“What Is The Matter”
The OSMONDS: 1970 -1975 MGM Records
BUZZ Newspaper Article (#64-oS) July 2016
By: RLSchwinden aka: Mr.Zerr0
Growing up in Sioux City, my Uncle John was the Drummer in a band, out of Riverside “Freedom Of Wild Water II” with our family friend Rich T. who was the guitar player, I remember them playing songs like: Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, China Grove, Jesus Is Just Alright, Proud Mary, Down On The Corner & 2 of my favorites were Crazy Horses & Hold Her Tight by this newer group (to me, anyways) “The OSMONDS” though my Uncle John was the Drummer he did sing “Crazy Horses” I can still remember him bringing his girlfriend’s (Ruth S.) copy of the album over & practice singing that song, in my Dad’s office upstairs in our house on W. 17th St. & asking me “if I thought he sounded like the record”. In this installment I am only going to cover; The OSMONDS MGM years 1970 -75.
> Home Grown: 1958 <
Originally 4 of the brothers started out as a Barber-Shop Quartet in 1958 out of Salt Lake City, Utah, they began performing on the “Andy Williams Show” later they added a 5th brother & became a “Pop Group” (despite their devout Mormon upbringing) now called “The Osmonds” with their sound being developed by Mike Curb & Don Costa with Rick Hall. More or less coming off as a ‘Caucasian’ version of the “Jackson 5” Over a span of some 50 years they released: 27 Albums & 43 Singles, a Cartoon of 17 Episodes from Sep – Dec 1972 on ABC, with memorabilia such as Trading Cards, Lunchbox w/ Thermos & countless magazines.
> Meet The Osmonds: 1970 <
The entire band was born in Ogden, UT. Alan (22 Jun 1949) was the Rhythm Guitarist & Song Writer, each member had an accent color to their usual white outfits, Alan’s was: Blue & later Red. Wayne’s (28 Aug 1951) color was Orange & he was the Lead Guitarist & Co-Song Writer. Merrill’s (30 Apr 1953) color was Black; he was the Lead Vocalist & Bass Player & Song Writer. Jay’s (2 Mar 1955) color was Green & he was the Drummer & 3rd Lead Vocalist with Donny’s (9 Dec 1957) color being Purple, he was the 2nd Lead Vocalist & Keyboard & Theremin Player.
> Sho Would Be Nice: 1970 -71<
Their 1st “LP” was released in Nov 1970 with the 45 single “One Bad Apple b/w He Ain’t Heavy” hitting #1 on the Billboard Charts on 13 Feb 1971. UNI Records re-released a 45 Single they had cut in ’67 “I Can’t Stop b/w Flower Music”. The groups 2nd LP for MGM ‘Homemade’ was released in Jun 1971 with the #14 charting hit “Double Lovin b/w Chilly Winds” on 3 July 1971. The first; 2 records being aimed at a younger audience, the group started moving in a new direction of their own choosing; henceforth ‘Phase III’ was released in Jan 1972, with 2 singles, the #3 hit “Yo Yo b/w Keep On My Side” from 16 Oct 1971 & “Down By The Lazy River b/w He’s The Light Of The World” which rose to #4 on 4 Mar 1972.
>Life Is Hard Enough: 1972<
In ‘72 the group is at their “Pop-Rock” zenith their 1st concert LP ‘Live’ is released in Jun ’72, recorded at various shows from their ’71 Tour. Then group appeared on the single “We Can Make It Together” with Steve & Eydie. Their new 45 Single “Hold Her Tight b/w Love Is” hits #14 on the charts on 5 Aug ’72, followed by a US Tour where they played the Met Center in Bloomington on 19 Aug ’72, & there is an hour long video of them filmed in concert at the Ohio State Fair on 28 Aug ’72, at some point I saw a photo that showed Alan playing a White Gibson SG, so for the next decade or so I sought to have one of my own, & eventually I scored one (this is what I play in my band “MrZERo”)
Then followed by, what is considered to be their best album ‘Crazy Horses’ in Oct ’72 with the #14 hit single “Crazy Horses b/w That’s My Girl” released on 9 Dec ’72. I met Jay, Wayne & Merrill in Mar 2011 at Mystic Lake Casino I told Merrill “You guys didn’t play my request “Life Is Hard Enough (without goodbyes)” He said “Oh you’re old enough to remember that one, eh?” I asked Wayne “How come you’re not wearing Orange” he said “Boy, you are a fan to know that” & later I met Alan & Donny in Jul 2005 in St. Paul at Xcel Ctr. & I was lucky enough to have all 5 brothers sign my copy of ‘Crazy Horses’ (one of my prized possessions) I said to Alan “In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d get to meet you” & Donny told me as he signed my LP “There you go, all 5 of us” There is a DVD “Muzik Laden” released of the group on a German TV Show from ’72; here’s the set-list:
One Bad Apple
Hold Her Tight
Sweet & Innocent
Down By The Lazy River
Dance To The Music
> Are You Up There: 1973<
In the Mormon faith teenagers a required to go on “A Mission” as the group were all in their early 20s or teens, it was decided, instead of going on a “Mission” they would record a “Concept Album” about “Faith” & so ‘The Plan’ was released in Jun 1973, with the singles “Goin Home b/w Are You Up There?” on 14 July 1973 & hitting #36, followed by “Let Me In b/w One Way Ticket To Anywhere” hitting #36 on 13 Oct 1973, followed by a 3rd single “Movie Man b/w Traffic In My Mind”
The group toured for this “Concept Album” & played the Iowa State Fair, where the group also performed at the local Mormon Church in Waukee, IA. My friend Dave V. was in attendance & told me “Jay was wearing a bandage on his nose”. I was able to ask Jay about this in 2001 & he said “Yea, that’s because at a previous show Merrill broke my nose in our karate choreography, you know it was Chuck Norris who taught us all those moves, & we took the idea for the white suits from Elvis.”
> Send A Little Love: 1974 -75<
For some reason the band started recording songs written by others, instead of using their own compositions for the last 2 MGM records, ‘Love Me For A Reason’ was released in Nov 1974 & the 45 single “Love Me For A Reason b/w Fever” hit #10 on 19 Oct 1974 followed by the single “Having A Party b/w Sun, Sun”. The last studio LP on MGM was ‘The Proud One’ released in Aug 1975 & the single “Proud One b/w Last Day Is Coming” hit #22 on 20 Sep 1975. Their last MGM LP (as MGM folded into Polydor) ’Around The World’ released in the Fall of ’75.
Well there you are I have been a fan since ’72 & this was my favorite time period of this “Pop” band, a sidenote; in 1989 a young lady moved into the Apt. next to me in Des Moines, I saw her name on the mailbox, so I stopped her in the hallway once & asked “I’m sorry to bother you, but are you relate to them?” Stephanie said “I’m sure I am, I mean how many ‘Osmond’ families can there be?”
Until the next time Readers … this has been Mr.Zerr0 for “Remember When?”
Mr. Zero’s *Est. 2009
1744 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN. 55113