By Alan on Jul 04 in Blog tagged 4th of July, brad paisley, David Archuletta, Family, fireworks, freedon, God and Country, Miss America, stadium of Fire, The Family, theFamily | 7 Comments
Brad Paisley starred
Saturday night in
Stadium of Fire
at BYU Stadium, Provo, Utah.
Joining Brad is Alan Osmond, the creator of Stadium of Fire
and from left to right, Alan’s son, Alex and his friend Jessica,
Alan Osmond and Brad Paisley, Alan’s son Doug and
grandson Max in front.
Also co-starring David Archuleta!
By Brooke Ward
Even before the fireworks went off, the 31st annual Stadium of Fire was ablaze with pride and patriotism as nearly 50,000 gathered in celebration of country and honor.
Hosted by former Cougar and NFL tight end Chad Lewis, the festivities started on Saturday with a commemoration of the Civil War and a dramatic musical interpretation of the Gettysburg address, followed by the chorus’ rendition of “Proud to be an American” as the flag was brought into the stadium by parachuters.
The event, broadcast live to U.S. troops around the world through the American Forces network, also provided an opportunity to remember those still fighting to protect the great American ideals.
“The greatest casualty of war is being forgotten,” said Lewis, quoting a soldier he summated Mount Kilimanjaro with earlier this year. “Tonight we honor all those in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
The national anthem began with a video of then 13-year old David Archuleta’s 2003 performance at the Stadium of Fire. Then Archuleta emerged to finish, aided by the pyrotechnic dramatization of bombs bursting in air.
Donned in patriotic plaid, Archuleta retook the stage a short while later amidst a roar of audience appreciation.
“It’s crazy how many there are of you guys out there,” Archuleta told the crowd as he thanked them for all the support they’ve shown. “I love being home.”
Archuleta’s short set included a handful of songs from his two studio albums, and a special dedication to the troops that earned him a standing ovation.
Thunder, unheard since the football season, filled the stands as the stadium lights were brought down for Brad Paisley’s entrance. On their feet before he even hit the stage, the crowd got right into Paisley’s set, dancing and singing along.
Although not very talkative on stage, Paisley paused to honor the servicemen overseas, and wish the audience a happy Fourth of July weekend.
“It’s nice to see all your smiling faces,” Paisley said. “I’m so happy to be here. God gave us a great night for a concert.”
In less than an hour on stage, Paisley was able to give the audience a mere smattering of favorite hits from his musical catalog, and left them wanting more in all the right ways.
“He’s a consummate professional,” said Jenny Long, who came from Colorado for the show. “I could have listened to him all night.”
BYU graduate Stephen Jones was also on hand to help bring an end to the five-month search for the Stadium of Fire’s first annual talent contest winners. Drawn from more than 400 entries, three finalists had the opportunity to perform on the Stadium of Fire stage, including BYU’s own alt-rock garage band The Whits and 11-year old Eve Asplund of Farmington, who was out to prove that she has a musical future as sparkly as the sequined shirt that she wore on stage.
Voters overwhelmed the text messaging system, forcing Jones and Lewis to think quickly.
“Let’s hear it for breaking the system,” Jones joked with the audience as Lewis pulled out a decibel meter to determine the winner “the old fashioned way,” by volume of cheers. A few deafening moments later, age, experience and honest-to-goodness country music won out, and Artie Hemphill and the Iron Horse Band were $10,000 richer.
Capping off the evening was “America’s largest stadium fireworks show,” a half hour of tightly timed explosions of light and color set to popular and dramatic music.
By the end, it was impossible to pinpoint a favorite part, said 5-year-old Brooks Udy, a second-time Stadium of Fire attendee.
“Everything was too good,” Udy said. “It was better than Disneyland.”
“I’m not even from the United States and I feel like a proud American tonight,” said Rhys Clarke, a visitor from England. “The way that Americans demonstrate their patriotism is so special and unique.”
Cedar City’s Brian Brown said recognizing Independence Day is all about the liberties enjoyed in America, and how they were achieved.
“For me, the Fourth of July means freedom and sacrifice,” Brown said. “Celebrating like this just brings up the emotions.”
For Moriah Ihler of Malad, Idaho, one of more than 1,000 Stadium of Fire dancers, the evening even provided a glimpse into her potential future.
“I want to be a Cougarette,” explained Ihler, 17. “Yesterday was a long day. We spent a good 12 hours outside rehearsing, but this was just incredible. Just to be on this field dancing gave me that extra push.”
The night also included a tribute to the 2010-2011 BYU men’s basketball team, which Lewis pointed out ranked No. 1 nationally for the combination of winning percentage and graduation rate, and coach Dave Rose. In his six years with the team, Rose has amassed 159 wins and just 45 losses.
“And he beat pancreatic cancer while he was at it,” Lewis said.
The tribute included a special video message from Jimmer Fredette, thanking his former coach and teammates, several of whom were in the audience.
“It was nice to have him be a part of this, even though he’s in Sacramento,” said former teammate Brock Zylstra, who enjoyed the show with his wife.”This was my first time at Stadium of Fire and I loved it. Back home we watch the fireworks in a high school football field. This display was probably 10 times better.”
