If you're a country music lover, the vital information is this: The Oak Ridge Boys and Marie Osmond are teaming up for Christmas concerts in St. George on Thursday, Dec. 6 (8 p.m., Dixie Center); Logan on Friday, Dec. 7 (8 p.m., Spectrum); and Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 8 (8 p.m., Salt Palace).
If you're one of Utah's needy, however, the vital information is much more vital. Concertgoers in Salt Lake City are invited to bring canned goods to the show to give to the needy. Trucks will be on hand to pick up the food.But there's more.
"We'll also have two semi-trucks full of food at the Utah State Fairgrounds for distribution to various organizations," says Don Hilton of KSOP. "The Oak Ridge Boys are doing this on a regular basis now; and we're just happy to be a part of helping those who have less."Joe Bonsall, the Oaks' red-hot tenor, is typically upbeat about the food delivery - as well as the shows.
"We really like the idea of tying the shows in with Feed the Children," he says. "It's a great organization, and we're happy to do benefits where we can.
"As for the concert, if I were a betting man I'd bet the Utah shows will be the strongest, since we'll be with Marie. In the past we've had the Christmas segment be a small part of our regular show, but this time our regular show will be just 30 minutes of the Christmas concert. Marie will open for about an hour and do straight Christmas material, then we'll follow with some hits of our own - just to keep that guy in the audience from yelling, `Hey, you didn't do `Elvira!'
"But then we'll come back for Christmas, complete with sets, outfits, Santa Claus, you name it," said Bonsall.
Bonsall bills this 16-city tour as the "Cold City Tour," since stops include icy cities like Fargo, S.D.; Green Bay, Wis.; Logan, Salt Lake City and points north.
But if the weather outside is frightful, the heat will be turned up inside the halls - by the Oak Ridge Boys themselves. Known as the most energetic group in country music today, the Oaks have a knack for getting a crowd going early and keeping them going.
One of the problems, says Bonsall, is that doing a Christmas show means rehearsing a dozen songs that the band and the Boys haven't worked on recently. The back-up band has been spending 10-hour days trying to recreate the arrangements on the Oaks' two best-selling Christmas albums. As for the singers, they've had to dig in, memorize lyrics and tighten up the harmonies.
"It's been tough," says Bonsall, "but we've wanted to do a show like this for several years now."
As for Marie Osmond, she's shown a remarkable resilience and ability to adapt over the years. She's gone from the Mormon Sweetheart to a bonafide country music performer - perhaps the most under-rated female vocalist in the genre, in fact.
And her Christmas shows here will be something of a love letter to the local fans who've stayed her over the years.