DAILY DIRT: Thanks for the memories, Olivia


Olivia Newton-John

Daily Dirt for Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

And so we begin Year 2 of The Daily Dirt … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 366 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Way back in my formative years I developed a crush on a singer that has lasted my entire life.

That’s why when my son, Geoff, texted me earlier this week to see if I had heard about the death of Olivia Newton-John I was devastated.

I knew she had been battling cancer for about 30 years, but I had always felt the singer/actress would somehow win that battle. Although her fight was valiant, cancer finally won and the girl who millions came to know and love as Sandy Olsson in “Grease,” had passed away. She was 73.

Olivia Newton-John was a marvelous combination of the girl next door, a rock star to some and a movie star to others. She was also an activist for animal rights.

“Now she’s in Xanadu,” Geoff texted me, referring to another of Newton-John’s films.

Rest in peace, Olivia. And thanks for the memories.

2. Although health issues kept her away from the spotlight in much of the latter half of her life, her contributions to pop music will always stand the test of time.

Here are my top 10 Olivia Newton-John releases:

  • 1. “You’re The One That I Want”.
  • 2. “Hopelessly Devoted To You”.
  • 3. “Physical”.
  • 4. “If Not For You”.
  • 5. “Have You Never Been Mellow”.
  • 6. “Summer Nights”.
  • 7. “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)”.
  • 8. “I Honestly Love Youi”.
  • 9. “Please Mr. Please”.
  • 10. “Xanadu”.

Some may remember she began her career as an (Australian) country artist, but by the mid-1970s had morphed into mainline pop.

3. Topping off today’s tribute, here are my favorite Olivia Newton-John films:

Gold medal: “Grease,” which paired her with John Travolta as high schoolers. She was 29 at the time of filming.  

Silver medal: “Xanadu,” was a borderline disaster at the box office, but the soundtrack was a worldwide success.

Bronze medal: “Two Of A Kind,” which reunited Newton-John and Travolta, but not with the same kind of success they enjoyed in “Grease”.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — The first time I listened to an Olivia Newton-John song was 1971. More than 50 years later, I enjoy her music as much as I did when I was a teenager.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He never tires of hearing “Tell me about it, Stud.”

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