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Donald Clark "Donny" Osmond (born December 9, 1957) is a relentlessly cheery musician and teen idol. He is best known for his invention of the "pablum" musical genre, as well as being founder and CEO of Inoffensive Records Inc.
edit Early life
Donny was born on December 9, 1957 in Provo, Utah to parents Olive and Edgar Osmond. Raising such a large family was quite a challenge, especially when searching for the right music at the record store. No matter what record Olive bought, it was inevitable that there was at least one child who hated it.
These early experiences profoundly affected Donny, who, while still in his teens, set out to create a genre of music so wholesome and family-friendly that everyone could enjoy it. After experimenting in the family studio for several months, he finally hit upon a formula for a genre that was almost entirely lacking in hatefulness. He tested it out on each of the others in the family, and none of them objected to it. Donny proudly announced to his parents that he had solved their musical problems with his new invention, which he called “Pablum.”
edit Local success
Once word got out in the neighborhood that the Osmond family was making music that kids loved, mothers of finicky children came calling to find out about this newfangled invention. The demand was so strong that Donny decided to start making records for sale in town. He set up a production line in the family garage, and with the help of his brothers, began producing singles for sale in local record stores.
Osmond's first album, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll, was a tremendous local hit, selling out 5,000 records in less than a week. Donny had a real hit on his hands, but he soon realized that he was not going to be able to keep up with the demand. As luck had it, an investor heard about his music on a radio talk show and approached Donny with a deal to expand the family business. With the seed money in hand, Donny built a recording studio in Provo to produce another album of pablum.
edit National success
Donny released his second album, Let's All Sing, in 1970. Along with improved production values, Donny also took the important step of advertising the album on radio and TV. Demand for pablum increased, and by the mid-1970s, Inoffensive Records was on the shelf of nearly every living room in America.
However, even with this success, all was not well within the Osmond family. Donny’s brothers became jealous of his success, and several of them left the company to pursue other careers. Jimmy Osmond, the youngest of the family, launched his own band that performed pablum music, but its success was nowhere near as large as Donny’s, and Jimmy’s venture folded after several months.
edit Decline in popularity
After tremendous success in the 1970s of Pablum, it soon lost favor with fickle public, and by the early 1980s sales declined so much that Inoffensive Records was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. This took its toll on Donny, who had become a recluse, remaining in his laboratory for days, working to find a new music genre that would be as popular as original Pablum.
After many years of hiding in the shadows, Donny returned to the public. Buying airtime during the 1997 Super Bowl, Osmond captured the nation’s interest with a 30-second commercial that launched his new album: Donny and Johnny. Recognizing America needed more Elvis imitators, Donny sang duets with a muscular, foolish man named Johnny "Oh Mama" Bravo. The duo of Donny and Johnny was a huge success, and Osmond was on the comeback trail. Inoffensive Records came roaring back to life, and production of their bland, flavorless music reached levels not seen since the 1970s
Pablum music is still popular today, with original pablum once again returning to prominence. Recent evolutions of the genre, such as pablum metal, disco pablum, nu-pablum, and baroque pablum, have appeared, but with little success, as people seem to prefer the original flavorless genre.