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Jane Olivor: what was that all about?

I remember her recording of "Some Enchanted Evening" and her success during the 1970s cabaret scene, but not much more. I know she had legions of avid fans, especially among gay men. So I decided to give a listen to see what I was missing.

My gosh, she's mostly terrible! Where did she learn to sing like that? Her sound is an odd combination of twee and fraught.

Give this one a listen: Melissa Manchester's "Come In From The Rain" a pretty song that Toni Tennille did justice to, but listen to what Jane Oliver does to it....OMG.

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by Anonymousreply 113May 15, 2024 4:48 AM

She was a big deal for five minutes. To me, her pulsating vibrato reminded me of a roadshow Streisand who forgot to turn off the Rabbit

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by Anonymousreply 1May 8, 2024 2:35 AM

She was very much of a gay club creation. She got some crossover on Carson and Merv but she couldn't make the transition to star. Ironic that the other cabaret hot shot, Helen Schneider also couldn't make the transition, but she was more of a straight cabaret creation. Of course, Schneider went on to be something of a star in Germany.

by Anonymousreply 2May 8, 2024 2:38 AM

She's not someone I care to bash.

So many others are more deserving.

by Anonymousreply 3May 8, 2024 2:43 AM

Didn't Olivor suffer from stage fright? I think I read it here.

by Anonymousreply 4May 8, 2024 2:44 AM

Helen's Norma...

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by Anonymousreply 5May 8, 2024 2:47 AM

Blast form the past: I remember Jane Olivor because I was obsessed with the short-lived game show "Musical Chairs," on which she appeared occasionally.

As did Marilyn Sokol of "Can't Stop The Music" fame.

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by Anonymousreply 6May 8, 2024 2:53 AM

R3 I can understand that.

I remember liking her "Some Enchanted Evening". No one had ever heard a woman singing it. And R&H's song is so drop-dead gorgeous, everyone was happy to hear it again. Her overwrought interpretation worked. It was interesting. But most of the the other stuff...

by Anonymousreply 7May 8, 2024 2:55 AM

Oy, Let's play a game of musical chairs...

Where losers get devoured by the wall

by Anonymousreply 8May 8, 2024 2:57 AM

She does quite nicely with Vincent...

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by Anonymousreply 9May 8, 2024 2:57 AM

Oh, good. Someone new to hate.

by Anonymousreply 10May 8, 2024 3:05 AM

Her famous duet with Johnny Mathis.

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by Anonymousreply 11May 8, 2024 1:40 PM

[quote]I remember liking her "Some Enchanted Evening". No one had ever heard a woman singing it.

Seriously? Jo Stafford had a hit with it in 1949.

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by Anonymousreply 12May 8, 2024 1:42 PM

The first time I heard her was on Johnny Carson. He said during the rehearsal the band applauded her and that had never happened before. There was something about her vulnerability that touched people.

This is simply gorgeous:

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by Anonymousreply 13May 8, 2024 2:42 PM

This is her best imo.

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by Anonymousreply 14May 8, 2024 2:49 PM

Her cover of "Vincent" is fucking gorgeous. Don McLean kvelled.

by Anonymousreply 15May 8, 2024 2:59 PM

The duet with Johnny Mathis is beautiful. Although I suspect the composer, Marvin Hamlisch, probably asked Streisand to record it with Mathis and she turned him down. So he got Jane Olivor instead.

by Anonymousreply 16May 8, 2024 3:07 PM

She was a third-rate Streisand. Maureen McGovern fell into the same category.

Olivor is a lesbian with mental health issues and was dropped by Columbia, which is also Streisand's label.

by Anonymousreply 17May 8, 2024 3:16 PM

Troll at R17

Olivor stopped recording to take a break from the shitty music industry and to care for her dying husband. She says she was treated for depression and stage fright. Of course she wasn't Barbra. One is enough.

by Anonymousreply 18May 8, 2024 3:33 PM

[quote]Her cover of "Vincent" is fucking gorgeous. Don McLean kvelled.

That murky orchestration drowning her out. It just sounds odd to me.

Anyway, I guess she's an acquired taste.

