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Appalling and Anger-Inducing

Way back in the late 1980's, I heard a song called Mormon Rap, which as the title suggests, puts the beliefs of the Mormon religion to rap.  Now, in that song, Donny and Marie were referenced.  As a child, I had no idea who these people were, so after I heard that song at s church activity, I went to my mother and asked who, exactly, these people were.

In response, my mother broke out a CD that had a song called A Little Country, A Little Bit Rock n' Roll.  As near as I could tell, his sister was a little bit country and he was a a little bit rock n' roll.  I didn't care for that song, not one bit.  I took the CD, looked at it and yelled, "Burn it!  Send it to Outer Darkness!"

Now, Osmond here is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), as am I.  As a celebrity who is a member of the Church, he has a higher obligation to keep his conduct in harmony with the Church's teachings than I do. And the Church does have high standards for everyone, but especially those who are in the public spotlight, such as actors, singers, athletes and so forth.

With that in mind, imagine my shock when, in a new song in 1989, Osmond sang about being a Soldier of Love.  For the most part, its lyrics are innocuous, but there is one stanza that made me quite angry indeed.  To wit:

"Love can be so heartless when you turn out the lights; a mutual surrender in the heat of the night."

I can expect such filth from Madonna, but not Osmond.  With just twenty awful words, any and all respect that I had for him ceased to exist.  Now, to be fair, Osmond did not write this song, but he did and still does perform it, and he even made a music video for it, complete with scantily-clad women.

The song itself revived his career, but I contend that it did so at the expense of the respect of  his fellow church members.  

When the single came out, it did so overseas because Osmond did not have a record deal here in the USA and had only a record deal in the United Kingdom, but the single failed to connect with people in the way that the label would want them to ($$$).  

There was nothing in the USA.  This was, of course, long before iTunes, YouTube and so forth.  Without a domestic label that could make him a mainstay on radio stations and in record stores, Osmond had nowhere to go but down.  His teenybopper days were long gone.

After a cassette recording was sent to a popular  radio station, they ran a "guess the artist" game and in due time, it was revealed on air that Osmond was the artist.  

The response to the stunt, the brainchild of a program director Jessica Ettinger at WPLJ-FM, a station in the number one market, New York City, was swift in his favor, with the song hitting #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  

Ettinger had been shocked to learn that Osmond was the performer and knew that people might not listen to or buy the song had the public known who it really was.  Her little stunt paid off for the station and Osmond.

As a result of the contest, Osmond found himself with a US-based record deal and with a single being rushed to any and all radio stations that would play it.  He was back!

Yes, Osmond got what he wanted: fame, fortune and everything that goes with those things.  Perhaps Osmond decided that fame and fortune was more important than upholding the Church's standards.  Only he knows his motivation.

Osmond is not alone. LDS actor (Singles Ward, Singles 2nd Ward, The RM)  Kirby Heyborne appeared in a beer commercial, despite beer being forbidden.

It was interesting indeed to read a little interview Osmond did with Songfacts.  In it, Osmond states the obvious, saying, "It's [Soldier of Love] the one that brought me back from the dead."  But at what cost, Brother Osmond?  At what cost?

Oh, to interview this guy.  I'd ask him what possessed him to record such a morally bankrupt song.  "Well, Brother Crook, I needed the money and I simply didn't care about being a role model to my younger fans, especially those of my faith," he didn't say.

Even to this day, Osmond continues to perform the song, with its filthy lyrics included.  Maybe this soldier of love should be dishonorably discharged from the Church.