Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Rest In Peace, Olivia Newton-John

I was very saddened by the recent news of Olivia Newton-John's passing.  I had been a fan for many years....since childhood, actually.

Today, I want to share this article from an issue of People magazine, dated July 31, 1978.  I bought this magazine when it was new, and have kept it all these years:

***Post Addition - August 11, 2022***

In the past, I have posted about collecting "Topps" brand trading cards, including my sets for the films, The Black Hole and Star WarsThere was also a series of cards for the film, Grease.  I collected the entire set of "Series 1" cards, but I am only posting the ones that feature Olivia Newton-John as "Sandy."

Some of the cards had "trivia" about the making of the movie, and "bios" on the film's stars, printed on the reverse side:

The backs of the other cards were actually "puzzle pieces," which could be assembled to make one larger image:

As with most of Topps' trading cards, the Grease series included a sticker inside every pack of cards:

I saved one of the package wrappers:

I also asked the clerk at my local "Stop 'n' Go" store, if I could have the display box which the packs of cards came in:

There was a "Series 2" of the Grease trading cards, but I only bought a couple packs, and never collected the entire set:


***Post Addition - August 13, 2022***

Over the years, Olivia Newton-John had many of her own TV specials.  One of them aired on April 14, 1980.  The TV Guide for that week featured her on the cover, as well as an article/interview inside:

Here's the TV Guide ad for the television special.  It was airing on ABC, immediately after the 52nd Annual Academy Awards, and had a "Hollywood" theme.

 The show got an extra mention in a TV Guide "Close Up."

The special aired four months prior to the theatrical release of Olivia's new film, Xanadu.  She sings the song, "Suddenly," with Cliff Richard, who had also performed the vocal with her on the film's soundtrack.  I recently did a search for this special and found that someone had uploaded it to YouTube, about six years ago.  I've included it below, for those who are interested.  Just a warning, the audio goes out around the 32:00 mark, but only for about 1 minute, and then it comes back. 


***Post Addition - August 15, 2022***

Here's an article/interview with Olivia, from a July 1978 issue of Crawdaddy magazine.

Her answer to the last question she was asked is very sad, in retrospect.


***Post Addition - August 17, 2022***

In November of 1978, Crazy magazine did a send up of the movie, Grease, and featured caricatures of Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta on the cover.  Crazy was similar in style to Mad and Cracked magazines, and was published by Marvel Comics from 1973 to 1983.

This ad from the May 10, 1980 issue of TV Guide, was promoting Grease on cable television:

And this ad appeared in the November 7, 1981 issue of TV Guide.  It was the first time that Grease was shown on "Free TV."

 The same issue featured a special "Close Up" on the film:

I posted this ad for Olivia Newton-John's album, Totally Hot, a few years ago.  It's from a 1978 issue of New West Magazine, which featured a Disney-related cover story.  The release of this album came only a few months after the premiere of Grease, in theaters.

I remember going to see a movie back in 1978 or '79, and the music video for the album's title song played before the film started.  The video was filmed in Century City (Los Angeles), at the at the former ABC Entertainment Center.

I also remember the television commercial for the album:


Another one of Olivia Newton-John's television specials, promoted her 1981 album, Physical.  It was basically a compilation of music videos, for the songs on the album.  Here's an advertisement for the special, from the February 6, 1982 issue of TV Guide.

TV Guide featured a "Close Up" for the special:

And for anyone interested in watching the 40 year-old special in it's entirety, here it is (courtesy of YouTube):

The television special does include her infamous video for the album's title track, "Physical."  If anyone wants to view just that one video, here it is:

One of my favorite Olivia Newton-John performances is from her 1978 television special, Olivia.  Here's the ad for the special, from the May 13, 1978 issue of TV Guide:

And here's an advertisement that I found online.  I'm guessing this was from a magazine:

The entire special is available on YouTube, but the performance that's my favorite, is when Olivia, Andy Gibb, and ABBA sing medleys of her songs, as well as their own songs.  This segment appears to have been uploaded by the editor of the original show, and it includes extra "behind the scenes" footage, in addition to a stereo audio track, which is not how it would have been originally broadcast.