Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Branson Up Close and Personal with Jay Osmond

Jay Osmond from the cover of his new CD"It's About Time Again."
This installment of Branson – Up Close and Personal, is with Jay Osmond (JO), a member of one of America’s favorite performing groups, the “Osmond Brothers.”  They have been performing together for almost 53 years and have been performing in Branson since 1992. Branson – Up Close and Personal is a service of the Branson Tourism Center and is intended to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality. The format will be “Question and Answer” and although there will be some different questions from interview to interview many of the same questions will be asked so that readers can compare the answers of different Branson personalities. The interviewing will be done for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary J. Groman, a 24 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist and free lance writer.
BTC: How did you end up in Branson?
JO: Andy Williams. I had been out of show business for about two years when, back in 1991, I got a call from Jimmy out of the blue asking, “How would you like to get back into show business and move your family to Branson, Missouri?” Andy Williams had suggested Branson to Jimmy while performing in Provo, Utah during the “Stadium of Fire” show that Alan [Osmond] had produced. Jimmy made a trip to Branson and was impressed. We flew out to Branson with Jimmy and loved what we saw.
BTC: How long have you been Performing in Branson?
JO: Since 1992 about 18 years.
BTC: What is your first memory of Branson?
JO: The beautiful sounds of the “katydids” and the Ozarks at night.
BTC: What do you like best about performing in Branson?
JO: The feeling that everybody’s here to have a good time and enjoy themselves. The comments of a sweet lady a couple of weeks ago when she said “It’s a happy show and I felt good when I left,” pretty well sums up how I feel.
BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
JO: Hang out with my family when they are here and take long walks when they are not here.
BTC: Where is your favorite place to eat in Branson?
JO: I do love the Rib Crib and my favorite dish is the Chicken Caesar Salad.
BTC: If you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
JO: Walt Disney because of the impression he made on me when I was a little kid. He was so nice and kind to us in the very early stages of our career.
BTC:  Do you have a favorite hobby or activity and what is it?
JO: Sharing the activities my kidsare interested and being involved with them in those activities whether it is golf or video games.
BTC: Do you have a little known fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy?
JO: I play the game “Tetris” on my iphone every night before reading my scriptures.
BTC: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in front of an audience?
JO: In 1999 we did an Ice show in Branson where the stage was covered with ice so we had to wear ice spikes on our shoes. We would go into the audience and sing to them. Merrill was singing to this girl and she was crying. I thought that it was really touching because we hadn’t seen anything like that since the 70’s. Come to find out she was crying because Merrill was standing on the end of her feet with his spiked shoes.
BTC: What part of your show do you enjoy performing the most and why?
JO: The acapella singing of “Old Man Auctioneer,” which was one of the first numbers we learned as kids, and the new acapella medley we are putting into the show that starts with the song ”Where Does An Angel Go When She Cries. It reminds me of the type of singing we did when we first started.
BTC: If I were planning a trip to Branson why should I plan to see your show?
JO: I’m going to paraphrase that sweet little lady and say, “Because it’s a happy show and you’ll feel good when you leave.”
BTC: If I were coming with children ages 5 through 13 would your answer be the same and why?
JO: Personally I think so because we try to gear the show to all ages and have had great responses from kids of all ages and especially teenagers. The key is to get their attention.
BTC: You play the drums in the show and the introduction to the number mentions an award you won back in the 70s. Would you care to elaborate?
JO: Back in the early 70’s “Flip Magazine” did a survey of the “rock drummers” and I was in the top five. I still play the drums and just did my first solo CD in 15 years called “It’s About Time Again” with 15 of my all time favorite songs including vocals and drums.
BTC: Are you working on any current projects?
JO: I have just finished my book, “The Stages of My Life” and it will be out this fall. It is about the stages of my life and is dedicated to our “stage parents” [George and Olive Osmond] who were there every “stage” of our lives.
The Osmond Brothers will be performing in Branson through June 5 and will be on the road until they return to Branson on September 1. After their return they will be performing shows through December 11 including their Christmas show which will start on November 1.

SOURCE: Branson Up Close

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