Family reunion with Andy Williams and The Osmonds

TO READERS of a certain age, you’ll agree that if it’s Christmas it must be time for the Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular.

For so long the American entertainer (and his knitwear!) was synonymous with the festive season. Now he’s sadly no longer with us, The Osmonds have taken over his mantle.

Jimmy, Jay and Merill Osmond – who all appeared on Andy’s TV show and were good friends of his – will bring the Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular to Guildford’s G Live this Wednesday.

“Whenever an artist passes away, there’s a huge demand for their material,” explains Jimmy Osmond, still best remembered in the UK for his 1972 Number One hit Long Haired Lover From Liverpool.

“We’ve found there’s a real thirst and craving to see a traditional style Christmas show, like Andy presented. He taught us how to do that and I think my brothers are the right people to keep that tradition going and keep his legacy alive.”

The Osmonds were regulars on Andy’s TV show; Jimmy first appeared aged three.

“Of course, I remember being on the show,” he says. “I was the one doing the skits with Cookie Bear. It was live TV in those days and you remember those pressure moments! Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s a real memory or memories I’ve got from watching videos about The Osmonds; our lives are so well documented.”

Jimmy and his brothers remained friends with the Moon River singer, he explains: “Andy was a close friend and also my neighbour when we lived in Branson [Missouri]. He went there first and encouraged me to come to town and build my Osmond Family Theatre. I’m honoured and humbled that I now own his beautiful Moon River Theatre.”

The Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular will include seasonal classics like Silent Night, Last Christmas, Merry Christmas
Everybody and Sleighride, as well as Osmonds hits like Love Me for a Reason, Crazy Horses, Down By The Lazy River and more.

Jimmy says his personal favourite is It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, adding: “We sang it with Andy and everywhere you go at Christmas: airports, shopping malls, it’s being played, it’s such an iconic song.”

The Osmonds will finish the tour before Christmas and head home for the celebrations.

The Andy Williams Christmas Spectacular starring The Osmonds will be at G Live in Guildford on Wednesday, December 9.

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