Although Olivia Newton-John shot to instant superstardom after playing Sandy in Grease, she had already been singing for years. Her musical style has never been able to be defined by just one genre, as it is a mixture of pop, country, and a little bit of disco for good measure.
In 1976, two years before she’d sing “You’re the One That I Want” on the silver screen, Newton-John recorded and released her version of a classic country tune that had been a big hit three years prior. We’re sure you know it well…it’s a little tune by the name of “Jolene.”
Dolly Parton was the artist who wrote and originally recorded “Jolene,” which went on to become one of the biggest hits of her career. The success of the song resulted in countless other artists rushing to record their own renditions, including Newton-John.
When Newton-John released her album Come on Over in 1976, she made sure to include her cover of Parton’s iconic song. Her version of “Jolene” was never released in the United States as a single, but it was one of her official singles in Japan.
Newton-John’s “Jolene” is quite different in style from Parton’s, but we like how she took it and made it completely her own. We recently stumbled across some old footage of one of her performances of the song, and after just a few seconds we got the itch to get up and dance. It’s impossible to listen to Newton-John sing “Jolene” without feeling the urge to boogie!
Beyond being full of fun, Newton-John’s performance of “Jolene” showcased her talent as a singer to the highest degree. Just wait until you hear her hit some of those high notes…you’ll have goosebumps!
But enough talk, tune in below to relive Newton-John’s incredible performance of “Jolene” in the video below.