Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Larry Martino

On Monday August 8th we learned the sad news that one of the classiest ladies in pop music, Olivia Newton-John, had lost her battle with cancer. According to reports, she died peacefully at home in her ranch in Southern California, surrounded by family and friends. She was 73 years old.

Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England and moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family when she was just six years old. If you don’t remember the early years of her career, she actually burst on to the music scene in the United States as a country artist. Her first two breakthrough singles, “Let Me Be There,” and “If You Love Me Let Me Know,” each hit the top 10 on the Billboard Magazine country, pop and adult contemporary charts. She would earn a Grammy award for “Best Country Female,” and an Academy of Country Music award for “Most Promising Female Vocalist” during the early years of her career.

Of course, it was the movie Grease which catapulted Olivia Newton-John into super-stardom. One of the hottest actors in Hollywood in 1978 was John Travolta, who had just starred in Saturday Night Fever and the hit television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. He played Danny Zuko in Grease, and Olivia was cast as his love interest, Sandy Olsson. The Grease movie soundtrack remains one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time, and you’ll certainly see a few in the list of her top 5 singles of all time.

Olivia Newton-John would continue to score top 10 singles into the middle part of the 80s. She even has Billboard Magazine’s #1 single of the entire decade, which (Spoiler-Alert) is also her best-selling single of all time. This four-time Grammy award-winner remains one of the brightest pop stars of the 70s and 80s, and she will certainly be missed. But her music lives on!

R.I.P. Olivia…


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.


  • 5) "Heart Attack" (1982)

    This is a song Olivia Newton-John recorded for her second greatest hits album. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, ranking at #22 on the 1982 year-end chart. It also earned a Grammy nomination.


  • 4) "A Little More Love" (1979)

    This was the lead single from her tenth studio album, Totally Hot. It also peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, ranking at #17 on the 1979 year-end chart.

  • 3) "You're The One That I Want" duet with John Travolta (1978)

    One of the most memorable scenes from the hit movie Grease. It was the lead single from the soundtrack and it spent at week at #1. In England, this song spent 9 weeks at the top of the U.K. pop chart! Here in the U.S. it ranked at #13 on the 1978 year-end chart.

  • 2) "Magic" (1980)

    The film Xanadu was a flop, but the soundtrack did very well, thanks to hits from Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra. This song spent four weeks at #1, ranking third on the 1980 year-end chart.

  • 1) "Physical" (1981)

    Considered extremely risque for its time. It ended up spending ten consecutive weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in late 1981 and early 1982, becoming Billboard’s best-selling single of 1982, and ranking at #1 on that magazine’s list of the “Top 100 songs of the 80s!”

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