June 26, 2009

The White Michael Jackson ...

... was Donny Osmond of the Osmonds, who was a regular on network television from age five.

The Mormon Osmond Brothers had a Jackson 5 sound-alike #1 hit with "One Bad Apple" released when Donny was 12 going on 13 in late 1970. (An older Osmond, Merrill, does the lead singing, but little Donny's soprano kicks it into overdrive.) Osmond said Michael Jackson later told him that the Jackson 5 had been offered "One Bad Apple" first, but chose to record "ABC" instead. (Neither song has as exciting a chord progression as the Jackson 5's first hit "I Want You Back," but, then, what song does? Now that I think about it, I'm not sure that the Jacksons' version of that song by Berry Gordy and other Motown insiders does full justice to the potential of the material. British pub-rockers Graham Parker and the Rumour used a rather different arrangement of "I Want You Back" as their concert closer, and somebody might do well right now with their own cover.)

At age 18, Donny had a hit Sonny & Cher-type TV series with his sister Marie, which, when you think about it, is pretty weird in a sort of William and Dorothy Wordsworth kind of way.

Osmond always got a lot of grief for not being quite as talented as Michael Jackson, but, then, who was?

In retrospect, you have to give Donny Osmond a lot of credit for staying reasonably sane all these years.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Had no idea they were Mormon.

I guess that explains the teeth and the smiling.

green mamba said...

Donny Osmond fought a boxing match against Danny Bonaduce of the Partridge Family fifteen years ago. Too lazy to google it right now but it must have been a fun event.

Celebs Suck said...

Sailer, you could've staked a claim to being cool by totally and completely ignoring the Jackson endgame. Instead you are apparently consumed by the event as if it's a milestone. Yuck.

Hey, Mr Southern California, how about a post on Jackson's child molestations, at least, or some weird stuff you witnessed driving by the guard shack to the Jackson compound up in Santa Ynez twenty years ago.

Apparently in the past 24 hours the entire internet infrastructure was strained under the sheer weight of Jackson curiosity. What an appropriate harbinger for collapse of this society.

Anonymous said...


The Jackson 5 link for the song "with the exciting chord progression" is on a site called "DailyMotion", which is another YouTube clone site.

I hope its a "conservative" or at least non-political site. Google and YouTube are ran by leftwingers. I *hate* giving left wingers any of my money or foot-traffic online. I wish we as conservatives would identify liberal businesses to each other as often as possible so as to deprive them of our money whenever we can.

BTW--------The media has used the Jackson/Fawcett/McMahon deaths (boy, deaths sure do come in threes alot dont they?) for cover as the house Dems snuck the Climate Change Bill through on a FRIDAY by less than 10 votes. A 300 page bill passed the house that few have had an opportunity to read or enjoy intelligent commentary on. That bill might cost the US much business, manufacturing, and increased taxes and affect the country much much more than Michael Jackson and his 10 or so "hit" songs, and Farrah's good-looks, and Ed saying "Here's Johnny" ever will times 50 squared. Hardly anybody has even bleeped about it.

BTWX2----Jackson's "Off the Wall" album was his best, easily in my opinion. After Thriller, the guy went way downhill. Bad was silly. He was out of pop hooks for that falsetto voice of his until "Scream", but by then people regarded him as a weird dude that liked to sleep ("share your bed") with kiddies. He did have a great falsetto voice, and like Barry Gibb, made the most of how unusual that is in a grown man. He is the poster child for reasons not to have plastic surgery other than rhinoplasty if one really needs it for a beak, and in that area he really was a harbiriginer of the times. Its amazing how many modern women have wrecked their faces with the scalpel and botox and lip injections making them appear like clowns. Jackson's mug became the biggest unintentional clown face of them all (with apologies to the cat lady, Jacqueline Wildenstein).


Anonymous said...

They're playing "Rebecca" this morning on TCM and I looked up the DOB of Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland (her sister, for those who don't know) and noticed they're both still alive! Born in 1917 and 1916, I image they'll be passing soon. Now those are 2 obituaries I'll be much more interested in than Michael Jackson's.

Concerned Netizen said...

Musical tastes really do change. I wonder whether Michael Jackson's music will be so popular in 20 years. 40 years?

On the other hand, you can see look at footage of the young Baryshnikov and be astonished at his ability, 30 years after he defected.

Michael Jackson was a spectacular dancer, which Osmond wasn't. I suspect that his future popularity will rest on that, not his singing.

Anomalous Female said...

Osmond does an awesome job as a background dancer in Weird Al's White and Nerdy.

Jun said...

Anomalous Female said: "Osmond does an awesome job as a background dancer in Weird Al's White and Nerdy."

Ditto! Donny gets lots o' points from me for that performance. Too funny! :-P

Bret Ludwig said...

I thought Jimmy was the Michael Jackson of the group. But then I Googled it and found otherwise.

Google has relieved our generatioon of _even more_ need to remember. Holy cow, if someone took Google over and effectively changed the past, we'd all be sunk. Boy, am I glad that can't happen.

Anonymous said...

Danny Osmond's awesome in that video, full of good humor.

Hal K said...

This version of "I Want You Back" from YouTube looks and sounds better, despite the poorer video quality:


beowulf said...

Ha ha, here's a better version of the White and Nerdy video-- Donny Osmond rules.

He's great playing against type in this Jimmy Kimmel skit.

josh said...

Kinda like Elvis and Pat Boone. Ones the star,the others the talented but mediocre workman. Interesting how both Michael and Elvis destroyed their own lives and indulged in sick sexual perversion--when they couldve had more grown-up-lady sex than,if not Ghengis Khan,at least approaching that of the Irish king,O'Neil!! Boone and Osmond seemd to live good,succesful lives and marry and raise a family,and keep their money.(Pat once told a story,which may be apocryphal, of running into Elvis at an airport. The two men greeted each other warmly,but having to catch planes,had to part quickly. 'We're going in opposite directions" said Pat. "Aint that how it usually is,"replied The King.)How different the Jackson clan is from the Osmonds!! It'll be fun to watch them try and cash in on their meal ticket even as he is in the ground! Perhaps the King family will offer some advice!

Hacienda said...

Great talent. A Gary Indiana treasure.

Credit his martinet/crane operator/musician father, who gets all the bad press, unfairly.

Gary, Indiana in the 60's 70's. Dark and deep. Darker than Starbuck's, deeper than Lake Michigan, easy.

Jacko couldn't transition into middle age. The world wouldn't let him, didn't apply that kind of growth pressure.

His "serious" songs- "Earth Song" and others of their kind. Very musical, lively. But has the tone of a plaintive teenager.

Anonymous said...

The reason for Jacko's ultimate downfall was obvious: after the megasuccess of "Thriller", there wasn't a person on the planet who was willing to tell him no.

Anonymous said...

"I Want You Back" is so manifestly superior to "ABC" that it boggles my mind that the latter has become the J5's "signature" hit.

Anonymous said...

Donny Osmond fought a boxing match against Danny Bonaduce of the Partridge Family fifteen years ago. Too lazy to google it right now but it must have been a fun event.

He did not, it was Barry Williams who played Greg on the Brady Bunch.