Tiffany asked me about a song from the 80's she loved called, Meet Me In Montana and who was the woman that sang on that song. Tiff, it was Marie Osmond in a duet with Dan Seals who himself was getting ready for a real nice run of country hits. (I'll feature him soon). I played all of her songs on great radio stations across the country and was proud to do so. She brought a star-powered last name to us, when we needed it.
You may only know Marie from Dancing With The Stars a few years ago, her weight loss ads today, your parents music collection, or her decades long Las Vegas run with brother Donny. Truth is, Marie has done everything there is to do in literally every avenue of entertainment, and done it with success. Music, stage, commercials, movies, TV, Vegas, everything. So it should be no surprise that in her very short, but dedicated run in Country in the mid to late 1980's she had good charting success. Her run ended because of the complete changing of the format from pop-country to a far more traditional sound that gave way to the wave of 1989 and through the 1990's - till today. (Read my links about those years too) Her exit was nothing out of the ordinary then, there was a complete turnover on the charts in a short period of time.
This Got Her Started Off Going #1
When announced she was "going country" there was real excitement and some of the biggest names in Nashville were behind her. This was not a rarity in this era, as many pop stars were attempting to go country, including Dan Seals, also Paul Davis, the group Exile and others. It still is a popular thing to do for some reason, the list over the decades is painfully long. There was no doubt of her popularity, and her very strong singing talent, but could she make a go of it? Her 1973 song, Paper Roses (a remake from a 1960 hit - Anita Bryant) was a #1 country hit for her when she was 14, but that was a long time and a few country music phases ago. Now it wasn't about the novelty of being a teenager like Tanya Tucker or her - this was a new era. Marie was now in her mid 20's, all grown up, with a new beautiful womanly image and some real firepower in her corner. We were finally gonna find out if she was "A little Bit Country" after all.
Big Song - Won A CMA - Still A Much Loved Song
The first album in this new venture was, There's No Stoppin' Your Heart (1985) and that was a single as well and it went #1. Meet Me In Montana was also a #1 song and won a CMA for Vocal Duo Of The Year. That was a very popular song with listeners and was heavily requested. Meet Me In Montana is a song that fans totally loved and it still holds up quite well as a fantastically written song (Paul Davis). The success of both of these songs was undeniable and she was off to a fast start. The album had one more hit off of it, Read My Lips which went to #4. Her next album, I only Wanted You came out in late 1986 and her duet with Paul Davis, You're Still New To Me was a big hit going to #1. And even though there were two more singles off that album, neither did well, with I Only Wanted You going only to #14 and it was now late 1987. The traditionalists were here and pop country was on the endangered list.
True Pop Country
When I think back to that era, I know fans really loved Marie Osmond, and it was there for a longer run if only it had started earlier. Just about the time she was dedicating herself to the format, country was beginning to pivot rapidly away from the middle of the road poppy stuff. Randy Travis, George Strait, Keith Whitley, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, Holly Dunn, Patty Loveless and others were here. And by the late 1980's the change was complete, with many very established artists quickly ushered aside, young and old, men and women and groups too. No one was exempt. The pop country era was over.
Big Song - With Paul Davis
It was a very different time then. We didn't sell a lot of concert tickets in those days as compared from 1989 till today, or albums either. Many artists were simply "radio artists" who had great success on the charts and radio, but not widespread appeal or big commercial success. The Osmond's of course did for a few decades as their family has sold about 80 million albums. Much of the music was good then, but a lot of it was format-less in the 1980's and we didn't have a lot of mainstream popular stars like today. So it was good to have Marie Osmond for a while to bring her spotlight to us when we needed it. Her name alone was star powered.
Clearly, Too Far Pop For The Changing Nashville At The Time
Clearly, everything worked out well for Marie and the rest of the Osmond's well before, and well after. But just in case you were not aware of the fact she had a country career, it's fun to look back and remember. Much in the same way Olivia Newton-John was country in the 1970's. (My feature on her) In those short couple of years, 2 albums, 7 singles, 4 top 5's 3 number ones and a CMA. (Plus - Paper Roses #1 from 1973)
Very Fun Old Clip - Marie 1973 - Paper Roses #1
For a short while Marie was ours, with good success.