Jul 07

DONNY OSMOND – “The Twelfth Of Never”

FT + Popular17 comments • 3,566 views

#327, 31st March 1973

This is a lot better than “Puppy Love” – in fact it’s rather sweet, very much the kind of well-scrubbed record you wouldn’t (really) mind your young daughter caning on the family Dansette. Does it make the jump from “innocuous” to “good”? Not exactly, though the closing clouds of snuggly harmonies are a winner, and the opening is a pleasant reminder of “Wichita Lineman”. Donny doesn’t sing it with any great urgency, and it doesn’t stretch anyone involved, but it never feels insincere to me either.



  1. 1
    Rosie on 7 Jul 2007 #

    The thing is, if you didn’t know anything more than that this was a number one hit sometime from 1952 to the present day, one might guess very early in the range. It would certainly fit, but Donny is no 50s crooner and his voice would seem thin and weedy by the standards of that time. Strangely, perhaps, it reminds me now of one of the nicest surprises I had in discovering the hits of those first few years, the Dreamweaver’s It’s Almost Tomorrow, although the song is well-known in other versions, some of which knock Donny for six.

    It’s a good workmanlike performance, but eminently forgettable.

  2. 2

    somewhere i have a soul version of this song, which i remember as pretty great: from the sound i’m remembering in my mind’s ear i thought maybe the stylistics, but it isn’t on either of my stylistics LP — the interweb sez the tymes did it, also, but that’s surely too early, at least for all the strings and general smoochiness i’m (imagining) hearing

    [“great” may be pushing it a bit, since i know my love of the stylistics is by no means shared by one and all!]

  3. 3
    Waldo on 8 Jul 2007 #

    Tom’s “Witicha Lineman” intro connection is spot on. But this offering from Donny was so utterly cheesy that it was well on its way to “The Golden Triangle for 1973 Chart Toppers as sponsored by Dairylea” before The Blonde and The Blindy came along.

  4. 4
    Marcello Carlin on 9 Jul 2007 #

    The Stylistics as produced by Thom Bell were great (as opposed to the Van McCoy-produced Stylistics) but the Tymes version probably is the one you mean since, as Popular will confirm, they made a sizeable comeback in the seventies.

    As “Twelfth Of Never” versions go, however, Jeff Buckley’s reading on Live At Sin-E slays all.

  5. 5
    doofuus2003 on 9 Jul 2007 #

    Could have been the Stylistics, or maybe the Delfonics? I have it somewhere, but it’s in my loft 8000 miles away…

  6. 6
    Erithian on 9 Jul 2007 #

    This is of course another 50s song – originally performed by Johnny Mathis I think. I was intensely irritated by Donny’s weedy retreads by this stage, and remember distracting myself during one TOTP by counting the number of times he passed the microphone from hand to hand. As I recall it totted up to 26. There’s not a lot more to be said about this one!

  7. 7
    Marcello Carlin on 9 Jul 2007 #

    Also a UK hit for Cliff in ’64 and Elvis in ’95 but curiously not for Johnny Mathis.

  8. 8
    Tim on 9 Jul 2007 #

    My favourite “Twelfth of Never” is the Pat Kelly version, nicely upbeat early reggae. I’m particularly keen on the way Pat drapes the slow vocal line over the (relatively) quick and tricksy backing track.

    I’m also keen because it was the “first song” at my big brother’s wedding, awwww.

  9. 9
    intothefireuk on 10 Jul 2007 #

    and the 12th of Never is about when I’d like to hear this again. v.cheap comment I know but it doesn’t really deserve any more.

  10. 10
    wwolfe on 10 Jul 2007 #

    The best version of “Twelfth of Never” is the one in the movie “Animal House,” where John Belushi as Bluto Blutarsky, clad in a toga, wrests the acoustic guitar from Stephen Bishop’s hands and smashes the instrument against the frat house wall.

    As noted, though, Donny really knew how to toss a mic from hand to hand.

  11. 11
    Martin Skidmore on 11 Jul 2007 #

    I’m with Tim on Pat Kelly’s version, even though from memory it doesn’t have his occasional trick of making up any nonsensical lyric that sounds vaguely similar, rather than finding out the real one. This tendency is particularly entertaining when he sings “We skipped the light and dangled” on his ‘Whiter Shade Of Pale’ cover.

  12. 12
    Erithian on 11 Jul 2007 #

    More of those please! : )

  13. 13
    richard thompson on 24 May 2008 #

    I secretly like this one, it reminds me of innocent times though my mates liked Slade and this was the first version of this that I heard.

  14. 14
    Ken Shinn on 31 Jul 2012 #

    Re wwolfe at number 10: it wasn’t “Twelfth Of Never”, it was that old trad arr ballad “I Gave My Love A Cherry”. It’s Bluto’s mumbled “sorry” afterwards that really makes that scene (later homaged by Worf in Star Trek: TNG’s marvellous Prince Of Thieves-baiting episode).

  15. 15
    Richard Gadsden on 12 Feb 2018 #

    Just been looking for my stork number one and, well, I suppose it could have been worse.

  16. 16
    lonepilgrim on 29 May 2019 #

    I hated this at the time out of a general animosity towards the Osmonds and Donny in particular – but in hindsight it’s a pleasant enough tune. They could count on the teenyboppers as well as the mums and dads to buy it which may have motivated the choice of material.

  17. 17
    Gareth Parker on 22 May 2021 #

    Another 3/10 here for me, I’m afraid.

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