The White Michael Jackson ...
June 28, 2009, 03:20 AM
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... was Donny Osmond of the Osmonds, who was a regular on network television from age five.

The Mormon Osmond Brothers had a Jackson 5 sound-alike #1 hit with "One Bad Apple" released when Donny was 12 going on 13 in late 1970. (An older Osmond, Merrill, does the lead singing, but little Donny`s soprano kicks it into overdrive.) Osmond said Michael Jackson later told him that the Jackson 5 had been offered "One Bad Apple" first, but chose to record "ABC" instead. (Neither song has as exciting a chord progression as the Jackson 5`s first hit "I Want You Back," but, then, what song does? Now that I think about it, I`m not sure that the Jacksons` version of that song by Berry Gordy and other Motown insiders does full justice to the potential of the material. British pub-rockers Graham Parker and the Rumour used a rather different arrangement of "I Want You Back" as their concert closer, and somebody might do well right now with their own cover.)

At age 18, Donny had a hit Sonny & Cher-type TV series with his sister Marie, which, when you think about it, is pretty weird in a sort of William and Dorothy Wordsworth kind of way.

Osmond always got a lot of grief for not being quite as talented as Michael Jackson, but, then, who was?

In retrospect, you have to give Donny Osmond a lot of credit for staying reasonably sane all these years.