The success Rick Hall was having caught the attention of Mike Curb, a recording executive and record producer, who helped The Osmonds get a recording contract with MGM Records. He arranged for them to record at Muscle Shoals and to be produced by Hall at his FAME Recording Studios. The first release by the label was “One Bad Apple” in 1971. The song had been offered to Berry Gordy Jr. as a song for the Jackson Five, but he turned it down. MGM picked it up for the Osmonds, with Rick Hall producing their first number one. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart week-ending February 17th 1971 (5 weeks), going gold in the process and giving the group their first million-selling record. The track also made it to the number one position on the RPM 100 Singles Chart in Canada week-ending February 27th 1971 (2 weeks).
The “Osmonds” album also charted on Billboard Magazine’s Best-Selling Soul LPs. It was on this chart for 13 weeks. The highest position for the album was number thirteen for two weeks in March 1971. The album earned a gold record certification on September 13th 1971 from the RIAA. The entire album was produced by Rick Hall at FAME Recording Studios. On side one of the disc and again on side two there are songs written by some of Motown Records’ most successful song-writers and music producers, such as Strong and Whitfield and Holland, Dozier and Holland, plus tracks written by Gamble and Huff, famous for being the architects of “The Sound of Philadelphia” (TSOP).
A second album entitled “Homemade” was also produced by Hall. It was warmly promoted in the Billboard Magazine of June 19th 1971: “The Osmond’s second LP for MGM, cut with producer Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals, is another dynamite commercial package and it includes their single smash ‘Double Lovin’. Other cuts that will stir play and sales are the opener, A Taste of Honey, The Promised Land, and She Makes Me Warm. The group members are in form with top vocal form and Hall’s production is super.” The studio album “Homemade” debuted on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart listing on June 26th 1971 and peaked at number twenty-two, the highest position for the album, although it was on the chart for thirty four weeks. The album received a gold-certified plaque from the RIAA on January 20th 1972.
The Osmonds sold eleven million records by the end of 1971 which included singles and studio albums. The following single released in 1971 was “Yo-Yo” which became another smash hit for the group and a gold-certified track according to the RIAA. The single was extracted from “The Osmonds Phase-III” album which was released in 1971. The single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. The following year the album earned a gold record disc from the RIAA for over half a million copies sold in America. Another gold single was obtained by the group with the track “Down The Lazy River”, taken from the same album, which was gold-certified by the RIAA on March 24th 1972.
Photo: The Osmonds MGM Records (Wikimedia Commons)