SALT LAKE CITY — They’re part of one of the most successful families in American music. Now, two members of the famed Osmond Family are bringing their experience to KSL, as they launch a new weekly podcast called Sound Advice.
From disappointment to discovery
It has been 60 years since the Osmond Brothers started singing barbershop quartet and they’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of downs during that time. However, they almost didn’t get their big break at all.
They packed up their camper and headed down to meet Lawrence Welk, after being referred by the Lennon Sisters. But, Welk had zero interest. He wouldn’t even meet them.
“He just didn’t have time for the Osmonds. He didn’t even come out to the lobby, and we had waited for hours,” according to Merrill Osmond.
So, in an effort to lift their spirits, Merrill says they went to Disneyland, and that’s where they bumped into the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. The Osmonds gave an impromptu performance and were invited to perform again at the park, which is when they were discovered by people at the Andy Williams Show.
The Osmond Family then and now
Merrill says the entertainment industry is vastly different now. For instance, he says people can become an overnight sensation on either YouTube or network talent shows, but they haven’t learned how to truly entertain a crowd.
“The Osmonds, from the very beginning of time, worked our tails off,” he said. “We had to because, like on the Andy Williams shows, had we not had something prepared, we would not be on the show.”
His new podcast, Sound Advice, is aimed at telling stories which could help people navigate through the entertainment industry, and, most importantly, how to get good at their craft.
More than just show business
However, even though some things have changed in the industry, others have stayed the same. They’ll also be talking about some of the pitfalls of the industry and how to avoid the proverbial snakes in the grass. Merrill hopes people avoid making the same mistakes he made.
“We’ve lost millions and millions of dollars throughout the years. We want to talk about how we should have done certain things and had better managers,” he says.
Joining Merrill in the podcast is his son, Justin. He loves music, too, but, to him, it sounds very different. Justin was born with a 90 percent hearing loss. Growing up in a house of music, he wanted to play the violin when he was younger, but, because of his hearing, he was pretty bad at it. That’s until one day, he decided to turn off his hearing aids, and something miraculous happened.
Justin Osmond says, “I turned my hearing aids off, and that was great because I couldn’t hear anybody. Then, all of a sudden, I put my violin next to my cheekbone and I started to play, and I could hear. I could hear the notes, not by hearing it, but by feeling it.”
Justin founded the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund which raises awareness of deaf issues, which promotes hearing-health educational services. He now makes his living as a motivational speaker, an experience he’s adding to the podcast.
“My personal motto is, ‘I may have a hearing loss, but my hearing loss does not have me,’” Justin says.
Where to find Sound Advice
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