• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Hollywood Nights TV Special (High Quality)

Proudofyou

Active Member
Oh man, I miss those days when I wore feathers in my hair as an 8 or 9 year old. Sigh. Great memories of my childhood. Wish she was in more of this.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I actually think this one is a little bit better quality. This show was loaded with talent from Hollywood.
Karen appears at 42:45

I always like that clip of Karen. She's having fun!
Yeah, Karen looks like a grown up independent woman having fun, forgetting that she is a Carpenter for a moment!
Plus this in this special shows Olivia the woman, who always has been beautiful and desirable, but in a more mature setting. One thing Olivia has always been good at is using the camera to her advantage.

Imagine a "Carpenters" special in 1980 with Elton John, Andy Gibb, Cliff Richard and Tina Turner as guests. That would of been an entirely different animal. Of course I'm not knocking Music, Music, Music..........
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Look at the quality of this! Just uploaded to YouTube:

Nice, but unexpected thread here! Thanks! :)
I won't deny that I could talk about Olivia all day long, but I know this is A&M forum!!!
Here's one. Did Olivia ever appear on an A&M release with another artist? Put on your thinking caps!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Imagine a "Carpenters" special in 1980 with Elton John, Andy Gibb, Cliff Richard and Tina Turner as guests. That would of been an entirely different animal. Of course I'm not knocking Music, Music, Music..........
I think that would have been an altogether better idea for their image than what they ultimately went for with Music, Music, Music. Olivia’s TV special, with all those guests, was electrifying.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
It is very interesting to compare Olivia's Hollywood Nights TV Special to Carpenters' Music, Music, Music Special.
MMM: Produced and Directed by Bob Henry---he directed all of the Carpenter Specials
MMM: Executive producer, as usual, Jerry Weintraub.
MMM: Nelson Riddle is credited as Musical Director.

By the way, unless it has escaped anyone's ears, Karen was certainly 'belting out' her vocals in Olivia's special, she held her own.
Thus, she was quite capable of that approach (of course, listen to And When I Die, you'll also hear that belting).
John Farrar was music consultant on Olivia's special. He is great.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Someone just commented on the YouTube video I have online of the 2007 BBC documentary and it made reference to this very special:

I remember when she guest starred on Olivia Newton-John’s third TV special for ABC in 1980 and she looked so thin and my cousin and I were bewildered”.

This echoes other comments on another thread recently that people did recognise that something was off, but at that time they just couldn’t put their finger on what it was.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I think Music Music Music was a great idea and would have worked much better without guests like John Davidson. He was too safe of a performer and quite frankly a bore. Ella was fantastic but of all the music performers why on earth John Davidson? There are so many other artists they could have used from the 70's like Judy Collins, Olivia, Dan Folgelberg, Art Garfunkel, England Dan & John Ford Coley and others...
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
I think Music Music Music was a great idea and would have worked much better without guests like John Davidson. He was too safe of a performer and quite frankly a bore. Ella was fantastic but of all the music performers why on earth John Davidson?
The same could be said of all their TV specials. Victor Borge, Suzanne Somers, Jimmy and Kristy McNichol, Georgia Engel, Peter Pit? What on earth were people like Jerry Weintraub thinking when they booked these Z-listers? The Carpenters were a world class act in the same league as Olivia. So why weren’t they given artists for their shows from their own peer group like Tina Turner, Elton John and ABBA?
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
The same could be said of all their TV specials. Victor Borge, Suzanne Somers, Jimmy and Kristy McNichol, Georgia Engel, Peter Pit? What on earth were people like Jerry Weintraub thinking when they booked these Z-listers? The Carpenters were a world class act in the same league as Olivia. So why weren’t they given artists for their shows from their own peer group like Tina Turner, Elton John and ABBA?
In the USA, at the time these specials were made, Olivia's career was "totally hot" :laugh: , and her popularity was on the rise. The Carpenters popularity was sadly going in the opposite direction, as evidenced by declining record sales and radio play. It may have come down to the available budget that each had to work with. If ABC expected that Olivia's specials would draw more viewers (and generate larger ad revenue as a result) than the Carpenters specials, they may have given her more money, allowing her to hire better guest stars.
 

ringves

Active Member
In the USA, at the time these specials were made, Olivia's career was "totally hot" :laugh: , and her popularity was on the rise. The Carpenters popularity was sadly going in the opposite direction, as evidenced by declining record sales and radio play. It may have come down to the available budget that each had to work with. If ABC expected that Olivia's specials would draw more viewers (and generate larger ad revenue as a result) than the Carpenters specials, they may have given her more money, allowing her to hire better guest stars.
Very insightful observations by Murray.