R12 Thanks for pointing that out.

by Anonymousreply 19May 8, 2024 3:36 PM

OK, here is how gay I was in high school.

I was obsessed with Jane Olivor from watching her on the Murph Griffin show. I talked my mother into driving us three hours to Carnegie Hall for her 1977 debut. I bragged about this in 10th grade while my classmates were listening to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. On a “date” with a girl later that year, she asked “So what other music do you like besides Jane Olivor?”

I also talked to my mother into taking us to see Peter Allen a few years later.

by Anonymousreply 20May 8, 2024 4:26 PM

Merv Griifin, of course.

by Anonymousreply 21May 8, 2024 4:27 PM

[quote]Olivor stopped recording to take a break from the shitty music industry and to care for her dying husband.

Did her husband die because he found out she was a lesbian?

by Anonymousreply 22May 8, 2024 4:36 PM

Her rendition of "Greatest Love Of All" explains why she never became a mainstream success.

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by Anonymousreply 23May 8, 2024 5:06 PM

R23 Am I not getting it or is that the ugliest orchestration? It sounds like a demo tape that needs tweaking to bring her voice out to the foreground.

by Anonymousreply 24May 8, 2024 5:52 PM

R24, what I got out of it was the incredibly forced and tortured vocals. She can't bring the song to a climax because she doesn't have the vocal power and instead sounds like she's strangling her cat.

by Anonymousreply 25May 8, 2024 5:59 PM

Same Time Next Year is one of my favorite movies. R11 has it right.

by Anonymousreply 26May 8, 2024 6:01 PM

Poor man’s Anne Murray

by Anonymousreply 27May 8, 2024 6:23 PM

Jane was not pop at all. She was excessively stylized and highly theatrical. She was absolutely nothing like Anne Murray. And if we are comparing them, Anne was a poor man’s Jane Olivor.

by Anonymousreply 28May 8, 2024 6:34 PM

What's with that ridiculous vibrato?

by Anonymousreply 29May 8, 2024 6:47 PM

Jane Olivor in the (very unwatchable) "Saturday Night at the (Continental) Baths". Fast Forward to 1:02:25 if the time stamp link doesn't work correctly.

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by Anonymousreply 30May 8, 2024 7:08 PM

The h8ers here have to stop treating Jane Olivor like Cousin Oliver.

It’s not fair.

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by Anonymousreply 31May 8, 2024 7:10 PM

Helen, like Ellen Foley, also did rock before musical theater.

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by Anonymousreply 32May 8, 2024 7:16 PM

She was a chanteuse...

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by Anonymousreply 33May 8, 2024 7:28 PM

[quote]The h8ers here have to stop treating Jane Olivor like Cousin Oliver. It’s not fair.

Hate is all most DLers have to offer, r31. They are not able to react in any other way.

by Anonymousreply 34May 8, 2024 8:16 PM

Actually she has a really good voice. She’s a bit on a one note samba material wise but her pitch and dynamics are quite good. It’s darn hard to succeed in show business. Think of KD Lang who is a terrific singer who just didn’t want the bS of the business.

by Anonymousreply 35May 8, 2024 8:20 PM

Jane Olivor is one of the best singers ever. She may even be the best. Gorgeous, emotive interpreter of music. Brilliant. I have always been a Jane Olivor devotee. She deserved to be an enormous star. I love Jane.

by Anonymousreply 36May 8, 2024 8:58 PM

R28 Anne Murray helped put Canada on the map. She is their Queen.

by Anonymousreply 37May 8, 2024 9:36 PM

Olivor was almost a Top 40 sensation in the mid-70s when 'He's So Fine' was released as a single. I remember in my area, AM pop radio played the song quite a bit over a few weeks when it was released - then it disappeared. For many years, she has done sold-out concerts in the summer in Provincetown, MA.

by Anonymousreply 38May 8, 2024 9:45 PM

I keel you r37

by Anonymousreply 39May 8, 2024 10:40 PM

Jane is a meskite.

by Anonymousreply 40May 9, 2024 12:05 AM

Most, if not all, singers are in one way or another artists, in that they’re going for a certain effect. They have some kind of technique or approach that is aiming the arrow of their voice.

