A legend remembered
JIMMY Osmond credits legendary crooner Andy Williams as having been a dear friend. “He stuck his neck out for us. Andy put us on the equivalent of a Britain’s Got Talent – we were a regular on his show,” he explains.
The youngest member of the Osmond family, Jimmy, made his performance debut at the age of three on television on the Andy Williams Show, a variety show which ran from 1962-1971. It featured a number of regular performers including the Osmonds, Bobby Darin and Dick Van Dyke to name but a few.
“Because of him we got to sing with the greatest – Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope – real classic people that we knew as regular people but the world knew as ‘untouchable.’ It was a wild way to grow up but I look back now and it was all to do with Andy.
“We ended up as regulars on the show for four seasons and singing on records like Aquarius. It was a brilliant production.”
A fitting tribute then is Jimmy’s live show – ‘A Tribute to Andy Williams – Moon River & Me’ which he toured with successfully last year and now welcomes back to the UK once again in 2018 with more country-wide performances.
“I’ve had great support from Andy’s kids and his brothers and it’s been a great fun and fulfilling experience for me. It’s really a great show and Andy would have
loved it,” he says poignantly.
Award-winning music, nostalgic footage and Jimmy’s own personal memories of Andy, will delight audiences up and down the country from 31 January through to 16 March 2018.
“The Williams family have very kindly allowed me to use clips of Andy featuring everyone from Dick Van Dyke to John Wayne and Bobby Darin, you name it. When I start singing ‘You’re just too good to be true,’ you’ll see it being performed by Andy on the video walls. And when I do ‘Love Story’ Andy sings it with me on the big screen. It brings back memories for thousands of people.
“The love of Andy’s music is still significant today and it’s really an honour to sing his music and take the show on the road. We did 27 shows in the UK last year and now we’re back in the UK once more. His fans here are fiercely loyal so it’s quite emotional when Andy appears on a big screen alongside me.”
Jimmy is joined by The Moon River Band with special guest stars including Charlie Green and Emily Penny. “I first saw Charlie on Britain’s Got Talent. He is amazing and is popular with Andy Williams’ fans but also has a young fan base as well, it would be hard to find anyone who would represent Andy’s legacy so well. I am very excited about Charlie. Andy’s manager said: ‘He is the closest thing to Andy I have ever seen’ – now that is an endorsement if ever I heard one.”
Naturally a show with an Osmond would not be complete without some of the chart-topping hits that made Jimmy and his brothers famous.
“I do a section of Osmonds’ material – ‘Love Me For a Reason,’ ‘Crazy Horses,’ and ‘Let Me In.’ I also do a comedy section. During A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll, I put masks of Donny and Marie on people from the audience so I can get back
at my siblings!
“I’ve worked my whole life in showbiz but I have such fond memories of being on Andy’s show. He had such as smooth voice, you could tell he was a genuinely nice guy. He also surrounded us and himself by the very best people – that’s key.”
Fans of both Jimmy and Andy can also enjoy the album – Jimmy Osmond – Moon River & Me – A Tribute to Andy Williams which features 18 tracks and
includes many classics – Charade, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Happy Heart, Born Free, Almost Three and the title track amongst others.
“I never want this man to be forgotten,” he adds.
The ‘Jimmy Osmond: Moon River and Me’ tour begins on 31 January 2018 at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch (01708 443333/www.queens-theatre.co.uk). Jimmy will be performing at the West Cliff Theatre, Clacton on Thursday 1st March (01255 433344 opt 1 / www.westcliffclacton.co.uk).
For tickets and details of all UK tour dates visit: www.jimmyosmond.com