I wonder how many of the Carpenters' guest stars were represented by Jerry Weintraub. My guess is that at least some of them wound up on the Carpenters' specials because they were clients of Weintraub. There clearly wasn't any strategic thinking going on re: which guest stars would benefit the Carpenters.

Does anyone know who managed ONJ's career at this time? He / she deserves a lot of credit for pulling together all those "A-Listers" for the Hollywood Nights special.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Does anyone know who managed ONJ's career at this time? He / she deserves a lot of credit for pulling together all those "A-Listers" for the Hollywood Nights special.
That would be Lee Kramer, her then manager/boyfriend, who steered Olivia through her transition from country ballads to actress and mainstream pop artist, including the period covering Grease and Xanadu. Their partnership ended in 1981 and a guy called Roger Davies, who had been working with her as part of Lee Kramer’s team, took over as her manager. Davies also went on to manage Tina Turner as a result of meeting her on the set of Hollywood Nights. Interestingly, he was also instrumental in putting songwriter Steve Kipner together with Olivia, resulting in her 1981 smash hit single Physical.
 
Last edited:

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
That would be Lee Kramer, her then manager/boyfriend, who steered Olivia through her transition from country ballads to actress and mainstream pop artist, including the period covering Grease and Xanadu. Their partnership ended in 1981 and a guy called Roger Davies, who had been working with her as part of Lee Kramer’s team, took over as her manager. Davies also went on to manage Tina Turner as a result of meeting her on the set of Hollywood Nights. Interestingly, he was also instrumental in putting songwriter Steve Kipner together with Olivia, resulting in her 1981 smash hit single Physical.

The guests that appeared on Olivia’s and Carpenters’ specials were a result of the Jerry Weintraub connection (as mentioned above). That’s how they landed John Denver for their first ABC special. Not sure that’s how ALL of the guests materialized, but Jerry Weintraub was very powerful at the time.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Quite a few of the guest stars were under Weintraub's management. I posted a list at some point.
Read Coleman: "Werner Wolfen pondered who might be the best person to represent them and steer them
into new pastures. What they needed was an influential show business heavyweight who could get them their own TV Special." (page 211).
"Weintraub was signed to their management on January 22, 1976. Weintraub secured them a $750,000 non-recoupable payment
to re-sign with A&M in 1976, together with a better royalty deal for future records. " (page 212-213).

It comes as no surprise that I always felt that Weintraub was a bad fit for the duo.
Although--ultimately--the financial rewards probably outweighed all else.
That "better royalty deal" probably remains "in full force." That is good.

CashBox NEWS
Management III Inks Carpenters
LOS ANGELES — The Carpenters, Richard and Karen, have signed a personal management contract effective
immediately with Management III, according to Jerry Weintraub. president of that organization.
Management III will begin working on tours for this year and Weintraub will also be involved in The Carpenters’ activities
outside of the concert realm Upon the signing Weintraub said, "The Carpenters have made a gigantic impact on the
music industry in the past and will continue to do so It is going to be my pleasure to work with such talented and
personable people as Richard and Karen We plan to look into new ventures for both of them, together and individually."
Plans for The Carpenters in 1976 include major concert tours of America, Europe and Japan, a television special,
return club engagements in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and the release of a new A&M album, which they are now working
on in the studio." (2/14/1976)
 
Last edited:

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
The same could be said of all their TV specials. Victor Borge, Suzanne Somers, Jimmy and Kristy McNichol, Georgia Engel, Peter Pit? What on earth were people like Jerry Weintraub thinking when they booked these Z-listers? The Carpenters were a world class act in the same league as Olivia. So why weren’t they given artists for their shows from their own peer group like Tina Turner, Elton John and ABBA?
Exactly...And let's not forget Gene Kelly, and the weird guy throwing snow off the roof (was that Peter Pit?) in their Christmas special. How out-of-touch could the "management" possibly be?!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Exactly...And let's not forget Gene Kelly
I can half forgive them for Gene Kelly because he was a bona fide star in his own right that many adults watching the special would remember. But therein lies the problem: he was from an older generation of stars (same with Perry Como) so his inclusion only highlighted their old-fashioned image. It brings to mind something Richard once said that they would have been stars had they hit the big time in the 50s. I think Richard - and to a lesser degree Karen - was born two decades too late.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Slightly related to your comment, newvillefan;

Gene Kelly was also miscast in the movie Xanadu (1980) starring our beloved Olivia. The movie is consistently brought up on lists as one of the worst movies ever made. Was Gene Kelly trying to resurrect his career during this time period?

Though out of this movie came that fine duet by ONJ and Cliff Richard. My all time favorite song associated with Olivia Newton-John.

In case you have forgotten how good this duet is (sorry, the video quality is not all that great):



 
Top Bottom