Jane Olivor strikes me as an artist among singers. She’s trying to touch the song, to meld with it.

I really respect her voice and style.

by Anonymousreply 41May 9, 2024 12:32 AM
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by Anonymousreply 42May 9, 2024 12:36 AM

She's better than Roslyn Kind,

by Anonymousreply 43May 9, 2024 12:41 AM

But is she better than Lainie Kazan, Babs?

by Anonymousreply 44May 9, 2024 12:42 AM

Melissa Etheridge isn’t sure if Jane Olivor was gay - but says she definitely had “gay hair.”

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by Anonymousreply 45May 9, 2024 12:46 AM

R45 That is gorgeous. Note how she totally communicates the story....no gimmicks, no bullshit, just good soulful singing and artful phrasing. Compare it to Olivor's.

R42 Judy

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by Anonymousreply 46May 9, 2024 12:57 AM

She toured with Johnny Mathis until she wanted out of the music business. I think that later on we learned that she had some anxiety issues with performing.

She might be considered an acquired taste. She was a song. stylist. I loved her at the time, but I haven't listened to her in years. Time to take another listen.

by Anonymousreply 47May 9, 2024 1:16 AM

Jane Olivor and Johnny Mathis at the 1979 Oscars

Oscar-Nominated for Best Song, "The Last Time I Felt Like This," from the film "Same Time Next Year" starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.


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by Anonymousreply 48May 9, 2024 1:22 AM

More heartfelt beauty:

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by Anonymousreply 49May 9, 2024 1:29 AM

R48. The Last Time I Felt Like This deserved the Oscar. It lost to: THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY - Last Dance in "Thank God It's Friday" Music and Lyrics by Paul Jabara


GREASE - Hopelessly Devoted To You in "Grease" Music and Lyrics by John Farrar

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR - The Last Time I Felt Like This in "Same Time, Next Year" Music by Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman

FOUL PLAY - Ready To Take A Chance Again in "Foul Play" Music by Charles Fox; Lyrics by Norman Gimbel

THE MAGIC OF LASSIE - When You're Loved in "The Magic of Lassie" Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

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by Anonymousreply 50May 9, 2024 1:32 AM

[quote]r36 Jane Olivor is one of the best singers ever. She may even be the best. Gorgeous, emotive interpreter of music. Brilliant.

Jane was one of the most talented cabaret singers ever. She also had a lot of pain and struggle throughout her life. Despite that, she had a good heart, which is hard to encounter in someone with a pixie cut. At a time when gay people were oppressed beyond belief, they identified with her struggles and she theirs.

by Anonymousreply 51May 9, 2024 1:34 AM

One of Jane's many bests: The Best Side Of Goodbye

Damn, I just love her.

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by Anonymousreply 52May 9, 2024 1:35 AM

R49, there used to be a video of her singing that live on YouTube, it was quite incredible, but I haven't been able to find it for years.

I saw her at Carnegie Hall and Westbury Music Fair. She is quite a performer. She has a beautiful, emotive voice, a very unique sound. And, yes, she is in the style of a chanteuse. I think she tried to be a pop chanteuse and that is simply not going to work or happen, hence some of the not great choices.

by Anonymousreply 53May 9, 2024 1:38 AM

Something upbeat and fun, great performance...

Jane Olivor: Let's Make Some Memories

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by Anonymousreply 54May 9, 2024 1:49 AM

Jane at her cabaret chanteuse best...


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by Anonymousreply 55May 9, 2024 1:51 AM

I don’t mean to be stalker-ish, but what is her life like today? Does anyone know?

by Anonymousreply 56May 9, 2024 1:55 AM

R56, I believe she lives in Bayside, Queens. I know she did up until a few years ago. She had a website and was giving voice lessons, but only to working singers.

by Anonymousreply 57May 9, 2024 2:04 AM

Robert Christgau’s review of Jane Olivor’s debut album:

“The three best-selling record albums of all time are Tapestry, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and The Sound of Music. One way of explaining how unmonolithic "mass" culture really is is to point out how few consumers are likely to own all three. And a way of explaining how stupefying Jane Olivor is is to guess that she not only owns all three, but would put them in her all-time top 10. Live, she enunciates Neil Diamond and John Denver lyrics with the intense credulity of someone who thinks poetry is anything that rhymes; her LP is marginally adventurous, but if she becomes a star it will be by embodying the half of Barbra Streisand that Bette Midler put in the garbage. Recycling should never go this far.

