‘The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson’ welcomed the incomparable Olivia Newton-John to the show in 1974 for her first appearance. This was pre-Grease, when Olivia was known as an amazing singer before she shot to acting stardom in the 1978 movie musical.
Johnny talks about how it is Olivia’s first time on the show and welcomes her. Olivia walks out to her song, and she starts swaying to the music. When she starts to sing, she dances and sways.
She has a lovely voice and is wearing a cream-colored flowing dress. She snaps her fingers and smiles the whole time she sings her hit song ‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know),’ which has a distinct country style.
The single ‘If You Love Me (Let Me Know)’ reached number 5 on the pop chart and number 2 on the country chart. The album itself was certified Gold. Olivia became the first non-American nominated for Country Music Association Album of the Year.
After the song performance, Johnny talks to her about how she is Australian, but Olivia tells him that she was born in England and lived in Australia for 10 years. They both speak about Australian slang, and Olivia says, ‘If it was hot in the room, I would say to you, could you put on the agnitioner (Egg-nish-ner),’ which is slang pronunciation for air conditioner. Johnny tries to pronounce it and fails, and everyone laughs.
Olivia’s second performance of the night was her hit tune, ‘I Honestly Love You.’ She sits on a stool for this ballad and delivers the love song with her tremendous acting ability, showing emotion in her eyes and face.
The tune became her first number 1 hit in the U.S. and Canada. It would be her signature song until she eclipsed it with 1981’s ‘Physical.’ Olivia Newton-John had incredible stage presence on ‘Carson’ and delivered a fantastic vocal performance in 1974.