Day 239: Grease

Song: “Grease” by Frankie Valli
Reached #1: August 26, 1978 (his second, 2 weeks)
Previously: Day 82

Almost live…

The stage musical Grease seems to be where our national nostalgia for the “good old days” of the mid-‘50s started.  In 1971, this look back at high school romance hit Broadway… and hasn’t looked back since.

There was the movie, of course, and that’s where Frankie Valli’s second and, to date, final #1 solo single came in.  “Grease” doesn’t appear in the original version of the musical, although it was added when the show was revived in 2007.  Barry Gibb wrote the song for the film, and Valli performed it with Peter Frampton and members of Andy Gibb’s backing band.

Grease, and Happy Days as well, have kept ‘50s nostalgia alive far longer than one might have expected – the fact that it’s the era when many Baby Boomers were born and/or raised is, of course, entirely coincidental.  Of course.

What’s happened to the franchise after the original movie has been mixed.  Grease 2 was an unmitigated disaster, although it did launch Michelle Pfeiffer’s career (while sinking Maxwell Caufield’s).  There was a 20th-anniversary re-release in 1998 that did a little box office… in 2010, there was a briefly-released sing-along version (it played for just a couple of weekends despite requests to Paramount to extend the run).   And, of course, in the era of the sequel, Grease 3 is on the books, and scheduled for release in 2015.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Tomorrow, the song that (for a short while) held the record for most weeks at #1.

Other songs that reached #1 on August 26:
1957 –
“Tammy” by Debbie Reynolds (her first, 6 weeks, Best Seller and Disk Jockey charts)
1967 – “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry (her first, 4 weeks)
1972 – “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass (their first, 1 week)
1995 – “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal (his first, 1 week)
2000 – “Doesn’t Really Matter” by Janet Jackson (her ninth, 3 weeks)


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