Grade: C-“

by Anonymousreply 58May 9, 2024 2:53 AM

She gave us Lisa Viggiano.

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by Anonymousreply 59May 9, 2024 3:02 AM

R55 That Tony Orlando & Dawn-style chorus sounds like something out of the Eurovision Song Contest.

by Anonymousreply 60May 9, 2024 3:03 AM

She spent two summers opening for Joel Grey around the country. I saw them at the Garden State Arts Center.

by Anonymousreply 61May 9, 2024 4:41 AM

Joel Grey did a concert all his own? For some reason that sounds like a cold, creepy act.

Was he good?

by Anonymousreply 62May 9, 2024 5:09 AM

Murph Griffin is a keeper.

by Anonymousreply 63May 9, 2024 5:16 AM

Some singers and their vibrato is too much. another example is Betty Buckley.

by Anonymousreply 64May 9, 2024 5:34 AM

[italic]Oh no she didn’t ! ! !

by Anonymousreply 65May 9, 2024 5:35 AM

Joel did what amounted to a bad Vegas nightclub act. Continually talked about his father, Mickey Katz.

by Anonymousreply 66May 9, 2024 2:40 PM

Jane Olivor followed by Joel Grey. What an evening!

by Anonymousreply 67May 9, 2024 3:26 PM

You have to teleport yourself back to 1975 to understand Jane's impact

Marketing her to middle America was never going to work.

by Anonymousreply 68May 9, 2024 3:41 PM

She was born Linda Cohen.

Working as a secretary when she began singing publicly, she took her stage name from her Olivetti typewriter.

by Anonymousreply 69May 9, 2024 3:47 PM

That was really the era for women to overdue vibrato: Olivor, Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone...

by Anonymousreply 70May 9, 2024 3:51 PM

Christine Andreas

by Anonymousreply 71May 9, 2024 3:56 PM

Peggy Fleming skated to Jane's Some Enchanted Evening in 1980, and I'd never heard of her before.

by Anonymousreply 72May 9, 2024 3:57 PM

Aargh... "overdo," not "overdue." Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 73May 9, 2024 4:06 PM

R70, Lucie Arnaz’s vibrato was like a 1947 carburetor in dire need of repair . . . still is.

by Anonymousreply 74May 9, 2024 4:39 PM

Saw Jane Olivor in concert at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in 1982.

I took a co-worker I had a major crush on and it worked, he spent the night.

by Anonymousreply 75May 9, 2024 4:42 PM

r75 Did she sing this?

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by Anonymousreply 76May 9, 2024 4:50 PM

Met her at the 1992 Steve Chase Awards in Palm Springs. She was the entertainment. Meet President and First Lady Ford as well.

by Anonymousreply 77May 9, 2024 5:06 PM

[quote]R77 She was the entertainment.

That sounds so dirty, somehow.

by Anonymousreply 78May 9, 2024 6:54 PM

[quote] That sounds so dirty, somehow.

It was! Jerry and Betty did the nastiest things to her body in front of just everyone.

by Anonymousreply 79May 9, 2024 7:05 PM

R79, Betty did Jell-O shots from Jane’s navel.

by Anonymousreply 80May 9, 2024 7:41 PM

I loved her. Masonic Auditorium SF, so much I miss about that time in my life, including my companion.

by Anonymousreply 81May 9, 2024 8:24 PM

I saw her in my college days at a small cabaret in Philadelphia called, I think, The Bijou. I may have cried a little when she sang Some Enchanted Evening. I'm always glad when one of her songs comes up on random shuffle.

by Anonymousreply 82May 9, 2024 8:44 PM

As much as I love female cabaret singers I’ve never been excited about her. Boring voice.

by Anonymousreply 83May 9, 2024 8:59 PM

She's apparently extremely difficult. One of NYC's most even-tempered musical directors who specializes in playing for vintage ladies worked with her for a while when she was back on an upswing and ended up just throwing up his hands and walking away.

