Let Me Be There

Album: Let Me Be There (1973)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • Five years before she starred in the smash movie musical Grease, Aussie singer Olivia Newton-John won her first Grammy Award for the country tune "Let Me Be There." Up against country veterans like Tammy Wynette and Dottie West, Newton-John took the prize for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. In the song, she's asking her lover to let her be there through the ups and downs in his life.
  • This was Newton-John's breakthrough single in the US, where it landed in the Top 10 on the Hot 100, the Country chart, and the Adult Contemporary chart. At the time, she was still living in Britain and didn't travel across the pond to promote the single or the album. When the song hit big, folks knew nothing of the beautiful woman behind the delicate voice, which was a relief to the singer. "The one great thrill I had in America was that my music was accepted before I was ever seen, before I was on television, before I did live appearances," she told Rolling Stone. "Therefore I had to hope it was my music and not my face."
  • This was written by John Rostill of the British rock band The Shadows. He wrote a couple more hits for Newton-John - including "If You Love Me, Let Me Know" and "Please, Please Me" - before his death in 1973. At just 31 years old, Rostill died of barbiturate poisoning, which was ultimately ruled a suicide.
  • This features a bass vocal harmony from Mike Sammes, whose group The Mike Sammes Singers provided backing vocals on a host of hits, including Tom Jones' "Delilah" and The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus."
  • Newton-John continued to cause a stir in Nashville when she won the CMA Award for Best Female Vocalist of the Year in 1974 thanks to her subsequent country hit, "If You Love Me, Let Me Know." The win prompted Tammy Wynette and George Jones to quit the Country Music Association and form the Association of Country Entertainers to "preserve the identity of country music" from non-country artists infringing on the genre. They needn't have worried much about Newton-John. Although she notched more country hits throughout the decade, she left the genre behind in the '80s.
  • Elvis Presley recorded this live in 1974. That version can be found on the 1974 album Elvis: As Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis and the 1977 album Moody Blue. It was also recorded by Tanya Tucker for her 1974 album, Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone), and Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn for their 1975 album, Feelins'.

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