When the Osmond Brothers got their first gig in Southern California, Donny was not with the group. It was 1957, the year he was born, the seventh son of the family. Brothers Alan, Jay, Merrill and Wayne were young boys who had been brought from Utah by their father in hopes of auditioning for Lawrence Welk.
The idea was that they could be the male counterparts to the Lennon Sisters, but that didn’t come to pass, and they headed for a day at Disneyland. While there they joined in harmony with the Main Street USA barbershop quartet the Dapper Dans. Walt Disney was called to hear them and hired them.
Even though The Osmonds’ squeaky-clean image was spoofed by Al Jankovic among others over the years, their first casino date was to open the showroom at the Sahara Tahoe (now Hard Rock) with Phyllis Diller in 1966.
Donny Osmond was 5 when he made his television debut with his brothers on the “Andy Williams Show.” Now 58, Osmond will perform solo at Cache Creek Sunday, Jan. 10, taking some time off from his extended run at Las Vegas’s Flamingo with sister Marie.
Osmond may have been one of the most popular Tiger Beat cover boys in the early ’70s (along with David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman), but he transitioned from teeny bopper/child star with his comeback “Soldier of Love” in 1988. He recently released his 60th album, “The Soundtrack of My Life.”
“The Donny and Marie Show” ran on ABC from 1976 to 1979, successfully using the banter-song-guest star format of the likes of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme and Sonny and Cher. He won “Dancing With the Stars” in 2009.
Osmond has hosted his own radio show and played on Broadway, even though his first effort (a revival of George M. Cohan’s “Little Johnny Jones”) only ran one performance. Undeterred he took on the title role of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and ran for 2,000 performances. He also earned high praise for his run as Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast.”
Audiences can expect a little bit country, a little bit rock ’n’ roll, and an added bonus: a little bit Broadway. Osmond is always popular in his single engagements, so if there is trouble attending the Cache Creek show (4 p.m.; $69-$89; cachecreek.com), there is another opportunity at the Silver Legacy in Reno on April 29 (8 p.m.; $54.59-$68.35; silverlegacy.com).
Also at Cache Creek, an entirely different tone dominates Saturday as WAR fires off some great rock with “Spill the Wine,” “Low Rider” and “Cisco Kid” in their arsenal. (8 p.m.; $35-$55)