Jay 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. Today he is the proud father of three little boys of his own. Jay married Kandilyn Harris in the LDS Salt Lake City Temple August 25, 1987. They have three sons, Jason George born September 23, 1988, Eric Clinton born January 2, 1991, and Marcus Jay born January 8, 1996. How does Jay unwind?…he enjoys throwing the football and playing at the park with his kids. To Jay a perfect day is when he and his family are at home with no “have-to’s” to do. When asked what he treasures most, Jay easily answers…the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his family.
He 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 over forty years. 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…and learn to play he did. 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.
The year 2000 brought a lot of excitement Jay’s way as he began the “Back On The Road Again” Tour. This tour has been taking Jay, and brothers Wayne and Merrill, across the U.S. and into Canada. Jay has been very excited about this tour, and looks forward to many wonderful experiences with his brothers as they embark back on the road again.
With February 2001, we 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.
The Fall of 2002 brought something new for the Osmond Brothers. Jay performed a morning show with his brothers Wayne and Merrill, at the Country Tonite Theatre in Branson, Missouri. The 2003 season in Branson was very special for the Osmond Brothers – they performed at Andy Williams’ Moon River Theater. Jay said, “It is like we have come full circle being back with Andy again.” Prior to the Osmond Brothers beginning their “Back On The Road Again” tour in June 2000, they had performed with brother Jimmy at his theater in Branson for 10 years. Jay has many fond memories from Branson. The year 2004 brought many changes in Jay’s life. He returned to Utah to complete his degree in communications at BYU, and joined the forces of Osmond Real Estate as an agent. Osmond Real Estate was founded by Jay’s father, George Osmond, and is owned today by younger brother Jimmy. In addition to this new career twist, Jay still performs occasionally with his brothers.
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 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. This truly was a memorable day for the Osmond family and their fans. 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 was especially proud to have his oldest son, Jason, along with him for this memorable experience. 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. The Osmond talent, and their fans, have stood the test of time, and Jay feels very blessed to have enjoyed such a rewarding career in show 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. Click here for a re-cap of the events surrounding the 50th Anniversary Celebration kick-off in Las Vegas. The celebration continued with a 50th Anniversary World Tour featuring 16 performances from May 18 – June 21, 2008, and 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. The compilation represents Jay’s all-time favorite songs. Jay has also written his autobiography, “Stages – An Autobiography,” set for release 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.”
Oh, and by the way…
Jay’s favorite color REALLY IS green!
Material compiled and written by Terri Shoemaker