love
  • He has starred in musical theater in Little Johnny Jones in 1982, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for 6 years, and was Gaston in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway (he was invited by Disney to do a 12-week run)
  • He teamed up with Marie again in the late 1990s to co-host a talk show and hosted a Radio Show
  • Acted in movies including The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch with Lisa Welchel and Joan Collins and television shows including The Love Boat and an appearance on All My Children with Susan Lucci
  • Was a game show host with Pyramid, nominated for an Emmy
  • Correspondent for The Insider and Entertainment Tonight
  • Sang the voice of Shang in the Disney Movie, Mulan
  • Winner of Dancing with the Stars with partner Kym Johnson in season 9 (and he will always mention that his sister came in third in a previous season, lol)
  • Successful 8-year run with Marie in Las Vegas, winning top show in Vegas, there were even wax figures made of them

It's hard to sum up all of Donny Osmond in just one article so visit his website for more!


And definitely check out his latest CD,
The Soundtrack of My Life. It features songs that have all meant something to him during his life and career like: The Long and Winding Road (when Paul McCartney asked him for his autograph), Your Song (when he knew he was going to marry Debbie), Could She Be Mine, Moon River (a salute to Andy Williams), and Survivor (my personal favorite, very powerful when he performs it live, about his struggles in show business).

My Mom started all this when she bought Donny's My Best to You in 1972 and I was hooked. She used to watch The Osmonds on The Andy Williams Show in the 1960s so she was a fan long before I was. :) Here are some highlights from the past 43 years.

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Guess I kind of wore this magazine out! LOL And there were also plenty of books to read.

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My first Osmond concert for my 9th birthday (on the 6th) on August 4, 1973. We went to the Allentown Fair in Pennsylvania and sat in the nosebleed section. Look at the price - $5.00!!

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The next time we went to see them was August 9, 1975 for my 11th birthday. We went to the Allentown Fair again but this time we were much closer and had track seats. Yippee! Ticket price went up a bit - $8.00!

Do you like the cape? :) I know, the photo of it open is a little blurry. It was 1975, no digital cameras then. And on the right, the turning a scarf into a cane trick.

Donny on the keyboards (hey, does anyone remember what the piece he played was called?) and Jay on the drums. They used to make the platform rise as he was playing.

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Donny Osmond Watch - complete with certificate dated 12/22/75 so it must have been a Christmas present. Around this time, there were also scarves, school binders, pillowcases, necklaces, keychains, yeah, I still have them.

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The TV Guide (and it only cost a quarter) and the Philadelphia TV Guide when the Donny and Marie Show first aired.

The 4th of a series of Donny and Marie Magazines.

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Back to Allentown in 1976 for my 12th birthday. And it was Friday the 13th. Oooo. LOL We were back up in the grandstand with the $5.00 tickets so no photos.

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Donny Osmond Doll - I bought a Barbie piano and microphone - couldn't have a Donny doll without a piano.

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Our last concert at Allentown was August 13, 1977 (at least it was a Saturday this time!) for my 13th birthday. And it was the closest we had ever been, 6th row on the track. And the most we had spent, $9.00 each!

There's that cape again, only a little more glitzy than before. And who can forget the purple socks? If I remember correctly, it came about as Donny's way of being able to easily identify his socks in a sea of laundry. Smart!

Used to love the salute to the 50s. I think everyone enjoyed it.

I would guess that this was everyone's favorite part of the show
- Are You Up There?/I Believe. It was always powerful with their incredibly blended voices.

One of my favorite shots from all the shows at Allentown.

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In 1979 they moved their show to the Valley Forge Music Fair which was a great little theater in the round. Too bad they tore it down years later to put up a grocery store. Ugh.

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Valley Forge Music Fair, 1980, this is a slide, remember when you could develop slides from special film? I'm going to say this is Crazy Horses. LOL

Here is a bit of trivia that I thought you might find interesting. Part of the reason we have air pollution laws is an event that happened in Donora, PA, in the western part of the state near Pittsburgh. On October 26, 1948, a blanket of cold air settled over the Monongahela Valley and trapped gases from the mills, furnaces, and stoves. Because of a weather inversion (air near the ground is cooler than air above it, a reversal of normal conditions), the gases could not dissipate into the air and filled the entire town and all the homes. My grandparents, Dad, and two Aunts were living there at the time as everyone was working at the US Steel plant. There were 14,000 people living in Donora. Over the next six days, hundreds became ill and 21 people died from not being able to breath in the smog. Doctors and other volunteers went from house to house administering oxygen to the sickest in the town. My Aunt Rosella remembers everyone went to the Donora-Monongahela football game and no one could see the field. Finally, on October 31, it began to rain which cleaned the air. There's a book about it called When Smoke Ran Like Water by Devra Davis.

