I wrote the first Olivia Newton-John home page on leland-stanford in 1994, and ran Only Olivia for a few years as joint founder of the erstwhile Only Olivia fan club (no longer in existence).
For over 20 years Olivia has touched my heart, shining her gentle light and inspiration. Her song has helped me laugh and cry, and sometimes see things through different eyes. So, dear reader, may there also be music that gives you as much joy as Olivia has given me.
I was out of the loop on all things to do with Only Olivia from the end of 2007 up to about the end of 2012. Sometimes life just makes a different call on where priorities lie. I come back to the scene to find Only Olivia collapsed some time in 2011.
I went to see Olivia in London on March 13th 2013, where she weaved her magic, and sounded in great form, better than before my five year hiatus.
It was also particularly special for me, I went to university at Imperial College just behind London's RAH and hearing her in that setting reminded me of the joy and hope and inspiration she brought to my younger self at a turning point in student life. It was good to hear Olivia here in the UK at last, I was not quite old enough to have seen her the last time she was live in London thirty-five years ago.
Olivia seems to be having some better times now too, I was chuffed when she married handsome John Easterling and it sounds like it's doing her music good. I loved the original Grace and Gratitude album but the renewed version of G & G shows extra sparkle, if that's the joy that John is bringing to Olivia then a hat tip to you, and long may it continue :)
Recovering the website
I am resurrecting some of the archives from the old backup tapes and getting some of it on the web. I will be eclectic and discriminating. There's a lot of stuff from several decades of Olivia's singing career; this project largely picks up on the work of others, who helped out with many scans of memorabilia and the like, and I'd like to see this return to the web.
Unfortunately a lot of it, particularly the memorabilia section had been broken up in 2011, which makes it hard to reassemble. The two most popular sections, Helen's TV shows and newspaper memorabilia are the most broken up. I have all the data, but the indexes have been scrambled, which means getting them back is harder. At the moment a lot of that is broken, I am restoring these parts to their original URLs on the website where I can find them, which will un-break the internal links , and any external ones that remain.
I use ads to pay for the hosting fees, there's a lot of content on here, and it seems that it was hosting fees that were some part of the demise of Only Olivia in 2011. Nowadays I can use CDNs to front-run the website, which makes that easier, but not free.
Only Olivia had been a continuous work from the early days of the Web 20 years ago to 2011. It's been written by many people in lots of different styles and technologies, and the Web itself has changed enormously. In the early days pictures were small and slow, and we wrote the HTML by hand. Then through the dotcom boom and bust we used WYSIWYG editors of various sorts and people had their different styles. A couple of years ago I had one abortive attempt to try and sort this out, but it was too hard to fix that and keep up with new material.
So I've made a judgement call - this is an archive of what Only Olivia collected up to 2007, though I will update the music pages to keep up with current releases that add something new to the corpus of Olivia's work. Her own albums and releases, yes. I won't try and catch every single guest appearance and duet :)
With that proviso, I can get on top of the existing material, and reauthor it for today's Web, and hopefully be reasonably smartphone-friendly
What people seemed to miss was the early content, the magazine articles and records from the early 1970s onwards, and it is this which I've tried to recreate.
From a technical point of view, there is much mixing of presentation with content, tag soup and error in the pages. Because it grew organically from the early days of the Web, Only Olivia never used a content management system. Digital content doesn't disappear of degrade, but it does become less usable over time and standards and protocols change. Hopefully there's something of interest to the Olivia fan here, and I have made it findable for you.
I'd like to thank some special people who made this all possible -
- Olivia -for being you, for bringing joy and song over so many years
- Helen - for everything you've done
- Philippe, for all your help with artwork and content. Take a look at Philippe's Olivia blog (in French)
- Tony who is tracking the News
- Kay Bohlen, for help and inspiration and photos and scans. Kay has a lot of Olivia on his Phenomenal Women site
- Everyone who kept the flame alive with Only Olivia before. Sorry it all went pear-shaped for some reason.
- all the fans who provided us with scans and photos and material from before. I actually have most of it and it will be back as time goes one. Drop me a line if you want to share something on here.
- Darren Mason who started it all off in '92