Song:I Honestly Love You
Album:Magic: The Very Best Of Olivia Newton-John
I Honestly Love You was Olivia Newton-John's first number one pop hit in 1974 and she became one of the biggest stars of the 70s. She started out as a successful country music singer and crossed over to pop and even films. She was born Sept. 26, 1948 in Cambridge, England but she grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Her mother was born in Germany the daughter of Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Born. As a teen, she performed on Australian TV as Lovely Livvy and that's where she met John Farrar who would become her producer. He was part of the early 70s group Marvin, Welch & Farrar, a spinoff of The Shadows. After a talent contest win, Olivia moved to England and recorded a 1966 single for Decca. Then she formed a duo with Pat Carroll who she knew in Australia. Pat would later marry John Farrar. Then Don Kirshner recruited Olivia for the group Toomorrow which was a failed attempt to recreate the success of The Monkees. She recorded her debut album If Not For You in 1971. She had a couple of hits in England and appeared regularly on Cliff Richard's variety show. But she floundered for a couple of years until Let Me Be There was a top ten country and pop hit in 1973. This was followed by If You Love Me (Let Me Know) which was actually a bigger country hit. Finally Olivia topped the Billboard Hot 100 with I Honestly Love You in 1974. The song was written by Brill Building legend Jeff Barry and Aussie legend Peter Allen who first recorded it on his album. This was followed by a second number one hit Have You Never Been Mellow. When her career started to fade, Olivia starred in the 1978 film musical Grease and scored a number one hit with her duet with John Travolta You're The One That I Want. Also, that film gave her sex appeal that she didn't have before. Of course she also appeared in the 1980 film musical Xanadu which bombed. She topped the charts in 1981 with Physical but that turned out to be Olivia's final big hit. You can get all her hits on this comp. She got into other things like her clothing store chain Koala Blue and and as I think most are aware, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. Since she left MCA in 1998, she has recorded for Hallmark, Festival, EMI and most recently for Warner Bros. in 2008. She has a live CD coming out next week which she recorded with Aussie music legend John Farnham. And Olivia will be in residence at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas this summer. I never cared for her voice but I'm sure she has plenty of devoted fans. Here's Olivia Newton-John performing I Honestly Love You 1974.