Donny and Jimmy did a great number, Me and My Shadow

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My Mom, a friend, her Mom, and I saw Donny in "Little Johnny Jones" in March of 1982. Thank goodness we went to the previews because it closed opening night because of lukewarm reviews. Ticket sales were strong, there were standing ovations. I never understood why critics have so much power anyway. They're just people with opinions. What makes them experts on whether something is good or not??? Most of the time I don't agree with critics so I never pay attention to anything they have to say. It's amazing they get paid for going to movies and shows and giving their opinion. My goodness, what would we do without them? I don't know, form our own opinion? LOL Sorry, critics! But in the long run, it was part of making Donny who he is today. Oh, and the fact that he played Joseph in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for 6 years in Toronto and Andrew Lloyd Webber asked him where he had been hiding his voice AND chose him to be in the DVD version, just proves critics don't know everything. I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to see it live.

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Alan, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay performed first, doing many of their country hits. And Merrill played the banjo. Always loved that part of the show.

Wasn't a fan of the beard, but I remember Donny singing "Chain Reaction," loved that song!

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In 1984, it was just Donny and Marie at Valley Forge Music Fair. Didn't see Donny again until 1989. But also in 1984, I saw Jimmy in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA. Saw Marie and the Osmond Brothers at Great Adventure in 1988 and Marie on her Christmas tour at Valley Forge Music Fair in November, 1988.

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We were fortunate enough to meet Mr. and Mrs. Osmond in London while Margaret and I were on a college trip to London and Paris in 1985. How incredibly gracious they were to us! They were in London for a mission for their Church. You can read the rest of the story here: http://wheretothistime.com/travels/londonparis3/londonparis3.html

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Donny…and me (on the left) and Donny and Margaret in 1989 at his fan Get Together in Florida! It was just as Donny was making his big comeback with "Soldier of Love." That was an amazing day! I think there were about 200 fans there. He spent the whole day singing, answering questions, playing Pictionary, and more. Margaret had said she was no way, now how going up to meet him and have her picture taken with him. She had gone to the Get Together just to humor me while we were in Disney for the week. But when it was time for the group from our table to meet him, she was right there! So he won her over during the day. :)

Donny singing and going through some of the old Osmond albums trying to remember the songs. This one was his "A Time for Us."

Playing Pictionary - Donny drew all the pictures and then signed them and gave them away to whomever guessed correctly. This one was Bath, England where Peter Gabriel invited Donny to record some demos which resulted in his comeback in 1989 with "Soldier of Love."

Two of my favorite photos from the day!

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Donny's Soldier of Love Tour, his credibility tour.

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Sheet Music for My Love is a Fire, one of the singles from Donny's second comeback album, Eyes Don't Lie. Great songs from My Love Is a Fire, It's Never to Late for Love, Private Affair, Just Between You and Me

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Donny used to sell autographed photos through the fan club. This was around 2004.

Speaking of the Fan Club. It was called the Donny Osmond International Network. And he used to sign birthday cards for all of us every year, not stamped, signed.

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And concert tickets for Donny at the Borgata Music Box, Atlantic City, March 12, 2016!!! Wow 43 years after the first concert! I hadn't seen him in so many years. Hopefully I won't be waiting that long again. It's funny how having children sidetracks things.

We didn't get such great photos at the Borgata. That's what happens when you don't have an iPhone or Samsung. LOL But we have some wonderful memories. Jodi was raving about the dancing during Soldier of Love, the clips of Dancing with the Stars, and the funny videos. And she was jealous of the ladies in the audience who posed for selfies with Donny and received backstage passes. I admit, I was, too. :) Maybe next time! But I still think it's awesome that my 13-year-old recognizes what an exceptional performer Donny Osmond is. Can't wait to see him again!

So now that I've taken you on a trip down my memory lane, who were your favorite stars growing up and what are some of your fond memories?