Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay Osmond started singing in 1959 at fairs and amusement parks near their Ogden, Utah, home. Their father, George, brought them to Los Angeles in 1962, and after failing to get an audition with Lawrence Welk, they were hired to sing their barbershop-quartet music at Disneyland. They were spotted there by Andy Williams’ father, who recommended them to his son, leading to a five-year network TV run on “The Andy Williams Show.”
The group, which added younger brother Donny in 1963, moved to “The Jerry Lewis Show” for a couple of years, and then signed with Mike Curb at MGM Records. Famed R&B producer Rick Hall and songwriter George Jackson supplied them with “One Bad Apple (Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch),” which topped the chart for five weeks in 1971 and started a string of hits that continued into 1974. Donny also had solo hits, and sister Marie, though not a member of the group, made appearances with them.
The Osmonds officially disbanded in 1980, but the original four soon returned as the Osmond Brothers and found some country success. Donny resurfaced with a brief dance-pop incarnation in the late '80s, and a decade later co-hosted a TV talk show with Marie.