I can go on and on for days about my complete and total love of all things Donny Osmond. For those of you who know me that wouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, this has been going on since the days when he graced the covers of Tiger Beat magazine.
My first opportunity to meet him in person was in 1989 when he released the Soldier of Love album. He had all but been written off in the US at that point, choosing to release the album in London. When the US radio stations started playing his song, they never identified the artist. This marketing strategy was designed to create a buzz around this “unknown” artist and with the hope that calls into the request lines would generate enough awareness that Donny could once again be in the Top 40 charts.
Loyal fans recognized his voice, of course. Phoenix-area DJ Bruce Kelly, at the time at KZZP radio, brought him out to the Valley for a Breakfast with Donny promotion. Using my powers of persuasion, I was able to get two credentials to attend that event. He was as nice as could be, gracious to all the fans that showed up, signed autographs, took pictures, etc.
The family-centric, fan-friendly image that he showed in public was just as evident in this more private setting. A few years and several concerts later, I again had the chance to meet Donny, this time spending the day with him, driving him to media interviews in support of a concert.
And you know what, he was as nice as could be, gracious to all the fans that showed up, signed autographs, took pictures, etc. Never once getting frustrated or upset when at each stop someone wanted him to sing Puppy Love and tell him their favorite Donny moment.
I asked him then how he could continue to sing that song every single night like it was the first time. He told me it was because that’s what the fans expect, they grew up listening to him sing that song and he owed it to them to do so. After all, it was the fans that kept him (and his family) in the music business for more than 50 years.
And last week, when he performed to a full-house here in Phoenix, sure enough, he sang Puppy Love, just as he always did. And the fans swooned, just as they always do.Brand loyalty? You bet. Because not only are Donny’s fans loyal to him, but he is loyal to us.