Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's ONJ Day

Today is the birthday of my childhood icon Olivia Newton-John. One of my dearest friends argues in utmost seriousness that Olivia's voice is what we'll hear the angels sing with in heaven. Who am I to argue? Maybe it's because she was the first celebrity I ever truly loved but she still sends me.

I really don't know why she isn't more celebrated these days --even if it would be in a shallow nostalgia way. At the very least she deserves her own theme night on American Idol given that far less famous singers have had them and her discography is loaded with #1 hits.

Since this is a film site here are five movie related goodies for you. Clockwise from top left for these first four: "Suspended in Time" from Xanadu (1980) one of my all time fav flicks and Olivia songs; "Take a Chance" with John Travolta (check out the hairspray'ed 80s 'dos) from their unfortunate attempt to rekindle the Grease magic with Two of a Kind (1983); "Those Summer Nights" with Travolta again from Grease (1978); and a comedic number with Gene Kelly from a TV special where they adapt "Makin' Whoopee" (yes, the song that makes us all think of my beloved) into "Makin' Movies"





And this schmaltz fest you just gotta take in... It's ONJ with Bette Midler, Meryl Streep, Cher and Goldie Hawn singing "What a Wonderful World". Put that many film divas (+ Olivia) in the same room and it sure is. The angels are already singing



AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT THIS POST WAS OVER...
I'm also noticing on IMDB that Olivia is in talks to reprise her last film role for a television series. That'd be Bitsy Mae Harling an ex-con lesbian biker (I'm not making this up) from the strange, countrified, and intermittently funny Sordid Lives. The movie has developed a mini cult of sorts, due in large part to its fun cast which also includes Beth Grant, Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges and Leslie Jordan

13 comments:

OFan said...

Wow thanks for summarizing so much of what I think and feel about /for Olivia.

This probably defines it best:

Maybe it's because she was the first celebrity I ever truly loved but she still sends me.

And I wonder why Suspended in Time is never on any greatest hits compilations. Wasn't it good (and successful) enough?

It's one of my favorites..

(And BTW Thanks for the video!).

Nice tribute you made there, Nathaniel! :)

Jimmy said...

wow!....so how the hello dolly did i never see that yummy medley w/ ONJ, Bette, Meryl (pretty good), Goldie (ouch), Cher (why didn't she get a chance to do a little belting?), and the spinster school marm? What was that from? One of those farm aid type things they used to do? Circa late 80's??? I love it. (psst / shhhh - I also love Xanadu - I actually have a few tunes from it on my iPod). don't tell.

Brian said...

Nat, have you seen the Beaver Trilogy, a set of three films in which a kid from Beaver, Utah does an incredible lipsynch performance to "Please Don't Keep Me Waiting"? The first film is a documentary of the event, and the second and third are fictionalized remakes starring Sean Penn and then Crispin Glover in the role.

NATHANIEL R said...

i have and i think it's quite awesome

though i have found myself misremembering it over the years... partially do it its shapeshifting within itself and partially due to me wanting it to be a different Olivia song ;)

NATHANIEL R said...

ofan welcome have you been here before? If you chase the Xanadu label there's more ;)

jimmy i had never seen it either! isn't it retrotastic? oh and also: never be ashamed of loving the Xanadu soundtrack. The movie sure: feel guilty. The soundtrack? Never. Parade your love around.

Kenneth Walsh said...

Such a fun post! You're not alone in your adolescent love of ONJ. So many people our age went through this phase (if you will). By high school I had graduated to Debbie Harry as my blond goddess (Belinda Carlisle was another popular choice). But deep in our hearts we were always hopelessly devoted to Olivia. Your friend is right: the voice of an angel.

Not sure if you were there too, but one of the first things I ever blogged about was her show at the Nokia Theatre. My run-in with fellow Pink Lady Didi Conn nearly made up for Livvy's complete dissing of "Totally Hot," by far my favorite album of hers.

Ray said...

Olivia Newton John ... MMMMMM ... gorgeous voice and face. Just absolutely mesmerizing.

That Diva version of "Wonderful World" would have been so much better if Midler would have been uninvited. There's someone who does NOT do it for me.

www.therecshow.com

adam k. said...

OK, so why does the woman in that first picture look exactly like KIRSTEN DUNST!?

I really thought it was Kirsten when I saw it.

adam k. said...

Also wow, that singing video is so random and fun. And they're all so young! But how was Meryl's hair so short in '89? It wasn't that short during She-Devil or Postcards. Was she wearing wigs in those movies? Hmmm...

Michael Parsons said...

She just has the shiniest hair ever

Kamikaze Camel said...

I really wish Baz had kept Kylie Minogue's green fairy rendition of "Physical" in Moulin Rouge! That woulda been amazing.

Anonymous said...

And I grew up thinking I was the only person who idolized her (although I may still be the only woman I know who grew up idolizing her.)

Thanks for the cool tribute, Nat - it's nice to be able to come out of the closet, so to speak, amoung such admirable company.

RedSatinDoll

OFan said...

Anonymous said...

And I grew up thinking I was the only person who idolized her (although I may still be the only woman I know who grew up idolizing her.)

Thanks for the cool tribute, Nat - it's nice to be able to come out of the closet, so to speak, amoung such admirable company.


If she were as, or even half as, famous now as Madonna or Cher are (she might be if she had wanted to, I don't doubt her talent. If she had adapted to the demands of the market, etc.... I'm glad she hasn't though ;) )

..you might not feel so lonely! lol

She's just not the household name she used to be in the early 80's.

So we aren't aware of the millions WE are in the world who still worship her!

Find fan clubs that talk about her. Or attend a show. She still packs a lot of auditoriums!

:)

Yes, Nat, I think I've been here before. I'm beginning to recall my visit!