Gold Meets... Jay Osmond: Osmonds drummer talks family emotions, Elvis friendship and jamming with Chuck Berry
31 August 2022, 16:48 | Updated: 10 January 2024, 12:16
Jay Osmond formed one of the greatest pop groups of all time alongside his brothers.
As a youth, drummer Jay toured the world in The Osmonds, alongside brothers Alan, Merrill and Wayne, and later Donny and Jimmy, while sister Marie also found great solo success.
Jay has now co-created The Osmonds musical, which charts the lives and careers of the famous band. The show launched in Leicester earlier this year, and is now touring the UK for the rest of 2022.
The legendary star caught up with Gold's James Bassam for a new interview, which proved to be funny, revealing and emotional.
In the interview, Jay emotionally tears up while talking about his love for his brothers. He also speaks about some of his amazing stories including how Walt Disney gave the Osmonds their start, how Elvis Presley became their close pal, and how Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney were big fans.
You can now watch the interview in full on Global Player here.
Jay emotionally spoke about how brother Merrill's kind words meant a huge amount to him after a tough period. He said: "We kind of lived in a bubble. It was a very protective bubble. And that’s why we made it through a lot of situations, actually. Faith, family, career, that’s what saved us.
"It really wasn’t about the money – it was about being a family. We were on a mission to lift families, basically. We started over again. And the [musical] story tells that. And that’s why when we were at our lowest point, I saw an amazing family.
"Even the musical starts out with me not knowing if I wanted to be an Osmond brother. I wanted to be Jay. Because I had a team mentality. I grew up with this… I was one of four people. That’s why this play was so difficult for me to write, because this was now a breakaway from that team thinking.
"Even at 67, you know, writing this, I still had that: 'I need my brothers with me. I need this.' When Merrill said, 'I’m proud of you, Jay…'
"It meant a lot to me. And, actually, it was a blessing. It was a blessing because I did it on my own. Not 'on my own', because I had some great help – some great writers and great producers. But I did this on my own from my family."
On how he and his brothers became friends with Elvis, he explained: "We were performing with Nancy Sinatra in Las Vegas at the international hotel, and she comes down, and she says, 'You know, Elvis just called me, and he would like to meet you guys.'
"We thought, 'Whoa! Are you kidding?' So we go up to his penthouse, and he’s got 16 different pinball games. First, he looked at us, and he said, 'Brothers, come on in.'
"I’ll never forget it. And the colonel told us, 'Please don’t take any pictures, because he really likes you guys. He’s been seeing you from the lighting booth. He doesn’t want you to feel like you’re fans. He wants you to be family.' So we never took a picture. But the thing is, he became like a brother.
"He said, 'You need to macho up your act.' He was very frank. He said, 'I like what you’re doing, brothers, but you need to macho up your act.'
"So he had us change – you’ll see, those who followed us – to jumpsuits. So we changed our look to jumpsuits. And then he got Chuck Norris to come help us with some karate moves, and to put it in our act. So he had a big influence on us."
The Osmonds Musical tours the UK until December 2022. Full venue and ticket details can be found here.