Today, we take a look back at the comeback hit of Marie Osmond. I say comeback, because, while she had been releasing singles for most of the previous ten years, she had not appeared anywhere near the Country top 40, much less number one, since “Who’s Sorry Now” briefly appeared on the Country top 40 in 1975. Before we talk about her comeback hit, let’s quickly look back at the beginning of her career.
The beginning (at least recording-wise) came in 1973, at age 13. Marie, with the assistance of producer/arranger Mike Curb and singer Sonny James, recorded a cover of “Paper Roses”. The song made the pop top 5 in 1960 for Anita Bryant. Two weeks before Marie’s fourteenth birthday, the record debuted on the Country top 40. By November, it was sitting at number one on both Billboard and Cashbox‘s country charts. In addition, the song crossed over to both the Pop and Adult Contemporary formats, where it became a top ten hit, as well, including hitting number one in A/C.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t maintain the momentum. Her next release, another Anita Bryant cover, “In My Little Corner Of The World”, barely charted country top 40 and failed to chart pop. Her duet with her brother Donny, “I’m Leaving It All Up To You” cracked the country top 20 in 1974. It also reached the pop top ten, and they scored an additional pop top ten with “Morning Side Of The Mountain”.
She scored a couple of moderate successes with her brother in the pop field during the decade. In country music, success had left. “A-My Name Is Alice” charted in 1976, her last country chart single until 1982. By 1982, she had left MGM/Polydor, now signed to Curb. Elektra released her first two single, and they put her back on the country charts. However, neither broke into the top 50. A third single, released in conjunction with RCA in 1984, titled “Who’s Counting”, barely charted.
Beginning in 1985, Capitol released her Curb recordings. “Until I Fall In Love Again” hit 54 on Billboard, her highest peak in country music since 1975. The next single obliterated that.
“Meet Me In Montana”, written by singer/songwriter Paul Davis, during a visit to Montana. It was inspired by the line “…set me free, somewhere in the middle of Montana” from Merle Haggard’s hit “Big City”. Capitol execs thought it would make a good duet, and thought Dan Seals would be a good partner for Marie Osmond on the song. Recorded in February, the track appeared on both Marie and Dan’s next albums (There’s No Stopping Your Heart for Marie and Seals’ Won’t Be Blue Anymore). Released in July, the song climbed to number one in October.
Though Marie and Dan’s only collaboration, the single reignited Marie’s career. She followed-up with 2 more number one hits, “There’s No Stopping Your Heart” and “You’re Still New To Me”, the latter with Paul Davis. “Read My Lips” would also make the top ten. And for Dan Seals, the release began a string of nine straight number one hits, plus two addition chart toppers.
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, and focuses on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.