Alan Osmond said, “This was the 31st year since I created The Stadium of Fire Fireworks and Patriotic Event that celebrates Family, Freedom, God and Country . . . and what a great show it was tonight! There were a few hundreds of thousands of spectators that watched the fireworks from outside the stadium as well as millions around the world on the Armed Forces Network. This event brings out the best of America with its thousands of families that attend, the many volunteers and sponsors that believe in those principles and values of this event and The Freedom Festival for which we stand. This is a good reminder that we must STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, and CELEBRATE those Freedoms that we enjoy and to ALWAYS protect them. Let us never NEVER forget our forefathers that fought and died for our freedoms and the Constitution that protects those rights and freedoms that was inspired of God. This is why we celebrate!”
By Alan on Jun 30 in Blog tagged Alan shared stories, Donny and Marie Show, stadium of Fire, The Family, theFamily | 6 Comments
The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.
During this interview you just saw, I was asked about some of the things that I learned as a producer and song writer in television and live events and how my Alan Osmond’s “style” of teleVISION producing of the Donny and Marie Shows as well as my live fireworks extravaganza called “Stadium of Fire” that I created got started and keeps going now for over 31 years. I am told that it has become one of the most exciting and biggest stadium events on the fourth of July in the country.
Alan says, “My “style” came from my experiences I had when I was the Executive Producer of the Donny and Marie Shows and Specials. Besides writing music and lyrics, I learned to produce and direct video and television and worked with the writers to think about and come up with as many visual opportunities to “SHOW” people great looking television shows. I learned much from our great television director named Art Fisher from Los Angeles. When producing television or live events, he would say to me, “People want to SEE something!” Art convinced me that, “This is NOT “television” . . . they wanted to SEE . . . but, “teleVISION” !!!
My brothers and I had been singing and performing on the road for many years now and one day on our last show of the tour at “The Hog Capital of The World”, somewhere in mid America, we were all crunched up in a little 7 foot trailer just outside the outdoor stage as a MAJOR lighning and thunder storm struck near and drenched our sold out crowd! We started laughing as we watched them through the tiny windows and could not contain ourselves as the crowd sat there in the rain and would not leave! I looked at my brothers all decked out in our fancy sequined, studded clothes and cowboy boots and hats, and said to them while were were all crunched up in the trailer, ”Is this what all of our gold records and awards has gotten us?
We stopped laughing and started talking about how we miss our sweet wives and children. We then started to cry as we were missing them. We then said “This is it! We are going to quit and stay home.” We all decided that it was time to stop touring as much and to quit performing and go home and be good husbands and fathers to our wives and children. As we made that final decision to quit, we became quite emotional in that small little trailer with us all hunched up. We looked at each other and I said, “Guys, what are you going to do for a living?” There was a long pause and concerned looks at each other and then Wayne said, “I’ll be a garbage man! It doesn’t matter what I we do as long as we are home!” We all broke out laughing again until we cried and Merrill said, “I’ll probably go and sell real estate with Father.” We all laughed out loud at him! Jay said he wanted to go back to college and to teach. We had another good chuckle. I really didn’t know what I would do but I reassured them that it was time to go home! That show we did by the way was the BEST show we ever did! Wayne even got so caught up and carried away happy that he jumped off the stage and lost his cowboy boots down in the mud! He never did find them! It didn’t matter, we had quit!
After we got back home, Merrill and I talked about the Opening Ceremonies that we funded and produced with Tommy Walker for Ronald Reagan’s Opening Innagural Celebration in Washington D.C. and he said to me, “Alan, you are the ‘Dick Clark’ of our family. You have great ideas and produce and promote exciting events with music. You ought to produce live events for a living.” I thought about it and started to do my homework and drafted up a business plan.
The Patriotic Services they held in Provo, Utah was held at the football stadium with a little entertainment and then they blasted some medium size fireworks in the sky with long pauses in between the explosions. I was approached by Carl Bacon, the executive of that event who asked me if we could help produce and take over this annual event and make it into something more exciting. Well, that’s what I did. Merrill and the brothers as well as Donny and Marie and Jimmy all got behind me and we donated our talents towards a much larger Stadium Production with other celebrities and fireworks timed to music! The show was a hit! BYU even built a bigger stadium!
I kept producing those shows for over 25 years and created a theme for each year with major visual and fireworks effects. It became known as Alan Osmond’s Stadium of Fire! I wrote an original song especially with music accents and the theme song that sang, “Stadium of Fire!”
I had a large home on Osmond Lane in Provo, Utah and ran my operation from my unfinished basement which I fixed up as a work at home office. It had a side entrance where my assistant Marilyn Toone and LuAnn Brobst plus a few other employees worked with me to create these spectaculars. I wrote music themes for several of the events like, “Echoes of Freedom”, ”The Panorama”, “Stadium of Fire”, “This is My Country”, “Light of Liberty”, “Hope of America’, Celebrate 88″, ”Circus in The Sky”, “World of Freedom”, Red, Hot and Blue”, “Discover America”, ‘Friends of Liberty”, “American Heroes”, “Music American Made”, “Utah’s Centennial”, ”Let Freedom Ring”, “United We Stand”, “America, Remember and Renew”, “All Fired Up”, and so on. I wrote a song to go with the theme of each production and had several guests appear in the different shows. Having been a variety show producer, I had something in the shows for everybody and kept it short segmented, fast paced, and peppered it with special lightings, great sound and visual effects, with LOTS OF MOVING FIREWORKS!
