Merrill Osmond on the way to Hunstanton
They were arguably the very first boy band. The Osmonds, beloved of screaming girls in the 70s all over the world.
Now the lead singer is coming to Hunstanton for a show recreating all the huge hits of the family from Utah.
Merrill Osmond was also the bass guitarist and chief songwriter for the band and if, in the UK at least, the ‘add-ons’ of Donny, Marie and Jimmy perhaps eclipsed him for fame, he was the beating heart of an extraordinary pop phenomenon.
So what are those going to An Evening With Merrill Osmond, at the Princess Theatre on Friday, March 13, going to experience.
“They are going to have a lot of fun,” said the 66-year-old. “We’ll be playing all the hit records and I’ll be playing some new songs as well. It will be a real uptempo evening, a retro type of show.”
Merrill’s music has gone in a country direction since the glory days of the early 70s but he said this evening would have “very little country and be more pop”.
It includes a tribute to Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley.
“They were all our buddies,” he said.
For those too young to remember, the Osmonds were a Mormon-family from Utah, who first shot to fame on the Andy Williams Show on American TV.
It was a show that perfectly captured the free spirit of the time, slightly incongruously with the stars that it had and can be said to have rewritten the TV rulebook.
“We were very, very young and we were given fresh challenges every week,” said Merrill. “We worked our tails off! And in the long run that paid off in our favour.”
The hits they enjoyed were the likes of One Bad Apple, Love Me For A Reason Down By The River and The Proud One.
One of their biggest hits, co-written by Merrill, was Crazy Horses. That song, in which brother Jay took a rare lead vocal with Merrill taking second vocal, is now looked upon as a bit of a trailblazer given its ecological theme about the dangers of untrammelled traffic.
“We were a little bit ahead of our game for that one. Took us out of the bubblegum area we were known for.”
Merrill said that those attending at Hunstanton will see an “expanded” version of the song.
The show will not only be songs though as there will be a lot of stories and reminiscing about the past. “People will be entertained. A very fast-paced show and it doesn’t slow down for a second.”
Merrill said that his audiences contain “a broad spectrum of demographic” and he is now in the happy position of many of his fans now bringing their kids or even grandkids.
Family man Merrill still lives in Utah, but is happy to keep touring.
“I love England,” he said. “People here have always supported the Osmonds.”
An Evening With Merrill Osmond is on at the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton on March 13, tickets £26.50 or £76 for meet and greet VIP access. Go to www.https://www.merrillosmond.com/tour-dates/