The legendary Jimmy Osmond, youngest of the famous family of singers, is paying tribute to his mentor and friend Andy Williams with the show Moon River and Me, which is coming to Belfast’s Ulster Hall on September 6.
Andy gave the Osmond family their big break on US television when Jimmy was just three years old. Now, after 50 years in showbusiness, the ‘long haired lover’ himself is back on the road with a nostalgic stage show that blends video footage with music from Andy Williams and, of course, from the Osmonds, themselves to create an evening that will delight music fans of all ages.
“Andy meant a lot to me,” said Jimmy, who spoke to the Guide this week. “He was more than just the guy who gave us a start. He was like family. He was always there for us.”
But Andy could be a formidable character and Jimmy admits that the rest of his siblings still feared the great man. “We had a friendship that meant a lot to me but people were quite scared of him and we always cared what he thought of us,” admitted Jimmy,
“If you talk to my other siblings about him they are probably still scared of him. I had a different relationship with the guy, His voice was the best, no-one can sing like him.”
Jimmy promised that he would carry on Andy’s legacy and, after taking over the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center in Missouri when Andy passed away in 2012, he produced shows in honour of his friend before taking the tribute on the road. “This show was a pet project of his,” explained Jimmy. “Before he passed away he knew I was a good theatre producer and that his family didn’t really want to continue so I started producing shows and took this on the road because I loved it.”
Jimmy is looking forward to a return visit to Belfast as part of his tour and has fond memories of performing in the city. “I love the people there,” he said. “You love and appreciate music. You guys have such a cool style. I have got real affection for Ireland. It is so beautiful. There is a colour of green there you just don’t see anywhere else.”
Fans can expect lots of musical treats on the night, and Jimmy hopes everyone will enjoy the show. “We have all the classics and it is quite eclectic musically. People can expect the show to bring back a lot of memories of their own lives,” he added.
Tickets are on sale from the Box Office and online at www.ulsterhall.co.uk.