MERRILL Osmond chuckles at the thought that he and brother Jay are still playing to packed houses around the world - 60 years after they first started performing.

“And to think we only really started singing together to buy hearing aids for our two eldest brothers,” he said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

Virl and Tom were the brothers in question with younger siblings, Wayne, Alan, Merrill and Jay making music to raise funds to help them with their hearing problems.

What started life as a very young barbershop quartet became one of the most successful singing groups of all time selling well over 75 million records around the world. Add in the solo success of brother Donny, Jimmy and sister Marie and those sales are well over 100 million.

On Wednesday, Merrill and Jay will be heading to Colne Muni with their Rockin’ Christmas Show.

“With my white hair and beard I’m playing Santa, “ said Merrill. “I’m not sure what Jay will be!

“This tour is going to be really interesting as we’ve just recorded a new album A Rockin’ Good Christmas. We’ll be performing songs from that along with hits over the years.

“It’s something that you’ve got to see because musically it’s a rock and roll setting with that Christmas magic added to it.”

While Donny and Marie have concentrated on their solo careers and youngest brother Jimmy is touring and running the Andy Williams Theatre in Branson Missouri, it has been left to Merrill and Jay to keep on touring as the Osmonds.

Recently older brothers Alan and Wayne officially retired from the group due to ill health but not before a farewell performance to mark Marie’s birthday.

“We were all in Hawaii for that,” said Merrill, 65. “Alan had written a song, The Last Chapter, which was sung that night. The emotion was incredible, the tears were rolling down everyone’s faces, it was amazing.

“It was a very special occasion and great to see Alan and Wayne there. Now after all these years they can go and enjoy their grandkids.”

Taking things easy is not something that Merrill and Jay are considering any time soon.

Already their calendar is full of dates for 2019 including shows in Las Vegas.

“We’re reinventing ourselves as we speak,” he said. “The shows are a chance for us to talk to the audience, tell a few stories about things that have been going on over the years and then lay into the music. That’s our first love.

“It’s really gone full circle for us with us playing the music we love. The day we wrote Crazy Horses (one of the Osmonds’ biggest hits) was the day we finally felt our destiny. The style of song was us.

“Don’t get me wrong, the ballads are great and we will obviously be doing some of them in the show but it’s when you start kicking that gets out attention.”

Having performed together for 60 years, Merrill and Jay appear to be closer than ever.

“It’s true,” said Merrill. “The rapport that we have on stage is completely natural, it’s not scripted or anything like that.

“But I still find it hard to believe how well the shows go down.

“If you had told me 20 years ago that we’d be continuing to perform and do what we do and the reaction would be what it is, I’d have told you you were crazy.

“But it’s like Elvis Presley once told us ‘when your fans start bringing their kids then you know you are past the generation gap’. We have seen the young ones, the older ones, right across the age groups come along to support us – it’s just been fantastic.”

Those fans have become an integral part of the show and you suspect they are one of the main reasons why the brothers still enjoy touring so much.

“What is really interesting is when we do the hits,” said Merrill. “That’s when the audience becomes the show. They are singing and dancing and having a great time. That just lifts us. It’s a fascinating thing to watch.

“We are humbled that people still want to see us.”

The Osmond Brothers, Colne Muni, Wednesday, December 5. Details from 01282 661234 or