Elvis Presley and Olivia Newton-John
August 28, 2022
Interview with olivia Newton-John (1974)
The following is the text of an interview with Olivia Newton-John in 1974 and broadcast on WGN Radio.
Q: Have you been back to Australia recently?
ONJ: Last year.
Elvis Presley Let Me Be There live on stage March 20, 1974
Elvis Presley Let Me Be There live on stage March 20, 1974.
Q: Who are the people, the American artists that are predominate, ah, that are very popular?
ONJ: In Australia?
ONJ: Oh, heavens! Probably the same as here. Elvis always, still. Still the king.
Q: Have you seen him in person?
ONJ: Yes, two years ago I went to Las Vegas.
Q: These women are all alike. What is it that he does?
ONJ: He's got something - that's all!
Q: He sure does (laughter). A lot of guys would love to have it.
ONJ: He's got a magic on stage, and I'd heard a lot of people saying he's this and that, and i always wanted to make my own judgment of him, and he was magic as soon as he comes on stage-whatever he does, people will accept.
Q: Now I'll agree. I had never seen him until two years ago, and I did the same as you. I said well, I got to see for myself, and he does ... he is a tremendous 'in person' performer. I think Sinatra has the same thing for his audience as Elvis has for his. They can almost do anything and the audience will love it.
ONJ: I like it because he sends himself up. I don't know if that's the same expression used in America? What do you say here for that? Puts himself on? Puts you on?
Q: Yes he doesn't take himself too seriously.
ONJ: Yes that it.
Q: What was that expression you used?
ONJ: Sends himself up.
Q: I like that, and I'm hoping to write all this down.
In 1976 Olivia again saw Elvis in concert and while she did not get a second chance to meet him, she was treated to Elvis performing her hit song. Olivia: 'During the show, Elvis shocked me and sang my song ...' It blew me away to hear him say my name because I was such a big fan'.
Elvis noted the presence of Olivia and The Eagles at his April 1976 Long Beach concert. Elvis did perform If You Love Me (Let Me Know) at the concert.
Olivia Newton-John (with Abba) sings Elvis Presley's Jailhouse Rock
In her 1978 'Olivia Newton-John TV Special' (with Abba and Andy Gibb) Olivia sang a few lines of Jailhouse Rock.
Olivia writes in her book Don't Stop Believin' (2018):
And then there was Elvis.
I was really excited to be invited to see the King at the Hilton in Las Vegas. It was a celebrity-packed row, with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting next to me on either side. During the show, Elvis shocked me and sang my song 'Let Me Be There'. It blew me away to hear him say my name, because I was such a big fan. After the show, I went backstage to meet him and got another big surprise. Doris Day was there, too - I've always adored her. Doris was warm and welcoming, but sadly I never met Elvis up close and personal. His road manager said there was a emergency and Elvis had to leave the building,
As per the Tim Rice quote below, Olivia was probably confabbing the memories of her 1972 Vegas concert experience and her 1976 Long Beach experience.
In Tim Rice's autobiography he says that he attended Elvis concerts two nights running at the Hilton in 1972 with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Olivia, before he saw Elvis again in 1974 and met him. He said that after the 1972 concert, he and Olivia wandered the casino all night and she was totally unrecognized. If he is correct, then the following quote from Olivia's new memoirs is partly inaccurate, as in 1972 neither she nor Elvis had yet recorded or performed Let Me Be There or If You Love Me (Let Me Know).
Olivia Newton-John, was born 26 September 1948. She is an English-Australian singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, and activist. She is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five number-one and ten other top ten Billboard Hot 100 singles, and two number-one Billboard 200 solo albums. Eleven of her singles (including two platinum) and 14 of her albums (including two platinum and four double platinum) have been certified gold by the RIAA. She has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She starred in the musical film Grease, and its sound track is one of the most successful in history, with the single 'You're the One That I Want', with John Travolta, one of the best selling singles.
Newton-John has been a long-time activist for environmental and animal rights issues. She has been an advocate for health awareness, becoming involved with various charities, health products, and fund raising efforts. Her business interests have included launching several product lines for Koala Blue and co-owning the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Australia.
Newton-John has been married twice. She is the mother of one daughter, Chloe Rose Lattanzi, with her first husband, actor Matt Lattanzi. She married John Easterling in 2008.
Elvis recorded Olivia Newton-John's songs, Let Me Be There and If You Love Me (Let Me Know) in concert during the 1970s.
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