Osmonds lead singer Merrill Osmond plays £5,000 charity gig for Ringwood School venue The Barn
THE former lead singer of the Osmonds family appeared in a special fundraising concert to celebrate the launch of a multi-million-pound community venue at Ringwood School.
Playing a medley of hits from his half-century music career, Merrill Osmond also took part in a VIP meet-and-greet session to raise almost £5,000 for The Barn performing arts space.
As lead singer for the world famous Osmond family, producing no fewer than 47 platinum and gold records, Merrill has sung lead vocals on 27 gold records and produced and written the music and lyrics for five number one hit records with brothers Alan and Wayne.
In front of an audience of 500 at the Parsonage Barn Lane venue, Merrill played many of the Osmonds' best loved hits including Crazy Horses, One Bad Apple, Let Me In and Love Me For A Reason.
Also appearing were British musicians Dave Wallace, Neil Frost, Pat Windebank and Finlay Gingell.
Sam Coombes, operations manager at Ringwood School, said: “We were really excited to invite Merrill and his team in for the day – the performance was spectacular and had people up on their feet within the first few notes of the first song!
“The Barn has lots of exciting plans to bring more live music, comedy and even a hint of magic to Ringwood.
"We really hope the community get behind us and support the events coming to this fantastic new venue which has been missing from the town for many years.”
New Milton music promoter Ian Woolley, who was at the gig, said: “As Merrill entered the side stage, a female frenzy of around 50 fans rushed to the front, cameras aloft.
"Launching into Crazy Horses, the silver-foxed one had his audience under his spell from the off.”
Announcing that he would be returning to the US the following day, Merrill hinted that the show could be his last UK gig.
Later in the evening he performed a tribute to Elvis singing I Can’t Help Falling In Love and Sweet Caroline.
Referring to his closest sibling Marie, Merrill said the gig was also being relayed live to his family in the US, and suggested Marie could soon return to the UK to perform.
In a glittering 50-year career, Merrill was the executive producer of the Donny & Marie Show that aired on ABC-TV throughout the 1970s.
He has toured throughout the world performing in major venues including last year with his UK band at the Westgate Resort Las Vegas where Elvis performed.
Officially opened last September, The Barn took a year to build and was constructed following a successful £2.1m bid to the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
It is located in an area formerly occupied by staff parking and features industry standard lighting, sound systems and a modular stage. Ringwood Musical and Dramatic Society also donated £50,000 towards the project.