1978 Musical Highlights
As Saturday Night Fever becomes a cultural phenomenon, the soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Charts.
By request, Ted Nugent autographs his name into a fan’s arm with a bowie knife in Philadelphia.
Steve Martin performs the original “King Tut” on Saturday Night Live; also that night, The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on the show.
The film adaptation of the musical Grease opens in theaters and is a box office hit.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a much-hyped musical film starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees performing the music of The Beatles, opens in theaters
Def Leppard’s permanent drummer Rick Allen joins the band at the age of 15.
Kenny Rogers continues his highly successful solo career with the single (and album) “The Gambler” and will go on to star in no less than 5 movies based around the song.
My favorite song from 1978 comes from the movie, Grease.
”Summer Nights” is the name of the song. I distinctly remember going to see the movie with my mom. It was at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn, MI. I remember walking to our car in the parking lot, and telling my mom that I wanted to be Sandy when I grew up. She asked if I meant the Sandy at the beginning of the movie or at the end of the movie. I said both!
Some little known facts that I found out about the movie(huffingtonpost.com):
-Before John Travolta landed the role of Danny Zuko, Henry Winkler was being considered for the part.
-Most of the cast were well beyond their high school years. Olivia Newton-John was 29. John Travolta was 23, Jeff Conaway (Kenickie) was 26, and Stockard Channing (Rizzo) was the oldest in the group at 33. The youngest members of the cast were Eddie Deezen (Eugene) and Dinah Manoff (Marty), who were both 19.
-The hickeys that are seen on Rizzo’s neck during a scene at the diner were real! According to Channing they were planted on her off-camera by her love interest in the film, Jeff Conaway.
-Filming of the scene where the rivals assemble at the bridge for the car race made several cast members and extras ill. The water on the ground was apparently stagnant and filled with trash.
-Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into those skin-tight pants for the carnival finale after her zipper broke.
-Originally, there was talk of Lucy Arnaz playing the part of Rizzo.
-The scene at Frenchy’s house was taped the day that Elvis died. Rizzo sings a line about Elvis in the song.
-Jeff Conaway stated in an episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (2008) that while filming the scene/song “Greased Lightning” he was dropped by his fellow cast members and injured his back leading to his addiction to prescription painkillers.
-Jeff Conaway (6′ 1½”) had to walk slightly stooped so that John Travolta (6′ 2″) would appear taller.
-Susan Dey was considered for the roll of Sandy.