OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN…”I HONESTLY LOVE YOU”
September 26, 2012
In 1974, one of the first calls I receive after taking over as head of IRVING/ALMO music is from my friend, Olivia Newton-John who is looking for material. Except for their hits, I know very little about the catalog, so I hold my first casting meeting to take suggestions from everyone in publishing. The professional staff, secretaries and mailroom boys all pitch ideas to me.
After listening to quite a few songs, one catches my attention, “I HONESTLY LOVE YOU” by Jeff Barry (“TELL LAURA I LOVE HER”, “DA DOO-RUN-RUN”) and Peter Allen (“I GO TO RIO”). I’m late for an appointment so I only have a chance to hear one verse and barely scan the lyric. We ship it to London as quickly as we can along with an idea I have, Brian Wilsons “GOD ONLY KNOWS”, from our Beach Boys catalog.
When Olivia comes over to my office with her producer, John Farrar, and plays a dub for me, I‟m almost in tears. The first thing I say to them is, “This should be the Record of the Year!” You can imagine my surprise when MCA records doesn‟t even want to put it out as a single because, “It‟s too slow!” That‟s when Jerry Moss let me use Harold Childs, and his top A&M record promotion staff to break it out of the album.
Not only does “I HONESTLY LOVE YOU” become a multi-million platinum seller, it becomes the record of the year in 1974!
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN TRIES TO SQUEEZE ANOTHER HIT OUT OF JEFF BARRY AND ARTIE.
EPILOGUE..I FLEW BACK TO NY FROM LONDON WITH A LETTER FROM OLIVIA AND JOHN FARRAR TELLING THE GRAMMY PRODUCERS THAT I WAS TO ACCEPT THE GRAMMY ON THEIR BEHALF IF THEY SHOULD WIN RECORD OF THE YEAR. JUST BEFORE THE TELECAST THE GRAMMY PEOPLE ASKED ME TO LET PAUL SIMON, ART GARFUNKLE, AND JOHN LENNON ACCEPT THE AWARD “BECAUSE IT WOULD HELP THE RATINGS.” I DID , OF COURSE, AND WAS LATER REWARDED AND MADE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS AND SCIENTISTS.
I LEFT THE STUDIO T HAT NIGHT WITHOUT SEEING THE PRESENTATION AND HIDING THE TEARS IN MY EYES. TONIGHT I FOUND THE VIDEO OF ANDY WILLIAMS AND THE STAR PRESENTERS AND I STILL HAD A LUMP IN MY THROAT. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUlR8jWUKd8&feature=share
Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne
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THANKS AND REGARDS, ARTIE WAYNE http://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/celebrating-two-million-views-today-on-artie-wayne-on-the-web/
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