Jay Osmond started entertaining with his brothers at the age of two and a half. We’ve all heard the story… the home-town performances…the break at DisneyLand…the Andy Williams Show…the history. For those who have gotten to know Jay the person, aside from Jay Osmond the entertainer, they know he is down-to-earth, warm, friendly, and a truly kind and giving individual. When asked what he feels his best quality is, Jay answers… “patience.” Jay honestly cares about the people who cross his path, and his wonderful sense of humor is the icing on the cake.
Born March 2, 1955, Jay Wesley Osmond was the endearing little boy with the toothless grin whose face followed the cameras. He is father of three sons and a proud grandpa. Jay married Karen Randall May 19, 2014.
Jay went from the little guy, stopping his performance to pick up the coins the crowd threw, to polishing into a multi-talented performer with the drive and tenacity that has kept The Osmonds a “household” name for decades. There was the first television appearance on Disney After Dark in 1961…The Andy Williams Show beginning in 1962…The Travels of Jamie McPheeters show in 1963…The Seven Little Foys movie in 1964…and The Jerry Lewis Show in 1969…not to mention recordings such as “Songs We Sang on the Andy Williams Show,” “We Sing You A Merry Christmas,” “Preview: The Travels Of Jaimie McPheeters,” “The Osmond Brothers Sing the All Time Hymn Favorites,” and “The New Sound of The Osmond Brothers.” Needless to say, these early performances and recordings were just the beginning.
Jay is the youngest of the original Osmond Brothers group. Jay says he was about eight years old when he learned to play the drums. During the 70s, Jay was voted one of the top ten drummers in the country. In 1972 when Jay shared the lead with brother Merrill in “Crazy Horses,” that single skyrocketed to being the Osmonds’ best selling single overseas. Jay co-produced “The Donny & Marie Show” in 1976, and was also the musical director and choreographer for Donny and Marie’s dance numbers. Jay also choreographed the Osmond Brothers’ numbers for television and stage. Jay became an executive producer of “The Donny & Marie Show” as well as “The Osmond Family Hour” during 1978.
In 1981, Jay co-produced “Marie” (an hour-long variety show), as well as the movie depicting the life of The Osmond Family, “Side By Side.” The brothers recorded several country hits during the 80s, but in 1985 Jay took a break from performing with the family to pursue other things in life…one of those things involved working on his degree at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Jay’s fans were all too thrilled to have him come back into the limelight when the Osmond Family Theater opened in 1992. Jay joined his brothers at The Osmond Family Theater in Branson, Missouri, where the brothers performed two shows a day six days a week. In 1994, Jay realized a dream when he released his solo recording “It’s About Time.” This cassette contains nine songs with Jay singing lead, back-up, and of course playing the drums. In 1996, Jay co-produced “The Very Best of the Osmonds” CD and video along with brother Donny. The CD and video are a compilation of performances including the Osmonds’ biggest hits.
February 2001 saw the airing of the ABC-TV movie “Inside The Osmonds,” which told the story of the Osmond family as it “rose to stardom.” Jay and all of the other family members were actively involved in the making of this movie.
July 2003 saw the airing of “Being The Osmonds,” a documentary filmed by the U.K.’s ITV, and presented on primetime television. This documentary brought all six performing Osmond brothers together onstage at The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre for a very special reunion performance (which was filmed live May 5, 2003). August 7, 2003 brought a highly esteemed honor to the Osmond family. All seven performing Osmonds (along with father, George, and older brother Tom, in attendance), received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. All six performing Osmond Brothers were honored to be among the performers for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the 75th Royal Variety Performance held in Edinburgh November 24, 2003. The Osmond Brothers were honored once again, when they received an unprecedented two standing ovations during this Royal Variety Performance.
Jay, along with brothers Wayne, Merrill and Jimmy, joined Les McKeowns 70s Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy, and David Essex to perform an extremely successful “Once In A Lifetime Tour” June 21-July 2, 2005, in cities throughout the United Kingdom. February/March 2006 took Jay and brothers Wayne, Merrill and Jimmy back to the U.K. for another successful tour. Brother Alan joined them towards the end of this tour, at which time a DVD was filmed to document this exciting reunion in the U.K. The performance dates – both in the U.K. and the U.S. – continue.
The year 2007 marked the original performing Osmond Brothers’ (Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay) 50th anniversary in the entertainment business. An exciting celebration took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 12-14, 2007. Three sold-out performances were filmed for a PBS special which aired in March 2008, and a DVD of the celebration was released in December 2007. The celebration continued with a 50th Anniversary World Tour featuring 16 performances from May 18 – June 21, 2008, spanning from the United Kingdom to Australia, and finishing in Asia. Fittingly, the family ended their first tour together in more than 25 years, by performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City, Utah July 26-27, 2008. Performing with the choir was a dream of their mother’s, and Jay was delighted to see it finally happen.
November 2009 – Jay released his second solo recording, aptly titled, “It’s About Time Again.” This CD features some re-releases from “It’s About Time” released in 1994, as well as some new selections. Jay also penned his autobiography, “Stages – An Autobiography,” which was released August 15, 2010.
On the Fox Family Channel’s television special, “Famous Families,” which aired in January 1999, Jay stated at the end of the hour-long program…“Am I going to be remembered as a star or a good dad…I’ll take a good dad any day over a star.” It is unanimous that Jay has achieved both. You won’t find a nicer guy, a more devoted father, or a more outstanding entertainer. When asked what he hopes people remember most when they think of Jay Osmond, he answers… “I hope to be remembered as someone who was filled with love, kindness, honor, and dignity.”