– Olivia Newton-John – rehearsal tracks for Olivia! TV Special – 1978 –
Olivia Newton-John, who passed away today at 73, in rehearsal from 1978 for her TV Special Olivia!.
Stepping out of character tonight – this is not my usual musical fare, and I confess to not paying all that much attention to the mainstream side of music in the 1970s where Olivia Newton-John firmly established her career as a singer, icon and entertainer.
But I will say she was without equal during the 70s in the area of consistent hits and had a massive fan base all over the world. Just because you disagree with a certain genre of music doesn’t mean it’s bad or even to be dismissed. Olivia Newton-John was great, and I was privileged to meet her a few times, since she was managed by the same team (Steve Binder-Robbie Porter) who also handled several Australian bands I was writing about at the time, and had just been signed to Capitol. She was a lovely person who was charming, gracious and every inch a professional who was destined to make it very big – you could tell, it was a vibe. She also had no pretense, no attitude – she was an icon who was also a worker – those are the best kind.
But it wasn’t music that moved me and so I let others who were more plugged into that world to review the albums and the concerts – they would certainly do her work proud. And they did.
This short set was a rehearsal for the ABC-TV Special Olivia! which aired in 1978. She was joined by Abba and Andy Gibb and they’ve been deleted from this post because the focus is on her and her artistry.
This is a rehearsal. In other hands it could have been glossed over and run through with little or no energy. Not with Olivia Newton-John – giving 100% even when it’s not completely required is a sign of commitment and love of the music.
And even if you weren’t a fan, or even knew who she was – it might be a good idea to just sit for the next seven or so minutes and take it in – no judgement – no impatience. It’s the heart of the matter that counts and hers was great.
She shall be missed.