The turning point in Olivia’s career arrived when she released “Let Me Be There” (1973), which soared to number six on the American charts. Since he was no longer engaged to Bruce Welch, Olivia teamed up with John Farrar (Welch’s bandmate from the Shadows” ) for her music. The two made an incredible team.
Olivia’s vocals and Farrar’s impeccable songwriting and arrangement took the American music scene by storm. It helped that the duo had known each other from the early days. Later, Farrar married Pat Carroll – Olivia’s former singing partner, friend, and future business partner.
She Dabbles In Various Musical Projects
In December 1969, Pat returned to Australia since her visa ran out. Olivia’s career had just started to take shape - so she bade her friend farewell and remained in England. She was invited to join a band called “Toomorrow,” accompanying a film of the same name. As part of the film, the band released an eponymous debut album in 1970, which sadly had no takers.
The unsuccessful film quickly wrapped up, leaving Olivia to pour her efforts into a solo music career. In 1972, Olivia appeared as the resident star of Cliff Richard’s TV show. She also performed regular live shows in London.
Early Career In The UK
Olivia’s association with “The Shadows” and Cliff Richard catapulted her to fame. The early seventies marked a prolific era for her career, where more people began discovering her music. The singer released three albums during this period: Olivia Newton-John (1971), and Olivia (1972), Music Makes My Day (1973).
Her then-boyfriend Bruce Welch was instrumental in arranging her first single, “If Not For You,” which was a Bob Dylan cover. The single was wildly popular with American audiences – the first success in the U.S. for Olivia and certainly not the last.
She Meets Her Next Great Love
In 1973, Olivia met Lee Kramer while holidaying in the south of France. Kramer later told Rolling Stone how he hustled his way back on the same flight as hers. Lee ran a successful London-based imports and exports business at the time with his brother. After meeting Olivia, he was happy to relocate to the United States to help manage her business.
The couple moved in together within five months of meeting, with Lee working as her manager. But the lines between work and home soon began to blur, taking a toll on the relationship. Lee and Olivia eventually split in 1976 but continued sharing a cordial relationship.
She Participates In Eurovision
Her phenomenal success overseas meant a move to the United States was imminent. Before moving, Olivia participated in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest to represent the UK. That year’s competition was tough, particularly with ABBA stealing the show with their song, “Waterloo.” The Swedish group won the contest, and Olivia came in fourth.
Other things that did not work in her favor? Her choice of song and costume for the night was not her own but the result of a viewer poll! She performed an oompah-oompah song wearing a long, baby blue dress.