Song: “One Bad Apple” by the Osmonds
Reached #1: February 13, 1971 (their first, 5 weeks)
Ah yes, the Osmonds… America’s poster children for Mormonism long before Mitt Romney…
They hit the pop scene right about the same time as the Jackson 5, and you can generate quite an argument, apparently, if you try to speculate which was first and who was inspired by the other (or who “copied” the other)… as though the same idea of a young family singing group couldn’t happen in Utah and Indiana at the same time.
In fact, this song may have been offered to the Jacksons before the Osmonds got it – at least, that’s what Michael Jackson reportedly told Donny Osmond. The story goes that the Jacksons passed this up for “ABC”.
As to the song itself… it was recorded right before Donny’s voice dropped an octave or two, so I don’t know if he ever performed it in concert the way it appeared on the Osmonds album or the single… which may be why the song didn’t exactly have a lot of staying power. When it sounds drastically different live than on record… yeah, that can be a problem.
You have to give Donny Osmond credit, though, as he’s always had a sense of humor about his unofficial role as America’s Most Wholesome Star… from the beginning, when he and his sister Marie co-hosted their variety show while winking at the audience… to making his comeback in 1989 as an “unknown artist” to duck his own image… to his reinvention as a TV host in the aughts… to spoofing himself in Weird Al Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” video… to doing Dancing With The Stars because he wanted to outdo Marie… clearly, he’s never totally taken himself seriously.
Thank goodness he never took the advice he was given to stage something like a drug bust to “fix” his image… I guess, to an extent, he did take it seriously after all…
Tomorrow, the artist most responsible for inflicting Bieber Fever upon the world.
Other songs that reached #1 on February 13:
1961 – “Calcutta” by Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra (their first, 2 weeks)
1999 – “Angel of Mine” by Monica (her second, 4 weeks)