Song of the Day #5,157: ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ – Olivia Newton-John

After back-to-back #1 hit albums, Olivia Newton-John released four albums over the next three years with diminishing returns, sales-wise. She continued to place singles atop the Adult Contemporary chart (seven in a row at one point) and high on the Country chart, but didn’t enjoy as much crossover success.

Among the songs she recorded during this span are covers of Dolly Parton (‘Jolene’) and The Beatles (‘The Long and Winding Road’), show tunes (‘Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina’), and a track titled ‘Don’t Stop Believin” that isn’t the one by Journey.

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Song of the Day #4,902: ‘Freddy, My Love’ – Cindy Bullens

‘Freddy, My Love’ is one of the few songs from the stage musical Grease that did not make it into the 1978 movie.

On stage, the tune is sung by Marty Maraschino during the girls’ slumber party, after she shares that she’s dating a Marine. While it’s a fun and catchy song, I agree with the cut. The slumber party scene works beautifully as is, highlighted by Rizzo’s ‘Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee’ and Sandy’s ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You,’ which was newly written for the film.

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Song of the Day #4,452: ‘You’re the One That I Want’ – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John

Concluding my personal ranking of the 25 movie musicals deemed essential by the American Film Institute…

#1. Grease – 1978
(#20 on the AFI list)

I don’t know if this will be a controversial choice as my #1 musical on the AFI list, but I have to say it wasn’t even close. Since I first saw Grease as a kid, this has been not just the best musical I’ve ever seen but one of my favorite movies, period.

This movie is such a blast from start to finish — from the melodramatic beachside embrace to the greatest end-of-school carnival ever. It’s impossible to start Grease and not finish it.

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Song of the Day #2,747: ‘There Are Worse Things I Could Do’ – Stockard Channing

grease_summer_nightsGrease is primarily about the unlikely romance between greaser Danny Zuko and good girl Sandy Olsson, but I always found more emotional resonance in the sub-plot concerning the rebellious Rizzo, played by Stockard Channing.

Rizzo provides comic relief but also has a pregnancy scare that complicates her relationship with Kenickie, and in one of the film’s most touching scenes (embedded below) she gives us a rare glimpse of her vulnerability.

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