On this day in music history: February 13, 197…

On this day in music history: February 13, 1971 – “One Bad Apple” by The Osmonds hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks, also peaking at #6 on the R&B singles chart on February 27, 1971. Written by George Jackson, it is the biggest hit single for the family vocal group from Odgen, UT. Having previously spent five years as regulars on “The Andy Williams Show”, the five brothers record a handful of singles for Williams’ Barnaby label and for Uni Records with little success. In 1970, they are signed to MGM Records by producer and label executive Mike Curb. Curb pairs the brothers with producer Rick Hall, best known for his work with Wilson Pickett and Etta James. For their debut single, Hall picks “One Bad Apple”, a song that was originally pitched to Motown for The Jackson 5 but is rejected. Featuring Merrill and Donny on lead vocals, the track is cut at Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in the Fall of 1970. Released as single on November 16, 1970, it gives the group their long awaited breakthrough on the charts. Entering the Hot 100 at #78 on January 2, 1971, it rockets to the top of the chart six weeks later. Ironically, “Apple” prevents The Jackson 5’s then new single “Mama’s Pearl” (#2 Pop, #2 R&B) from reaching the top of the pop singles chart. Some original US copies of “Apple” are issued with a very rare picture sleeve crediting the group as “The Osmond Brothers” instead. The sleeve is quickly discontinued by MGM Records due to the error, and over time becomes a sought after collector’s item by fans. “One Bad Apple” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.