Christine sent me a note this week asking if one of her favs, Olivia Newton-John was "country" before she knew her from the movie, Grease. She heard from a family member she was. Well, yes - she was at first, and was very successful. Christine, a whole lot of people like you didn't meet ONJ until Grease.
Let It Shine - Let There Be No Mistake - She Was Country!
ONJ has a long and involved story, but this article will deal with her country days. When she was a young singer, she charted a ton of songs on the country chart, and those songs also charted "pop." That's kind of how it was in those days for some. ONJ was hard to define, so all kinds of stations played her music. She was a CMA and ACM nominee and winner in the mid 1970's. Her music then, would be considered "very" country today.
Big Breakthrough Country Hit!
She recorded for many years before she finally hit it with Let Me Be There in 1973, a song I love. It was a very big song on many charts including top 5 country. ONJ was a real favorite of many genres then. She of course from Australia, but she somehow became America's Sweetheart. Everyone loved her.
Big Song And A Big Year For Her!
If You Love Me, Let Me Know was a big, big song and other country singles came too. Please, Mister Please, Sam, I Honestly Love You, Let It Shine and Come On Over, (I LOVE THAT SONG) all charted very well country all in the top five. Have You Never Been Mellow was a big hit, and her duet with John Denver, Fly Away was was too. But things like this happen, ONJ would leave country in time, and become a big pop and movie star after a few years. She then racked up 10 #1 pop songs, including 7 in a row.
Great Country Song!
Grease, and a few other movies, and TV appearances made her a gigantic star, then the whole Physical phase in the early 1980's with a complete reinvention, attempting to shed the goody two-shoes image. And depending on who you ask, it worked.
This Song Went To #5 - Written by the Bee Gees! The End Of The Country Run Pretty Much....
So yes, before you may have known her, Olivia Newton-John had a whole other career before millions of new fans met her in a very different way. I loved her music in the early days, and played it on many country stations around the country for years.
Even This Grease Classic - Has A Hint Of Country In It!
She was in your favorite movie and that's great, but let's remember we had her first.
Olivia Newton-John is now 72 years old - She is currently battling cancer for the the third time, and we wish her the best.
Other Recent Arists