HR Strange But True!
March 01, 2007

Two weeks ago, we glibly suggested that the Jackson Five and the Osmonds may have had it wrong when they sang that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch (the story was based on findings that one "bad apple" employee can sour an entire workplace).

Well, your editors were promptly informed that they were the ones who got it wrong. "THE JACKSON FIVE NEVER SANG 'ONE BAD APPLE,'" trumpeted Teresa Heard's somewhat terse e-mail. "Only the Osmonds."

We admit to being appropriately embarrassed, but we were also intrigued: Heard's signature indicated she is both an HR director and Merrill Osmond's personal assistant. That's Merrill Osmond as in the Osmonds. An interesting career combo, indeed.


Merrill Osmond, NOT the Jackson Five

To give your editors their (meager) due, we had, in fact, gone online to check the song's lyrics and who had sung it. When we searched "one bad apple lyrics" (without the quotation marks) on Google, the first result attributed the song to the Osmonds. The second attributed it to the Jackson Five. To double-check, we searched "Jackson Five one bad apple" (without the quotes), and the first result not only said that the Jackson Five sang it, but also on which of their albums it could be found. That was good enough for us.


Had we researched a bit further (which we did, after Heard's e-mail), we would have found websites and articles that would have clarified the situation and helped explain the reason for our confusion. "With a song ['One Bad Apple'] that easily could have been sung by the Jackson Five and a sound that was so close it could have fooled their own parents, the Osmonds attained the #1 record in the nation for 5 weeks," states the Super Seventies Rocksite.

"I have had many people argue with me that the Jackson Five did indeed sing 'One Bad Apple,' even though I know for a fact that they didn't," Heard wrote us in a follow-up e-mail. "So yes, it's a common mistake, but we need to give credit where credit is due." (Merrill Osmond was the lead singer of that song, and that's Donny you hear squealing the refrain.)

That's all well and good, but what's up with the whole HR director/Merrill Osmond personal assistant thing?

"The job with [Merrill Osmond] just happened, really, there was no applying, and I couldn't actually tell you when it began," Heard wrote. "I just started doing various things to help him out -- including his website ( -- and realized one day that I was assisting him with most all he was involved in."

"My real job, as I say, is a director of human resources for Delta Dental of Arkansas," Heard wrote. "When I go home, my job becomes the personal assistant to Merrill Osmond, and when I take time off from my day work, I'm usually traveling with the various tours and duties associated with working with Merrill."

We stand corrected, if somewhat red-faced. Unfortunately, though, due to the wonders of the Internet, we have already gone from being a victim of Web misinformation to being a promulgator (scroll down and look for HR Strange but True).

Source: Teresa Heard, director, human resources, and personal assistant to Merrill Osmond

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