In 1980, Osborne embarked on a solo career that generated indelible Top 40 hits like “On the Wings of Love,” “You Should Be Mine (The Woo Woo Song)” and “Love Power” with Dionne Warwick. These songs and others became wedding reception staples for generations of young newlyweds.
Osborne, 74, recently answered some questions from his home in California.
Q: How does it feel to know your songs have become an important part of people’s lives?
A: It’s an honor to hear people say they played my songs at their wedding or got married to one of my songs. I feel like that’s about the biggest compliment you can pay to an artist.
Q: You have a select number of dates through the summer and fall. Is that good for you?
A: Oh, without a doubt. We went through that period where there was nothing for almost two years and now everything is back open. Work is really picking up. I’m actually trying not to work as much. As the work is coming in, I’m passing on a lot of things because I’m already quite busy.
Q: How are the shows going?
A: It’s actually incredible. The only problem right now is COVID is going crazy again. It’s just popping up everywhere. One band member gets it, another one gets and it’s like, ‘Oh, man…’ It seems more contagious than ever.
Q: There are so many social media comments saying you’re just a joy on stage and your love of performing is palpable. How have you maintained that enthusiasm?
A: There’s nothing like live performances to me. I still really enjoy it. There’s a whole different energy than being in the studio and recording. When you’re in front of people, you’re bouncing off of them and they’re bouncing off of you. The chemistry is the magic as it goes back and forth so my first love is actually performing live. As long as I enjoy it, I’ll keep doing it.
Q: Your Fraze Pavilion concert is one of several upcoming co-headlining dates with Peabo Bryson. What makes you two a good fit?
A: We’ve done a lot of shows together. I’ve been working shows with Peabo for the last 20 years, so we know each other really well. Peabo is a great talent so it’s great package. I think people would be happy to come out and get a real solid evening of music. And it’s been a while since I’ve been to Dayton.
Q: How long has it been?
A: Four or five years, at least, so I’m looking forward to going back there. Ohio is special. There are so many incredible musicians from Ohio. There are all those incredible groups from Dayton like the Ohio Players and Zapp and Roger (Troutman). The people that came out of Ohio are amazing, so I have a lot of respect for the audience there because I know they know great music.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
Who: Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson
Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18
Cost: $40 lawn & terrace, $78 side orchestra, $88 center orchestra and $98 plaza in advance, $45 lawn & terrace, $83 side orchestra, $93 center orchestra and $103 plaza day of show
More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com
Artist info: www.jeffreyosborne.com