Here are some of the entertainers that performed at Stadium of Fire that I remember:
2004 - Reba McEntire, Sean Hannity
2003 - Martina McBride, Sean Hannity
2002 - Toby Keith
2001 – Sawyer Brown
2000 – Alabama, Osmonds Second Generation
1999 - Gladys Knight, All-4-One, Harry James Orchestra, Lex de Azevedo
1998 - Huey Lewis and the News
1997 – Natalie Cole, The Jets
1996 – Donny Osmond, Kurt Bestor
1995 - Barbara Mandrell, Utah Symphony
1994 - Oak Ridge Boys, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Disney characters
1993 - Kenny Loggins, Jeffrey Osborne, Miss America Leanza Cornett
1992 - Beach Boys
1991 - Andy Williams, Phylicia Rashad, Lorrie Morgan, Osmond Brothers
1990 - Wayne Newton, Osmond Boys, Highway 101
1989 – Willard Scott, Keshia Knight Pulliam, The Jets, Osmond Boys
1988 – Rich Little, Mary Hart, Emmanuel Lewis, Osmond Boys, Osmond Brothers
1987 - Bob Hope, Miss America Kellye Cash, Osmond Boys, Thurl Bailey
1986 - Crystal Gayle
1985 - David Hasselhof, Miss America Charlene Wells, Roy Clark
1984 – Lee Greenwood, Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Jimmy Osmond
1983 – [Not sure] Maybe Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Osmond Brothers, Jimmy Osmond
1982 - A Fireworks Concert on the Air Live [With synced music from the radio]
1981 – Donny Osmond, Marie Osmond, Jimmy Osmond, Osmond Brothers
1980 – One of our first shows with The Osmonnd Family.
Talent costs kept going up and booking talent was costly so I diversified the shows with Television Stars that had major appeal. They might not have had an act but with the production experience I had in television, we produced visual things they could do that the audience really liked. Willard Scott on a run away elephant singing! David Hasselhof with ‘Kit’ the talking car, The Star Wars Characters, Mary Hart with her stage on fire! The Human Bomb that blew himself up! Circus acts, High wire and sway pole acts, American High Dive Team with water tank and dancing waters, A wing walker, A staged Fight with flame throwers, Wayne Newton on his white stallion singing, Marie and a broadway musical, a million firecrackers, International Fireworks competition, thousands of choreographed local dancers each year, parachute jumpers and military jet fly overs, armored tanks that fired inside the stadium, 5,000 Boy Scouts in uniform with American flags, The Polynesian Cultural Center Dancers, All of the MTC missionaries singing in white shirts and ties, The tabernacle Choir, acrobatic dog acts, motorcycle thrill acts, A Bob Hope USO reenactment show with many troops, giving cars away, and don’t get me started! Ha!
Notice that I used my family of Osmond Brothers , Donny & Marie plus my sons, the Osmonds Second Generation often?
This is because they cut me a good deal financially to perform and did what I told them to do! Ha! Yes, I had Donny enter in the Stadium on the outside rung of the helicopter flying in the air over the crowd as he sang! I also shot out of a cannon and fly like Peter Patn over the Stadium on a wire with fireworks coming out of his shoes and cane! The brothers helped me sing the theme songs and gave great support in recording and welcoming all of our guest stars.
After 25 years of shows, my M.S. crept up on me and it became harder to walk and use my right arm and hand, so I turned the shows over to the producers of “The Children’s Miracle Network”. They did great but said it is too much work and gave it back. KSL also stepped up and wanted to produce it. They did and did a great job and then said, “It is too much work.” I eventually turned it over to a non-profit foundation called “America’s Freedom Foundation”, of which I remain a member of the Board of Trustees. We now with many talented volunteers not only produces “Stadium of Fire”, but many other patriotic and community events over a two plus week period of time with “Stadium of Fire” winding it all up with A BIG BANG!
This picture below is a picture where I fired 1 million and 30,000 firecrackers in 0:06 seconds! I put the extra 30,000 in because “Guinnes Book of Records” came up to document this event and I wanted to make sure I accomplished it. The ball of fire and smoke went up in the air so high and so fast that it looked like pictures of Hiroshima! When they lit it went FAST but things went into an almost time warp and EVERYONE felt the heat! I stood up and started grabbing my kids to get out! The crowd just roared! The next day, a sponsor had tee shirts made that said, “I Survived The Stadium of Fire”! As I walked out of the stadium, the fire marshall who approved everything came up to me and said, “YOU NUT”! We both laughed! That’s when I thought I’d change my name to Alan Almond. Ha!
Download with Vixy | Convert YouTube to MP3