Donny and Marie

 Donnyand Marie
Dancing and singingwith the stars.
 By Ken Shelton
             Some faces and voices, signs andsymbols, individuals and teams become very familiar to us, almost like family,over the decades; and for me, Donny and Marie qualify as semi-kin/Ken. 
       Thenext-to-youngest boy and youngest girl of the nine Osmond children from Ogden,Utah were made for television. In the early 1960s the OsmondBrothers broke into the Andy Williams and Ed Sullivan Shows, andbrought young Donny(and later Marie) along with them. Theyhave been like my younger brother and sister (Donny is 10 years younger, and Marie is 12 years younger) ever since. Throughoutthe 1960s, my brothers, sister and I watched them perform on television—amazedthat this squeaky-clean Mormon family act from Utah made the big shows at a time when rock and roll ruled.They captured the Zeitgeist duality of thetimes—the white duo counterparts to black Michael and Janet Jackson.  
     In 1974-75 I edited the first issue of Osmondmagazine, working under the direction of Olive. From 1976 to 1979 Pamand I lived in San Diego, California, and watched on TV with our young son,Andy, the Donny and Marie Show as it coincided with our timethere.
     In the summer of 1986, Pam and I rented thecondo where Marie and her husband SteveCraig once lived. In 1994 we bought a lot owned by Jimmy Osmond and situatedkitty corner from Donny.We planned to build on that lot, but sold it five years later.
     In 2005 Pam and I saw the Donny and Marie Show live in Las Vegas; in 2007-2009we watched them compete on Dancing with the Stars; and recentlyPam enrolled in Nutri-System, the diet endorsed by Marie,who will next cohost The Talk.
            Why have they lasted in show biz for60 years? They might say: reinvent yourself regularly; keep the show fresh;overcome adversity; stay in shape; keep some things the same, change otherthings; and always look for ways to improve the act to please the audience.

BYU and Utah: Brother and Sister?
     I seemed destined to go from Utah toBYU fan when we movedin 1955 from Salt Lake City to Provo, one block from lower campus and fourblocks from upper campus. The two cities and universities are separated only by45 miles, but passing the “point of the mountain” can put you in another world,even a point of no return.
     I started watching the BYU vs. Utah football rivalry in the old hillsidestadium in 1955, and rarely missed a BYU home game for the next 10 years, sincethe university and stadium were only a short walk away. As I recall, BYU only beatUtah once from 1955-65 in 1958. In 1965-67, the Cougars won three games in arow. In 1972 LaVell Edwards became BYU’s head coach and coached the Cougarsto five straight victories over the next five years, before losing 23-22 in1978. Nine years and nine victories went by before the Cougars lost again toUtah in 1988. BYU avenged the loss the next year, scoring a touchdown in eachof their first seven possessions on the way to a 70-31 victory. The rivalry see-sawedin the 1990s, and in 2000 and 2001 the games came down to the final plays.
            I would like to think that myloyalties have made a difference in the rivalry. BYU went 4-32-4against Utahin the first 40 years of the rivalry. Since 1965, my freshman year, BYU has won 26 games, Utah 15, but many of Utah’s wins came when I wasrooting for them.
            And I will be rooting for Utah again this year, hoping my favoriteplayer to watch, Brittan Covey, will be thedifference maker, since BYU snubbed him, as theydid me twice.   
            BYU fans should beware: Stateof Utah issued more permits to kill Cougars this year!
 Donny & Marie and BYUv Utah: Star Wars or Holy Wars?
            What do the Y and Uhave in common with Donnyand Marie? Why (Y) I’m glad you (U) asked. Rivalries and PaperRosaries confirm the physics law—Opposites and Osmonds attract: Male-female, brother-sister,yin-yang, win-lose, Church-State, Country-Rock & Roll, song-dance, blue-red,The Dance-The Talk, and Star Wars-Holy Wars.
            I’m just saying: In this universe oruniversity, you can’t have one without the other. Donny needsMarieto fill seats at the Flamingo. BYU needs Utahto fill seats in Provo. So, don’t take offense (or defense):  It’s not so personal—it’s show and sports business!   
            Now, let’s sing and dance, talk andtackle with the stars Ethel Merman and Irving Berlin:
 There’s no business like show (and sports) businesslike no business I know
Everything about it is appealing, everything that traffic (onI-15) will allow Nowhere could you get that happy feeling (in Happy Valley) whenstealing that extra bow
There’s no people like show people, they smile (riseand shout) when they are low Even with a turkey (team) that you know will fold, you maybe stranded out in the cold Still you wouldn’t change it (a win) for a sack of gold,let’s go on with the show
There’s no business like show (and sports) businessand I tell you (Y and U) it’s so Traveling the country (Utah County) is so thrilling,standing out in front on opening nights Smiling as you watch the theater (stadium) filling, andthere’s your billing (on ESPN) in lights
Angels come from everywhere with lots of (sack); when youlose (the game), there’s no attack Where could you get money that you don’t give back (onbets)? Let’s go on with the show Yesterday they told you (BYU) would not go far, then you open (against Utah) and there you are Next day in your dressing room they’ve hung (your) star,let’s go on with the show (game)! 


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