Well, we have one more for you to pencil in Saturday morning, and it involves Utah icons. The bro and sis are in Utah this week for the relase of their new album, simply titled Donny & Marie.
The album has had great reviews, and they're stopping by Wal Marts across the country to sign it for fans. We're sure if you have any dolls from Marie Osmond's collection, available at Georgell Doll Shop in Gardner Village, she'll be happy to sign that as well.
Meet the Osmonds at Wal-Mart at 221 W. Parrish Lane, Centerville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7.
From 1976 to 1979, Donny & Marie was a hit cornball variety show featuring the young Osmond duo, Donny, 18 and Marie, 16. But if you were a young Mormon growing up in Utah, this show was the original must-see TV, because these famous Osmonds were Mormons, too.
In 1976, there werenâ€™t a lot of famous Mormons to point to with pride. Those were the pre-Steve Young days. Donny and Marie were it. And, moreover, Donny & Marie was produced here, at Osmond Studios in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. It wasnâ€™t some Hollywood co-opting of Utah, it was Utah in all its family-friendly, corny glory. At the height of their â€™70s powers, Donny and Marie were Utah incarnate, on display for the rest of the world. We watched because all our neighbors watched and because we didnâ€™t really realize how goofy it was.
Each show started out with, yes, an ice skating bit, for some reason, then moved on to groaningly bad comedy skits, more musical numbers, and then the whole â€œIâ€™m a little bit country, Iâ€™m a little bit rock â€™n rollâ€ schtick. Week after week, Marie would sing a country song alongside Donny (most often in purple), who would sing a rock tune. But it was funâ€”good, clean funâ€”although most of us secretly preferred The Muppet Show, which was somehow more racy.
But for me, Donny and Marie were amazing. They were amazing because they taught me about live television.
To explain: My father went to a live broadcast of the showâ€™s Halloween special at Osmond Studios, which improbably featured a performance by KISS. I was 5 years old, and KISS was my favorite band (Gene Simmons blew FIRE!). So Iâ€™m watching our teeny black-and-white TV, in my footie-pajamas, waiting for Gene Simmons to blow fire, and my mother tells me that my father is there, right there, right now. And then they cut to a shot of the crowd and there he was with his â€™70s-guy mustache and â€™fro. Right there. On the TV. My Dad, KISS, and Donny and Marie all together in the TV. My whole world exploded.
Dad brought back an autographed picture of Donny and Marie that â€¨I kept on my wall for years. It said: â€œKeep smiling, Jeremy. Love, Donny & Marie.â€ I doubt Gene Simmons would have been so nice.