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Jimmy Osmond

August 2011

The Osmonds are bidding farewell on their next UK, including a show at the Royal Concert Hall. “It’s kind of bittersweet for me,” Jimmy Osmond tells SIMON WILSON

DESPITE running the family business for the past two decades, when his older brothers told Jimmy Osmond that they want to tour for one final time then call it a day, he could little to persuade them otherwise.
“This is the legacy that my brothers have created and this is their wish,” he says.
“I think we could have gotten another ten years out of us, I know the demand is there,” he says.
“So it’s kind of bittersweet for me.”
The Osmonds will bid farewell on next year’s tour which comes to the Royal Concert Hall in April.
“It’s not a scheme, to say come see us while you can,” he laughs.
“I’m kind of in denial that it’s the last tour because I love working with my brothers.”
As a group, The Osmond family have been touring for over 50 years. They have sold more than 100 million albums around the world and in the UK their hit singles included Let Me In, Love Me For A Reason, Crazy Horses and Jimmy’s 1972 UK No. 1 Long Haired Lover From Liverpool.
The latest line-up includes just four brothers: Jimmy, Wayne, Merrill and Jay. Donny, Marie and Alan continue to work on their own projects.
The 50th anniversary tour two years ago featured all seven siblings performing together for the first time in over 25 years.
“It’s a big job, particularly for my older brothers, to be in a different city every night, like we’ve done for most of our lives,” says Jimmy.
But he’s been brand controller for years. Can’t he tell them to carry on?
“I’ve done what I’ve done not based on me monetising their brand but what they wish to do. The only reason why I’ve had so much authority to make deals is because they’ve allowed it.
“They were happy for me to be in charge.
“I don’t own the Osmond brothers brand. I only control what Jimmy does.”
Jimmy is the youngest of the nine siblings at 48. The eldest brothers Virl and Tom never performed with the group due to hearing problems. Alan is the eldest of the Osmond singers at 62.
“It might be misleading in some ways to say this farewell because you can’t really split up a family. But my brothers have been performing for over 50 years, with 45 years for me. And they thought it was time to call it quits.
“I betcha there’s going to be one-off dates here and there. Just no more touring as a group.”
To make the most of this tour, they’ve booked into theatres rather than arenas.
Says Jimmy: “We’re playing the smaller venues because we want it to be... well, we’re calling it Up Close & Personal. We chat more to the audience and I think people prefer that. We could have played half as many dates in bigger venues.”
It’s 50 dates in the UK alone.
“This a pretty gruelling tour. I hope it doesn’t kill us,” he laughs.
“We’re going to make the most of it and have fun together. It’s a celebration. Then try new things after this.
“I will continue. I’ve always had my own thing going on anyway. After the tour I’ve already booked some more dates for a show I have called American Jukebox which is a retrospective of all the great hits of the past.
“And if Jay or Wayne or Merrill want to join me then they can, like they have in the past.”
He adds: “I’m going to do panto again this year. My families history is from Wales and it’ll be nice to go there to do Aladdin in 3d.
“I think I’m one of the only Americans that really gets it.”
Do you really get it?
“Oh yes I do,” he chuckles.
“I have a young family and they really like the whole Christmas experience, flying over to the UK and seeing the panto.”
But for now he’s working on  making the show the best he can for the fans, one last time.
“There are so many fans in the UK and we are really blessed to have them. And they’re used to going to more than one concert. You’d hop in the bus, look behind and there’d be a car procession a mile long.
“That’s not going to happen any more after this.”
Has there been a negative reaction from fans about the farewell?
“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of people really upset but we just have to get on with it.”

What: The Osmonds Final Tour – Up Close & Personal
Where: Royal Concert Hall
When: April 4
Tickets: £29.50, 0115 989 5555


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