Born in 1959 as Olive Marie Osmond, she was of course the talented sister of the Osmond family. The Osmond brothers including Donny were the huge singing sensations of the 1970s. The boys had been on TV since the 1960s, but Marie was mostly in the background.
In 1972 she made several concert appearances with her brothers, but in 1973 she had her first solo hit with Paper Roses which was a country hit in 1960 by Anita Bryant, and written by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre. It was a perfect song for Marie who automatically leaned towards the country style of music.
It was a big No. 1 in the UK and Marie was yet another one of the Osmond clan who would dominate the charts in the early to mid-1970s. But her follow up single did not do it. But Marie had proved she was capable of singing to a large audience, so it was decided to team up Donny and Marie Osmond as a duet couple.
It was a blinding good idea, as with the combined talent and popularity the singles bounced out. More over the singles were very good, which is something that you probably would not have admitted at the time.
In 1974 the duet song I’m Leaving It Up To You a 1957 song written by Donald Harris and Dewey Terry and one of the versions was No. 1 when JFK was shot. So it is a song that remains in the American psyche. The song was a big hit for Donny and Marie and was a top ten hit in most territories.
Building on the success was easy as The Osmond’s were now a global brand, and the next single Morning Side Of The Mountain was originally a 1951 hit for Tommy Edwards. Now it was being owned by Donny and Marie.
1975 gave Marie another duet hit with Make The World Go Away another old record that was originally a hit in 1963. This song was not as commercially successful, and the duet seemed to be running out of steam. But the Osmond’s were still a huge force in 1970s pop music.
A handful of singles followed , but the duet hits were never the same. But the brother and sister combo were not in any way upset as their popularity gave them their own TV show called The Donny and Marie Show. This show became U.S. television history and was an awarding winning show for the guys to show their talents weekly.
I also did hear that Marie was first offered the “Sandy” role in Grease but turned it down for being too raunchy. I wonder what she thinks now about that decision.