Olivia Newton-John Covered The Hell Out Of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” In 1976

Olivia Newton John country music

Not many people can do Dolly Parton justice…

But the late Olivia Newton-John sure did a helluva job with her cover of Dolly’s iconic song “Jolene” back in 1976, when she included her version as the second and final single from her seventh studio album Come On Over.

Sadly, Olivia passed away this morning at the age of 73 after a decades-long battle with breast cancer, her husband John Easterling shared in a statement on her social platforms.

He also confirmed that she passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California:

Of course, Olivia became a superstar after landing her iconic role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease alongside John Travolta, who also shared a sweet tribute to his friend on Instagram.

She went on to win a Grammy for Best Country Female and an Academy of Country Music Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1973, and then the 1974 Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards, in addition to quite a few hits for songs on the Grease soundtrack, as well as other songs like her biggest solo hit, “Physical.”

But her cover of “Jolene” is exactly what a cover should be, in that she does make it her own in a certain way, without watering down the production or making it something else completely, in addition to delivering it with all the passion and emotion it was written with.

The title track to Dolly’s 1974 13th studio album, she famously penned “Jolene” on the same day she wrote “I Will Always Love You,” and of course, it became a smash hit, peaking at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Country Songs chart as one of her first hit singles.

And, as the famous story goes, Dolly was inspired to write the song after a bank teller in her hometown got a little too flirty with her husband, Carl Dean, not long after they got married (and she got the name “Jolene” from a little girl who asked Dolly to sign an autograph early in her career).

Olivia has such a stunning voice, and this is easily one of the best covers of “Jolene” you’ll ever hear… she was a true artist in every sense of the word:

RIP Olivia.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock