Physical

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN 1981 Chart Position: #1 (10 weeks)

As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion
Prov. 11:22


In 1981, I had the pleasure of meeting popular Christian recording artist, Don Black. Years earlier, Don was becoming successful in the secular rock music scene, auditioning for established acts such as The New Detroit Wheels and The Bob Chance Experience. Don was spending a week at our church, hosting Vacation Bible School with his 3-D Chalk-talk puppet ministry. This fell on the week of our monthly "progressive" Saturday breakfast, and yours truly had the privilege of driving Don and a few church members in my new (to me, anyway) Coronet Crestwood. We enjoyed a fruit cup in Lafayette, and because our hot cakes and sausage awaited in Pleasant Hill, we had plenty of time in the car between courses.

Assuming I listened exclusively to Family Radio (back before it became weird) Don went for the "on" button, but instead of hearing "Big John and Sparky", the unrestrained sexual content of what was to become the biggest #1 hit of the decade blared as the loudspeakers spoke up and said:

I took you to an intimate restaurant
Then to a suggestive movie
There's nothing left to talk about
Unless it's horizontally

"Such trash!" Don exclaimed. "This is why I got out of the secular music business! I wouldn't have my name on the top 40 charts or in the trade papers with those kind of freaks!" Don continued to explain to us about the kind of people that worked in the music biz, and didn't hold back in his description of their lifestyles, but was of course careful to leave out the four-letter words.

Don expressed his concerns about the music industry and its effect on children, and that he had just heard about another young girl who had ingested Sani-Flush after a teen romance went awry. Don promised that he would someday devise a ministry that would counter the evil message of today's music. After I explained that I had just purchased the car and had yet to turn the radio on, my passengers watched closely as I set all the buttons to stations which glorified the Savior. We then had a brief word of prayer for Don's new ministry.

Less than a year later, we learned that Don had been permanently disfigured in a tragic U-Haul trailer mishap. Our cards and prayers having been sent, we never expected to see or hear from Don again. Not so! Two years later I was tuned into Youth Power! with Rex and Caroline Vanderslice, when to my amazement, Don was introduced! His face was a fright, but the sight of him with his "cape of many colors" and his "turbo- charged break-dancin' walker", sent the nine to fourteen year-old audience into a frenzy. Don's rendition of "Let's Get Spiritual" received thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

Don's life is a youth minister's dream come true, and an obvious answer to our prayers. Don's warmth and radiance has shone through his mangled body for more than a decade. He has successfully countered the secular music world with his own brand of entertainment, and has become a Christian-household word. A great example and spokesman for the disabled, he is able to let others laugh at him as he laughs at himself. I'm sure that nobody knows better than Don that a person can have fun without having sex!

As for Ms. Newton-John, I'd guess that few under the age of 30 would know who she is. (or was, I'm not sure) Since anyone over 30 probably knows too much, I'll spare you the ugly details of how her fickle audience turned on her as she faded into obscurity. I will refrain from describing the trauma she must have endured as her short career as a "singer" fell into a downward spiral. I will not speculate about her inner torment and confusion wondering if it was simply because the wrong songs had been picked out for her, or if the horrible truth was that nobody liked her anymore.

If you understand the message of God's Word, you will not believe that God is punishing poor Olivia for the irreparable damage she has done, for God does not "punish." However, I have reason to believe that she is unaware of this, so why don't we just make it our little secret.


dick@negativland.com



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