Paper Roses

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"Paper Roses"
Single by Anita Bryant
from the album Hear Anita Bryant in Your Home Tonight!
B-side "Mixed Emotions"
Released 1960
Format 45 RPM
Recorded 1960
Genre Traditional Pop
Length 2:49
Label Carlton 528
Writer(s) Fred Spielman, Janice Torre
Certification Gold
Anita Bryant singles chronology
"Till There Was You"
"Paper Roses"
"My Little Corner of the World"
"Paper Roses"
Single by Marie Osmond
from the album Paper Roses
B-side "Least Of All You"
Released August 1973
Recorded 1973
Genre Country/Pop
Length 2:38
Label MGM 2006 315
Writer(s) Fred Spielman, Janice Torre
Producer(s) Sonny James
Certification Gold
Marie Osmond singles chronology
"Paper Roses"
"In My Little Corner of the World"

"Paper Roses" is a popular song written by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre which was a hit in 1960 for Anita Bryant with Monty Kelly's Orchestra and Chorus and later for Marie Osmond in 1973.

Anita Bryant's version of "Paper Roses" was originally released in 1960 as a single b/w "Mixed Emotions" (Carlton 528) and was the opening track on her 1961 album Hear Anita Bryant In Your Home Tonight! (Carlton STLP 12/127), recorded in "Provocative Stereo." "Paper Roses" was Bryant's biggest hit on the Billboard Pop chart, peaking at No. 5 in 1960. Bryant continued to release singles following "Paper Roses"' success. Although Bryant had hits that reached the Top 40 again, she never had another hit as big as "Paper Roses."

Marie Osmond version[edit]

In 1973, Olive Marie Osmond's brothers, The Osmonds, were already well-established as stars in the pop music world and as teen idols (especially Donny). The Osmonds' management convinced Marie to try her hand at singing as well, and soon she was performing with her brothers on tour, but not officially a member. When Marie began to record, she took a different tack from her brothers musically: she decided to try to make it big in country music. She was soon signed to MGM Records in Los Angeles, California.

Mike Curb, who had overseen Donny Osmond's solo hit covers of oldies like "Go Away Little Girl," "Puppy Love," "Sweet and Innocent," and "Hey Girl," used the same approach with Marie. According to Curb in the book Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits by Fred Bronson, when Curb was looking for country songs for Marie to record for her first album, Sonny James suggested that Marie sing "Paper Roses."

"Paper Roses" was the first song recorded by Marie, and also her first single release. The single was released in August 1973. MGM promoted the single first to country radio, and received a favorable reaction to the song from radio stations and disc jockeys. Soon the song became a hit for Osmond, going all the way to number one on the country charts.[1] Before long, the song crossed over to pop radio as well, becoming a #5 Pop and #1 Easy Listening singles hit.[2] The album and single both received Gold certifications in the United States.

Upon reaching No. 1, Osmond became -- at less than one month after her 14th birthday -- the youngest female artist and youngest overall solo artist to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, a record that still stands as of 2015

In the United Kingdom, where Osmond-mania was just as strong as (if not stronger than) in the United States, "Paper Roses" climbed all the way to #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

Marie followed up the success of "Paper Roses" with a cover of another Anita Bryant hit from 1960, "In My Little Corner of the World," but it didn't fare as well, reaching only #33 on the country-music charts, and bubbling under the pop charts.

Marie re-recorded "Paper Roses" with the same producer and in the same studio for her 1990 The Best of Marie Osmond greatest hits album on Curb Records because her record label at the time did not have the rights to include the original recording.

Paper Roses has been adopted by fans of the Scottish football team Kilmarnock FC as the club's anthem and is played at major games throughout the season.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 12
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
UK Singles Chart 2

Other versions[edit]

  • The Kaye Sisters had the UK 1960 hit with their version which reached #10 (Record Mirror chart) on 17th September.
  • A version of "Paper Roses" was also recorded by Maureen Evans in 1960, reaching #40 on the UK Singles Chart. Versions were also recorded by Cristy Lane for one of her Country Classics albums and in the UK by Dame Vera Lynn for her album Vera Lynn in Nashville.
  • In 1975, Loretta Lynn recorded a version of "Paper Roses" on her "Back to the Country" album in 1975.
Preceded by
"All I Know"
by Art Garfunkel
Billboard Easy Listening Singles
number-one single

November 10-November 17, 1973
Succeeded by
"The Most Beautiful Girl"
by Charlie Rich[3][4]
Preceded by
"We're Gonna Hold On"
by George Jones and Tammy Wynette[3]
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

November 10-November 17, 1973[3]
Preceded by
"Ridin' My Thumb to Mexico"
by Johnny Rodriguez[5]
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

November 24-December 1, 1973[6]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 255. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 187. 
  3. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2005). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2005. Record Research, Inc. p. 609. ISBN 0-89820-165-9. 
  4. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for December 8, 1973". RPM. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for November 17, 1973". RPM. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for December 1, 1973". RPM. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 

External links[edit]