She ain't all that, even in her prime.

by Anonymousreply 84May 9, 2024 9:03 PM

2000's album "Love Decides" is wonderful. Her Christmas album from 2001 is horrible.

by Anonymousreply 85May 9, 2024 9:21 PM

L'Important C'est La Rose

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by Anonymousreply 86May 9, 2024 9:26 PM

I liked her but when you put her alongside someone like Alison Krauss who has a similar voice, it becomes apparent why she was a niche performer.

by Anonymousreply 87May 9, 2024 9:29 PM

I did forget how the record company tried to disguise her homeliness on her album covers by trying not to show her face.

by Anonymousreply 88May 9, 2024 9:33 PM

I saw her at Reno Sweeney in 1976, forgot about her, then got into her in 1980, when someone used the "Some Enchanted Evening" album to get me into bed. I like her version of that song best, but prefer the Melissa Manchester songs by Melissa Manchester. It was a time. Oh what a time. A time for everything. A time for everyone.

by Anonymousreply 89May 9, 2024 10:10 PM

[quote]Oh what a time. A time for everything. A time for everyone.

It was. A feeling of freedom and unity, a coming together.

by Anonymousreply 90May 9, 2024 10:21 PM

Her stylist was out to get her, apparently.

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by Anonymousreply 91May 9, 2024 10:32 PM

How does a singer with Jane’s type of voice and style become a mainstream commercial success? I just don’t think it’s possible. Barbra Streisand could sing anything and had the personality and talent to become much more than just a singer.

Jane is too stylized and she does seem very emotionally fragile. I remember her saying that she never liked performing live, as much as she did it

by Anonymousreply 92May 9, 2024 10:39 PM

Comparing her to Allison Krauss is just insane. I don’t think they could be more different.

by Anonymousreply 93May 9, 2024 10:43 PM

[quote]r84 One of NYC's most even-tempered musical directors who specializes in playing for vintage ladies worked with her for a while when she was back on an upswing and ended up just throwing up his hands

I wonder what he objected to. Like - did they disagree about tempos? Or she was late to rehearsals? She was rude to musicians? What was the conflict, exactly?

by Anonymousreply 94May 9, 2024 10:59 PM

[quote]What was the conflict, exactly?

She hit him in the head with a fondue pot.

by Anonymousreply 95May 10, 2024 12:02 AM

[quote]and ended up just throwing up his hands


by Anonymousreply 96May 10, 2024 12:47 AM


by Anonymousreply 97May 10, 2024 12:56 AM

R86 Bécaud was perfect for her. I'm surprise she never recorded a Jacques Brel song. Or a Piaf number. Or maybe early Randy Newman. Her voice would have worked with that more than some of the contemporary pop she was doing.

by Anonymousreply 98May 10, 2024 1:01 AM

I attended Jane's at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in 1982, which was recorded for her live album. It was one of the most thrilling nights seeing this an extraordinarily talented performer on stage. Also saw her at Boston Symphony Hall. I am a lifelong devotee. Love Jane forever.

by Anonymousreply 99May 10, 2024 1:02 AM

The cover image of her First Night album is pure camp.

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by Anonymousreply 100May 10, 2024 1:03 AM

Jane did move to Florida in the '80s/'90s. Don't know is she still lives there.

by Anonymousreply 101May 10, 2024 1:04 AM

I saw Jane in San Francisco. Don't remember the year, maybe sometime in the '90s. She was outstanding. I loved her before that and have continued to be wild about Jane.

by Anonymousreply 102May 10, 2024 1:06 AM

R100 That cover is giving "Anna Magnani".

by Anonymousreply 103May 10, 2024 1:19 AM

[quote]The cover image of her First Night album is pure camp.

Not really, r100.

by Anonymousreply 104May 10, 2024 1:25 AM

I love the cover of Jane's album "The Best Side of Goodbye."

It's beautiful.

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by Anonymousreply 105May 10, 2024 1:54 AM

Why is she touching her head like that?

by Anonymousreply 106May 10, 2024 2:00 AM

^^What would you do with your hand otherwise? She looks fine.

by Anonymousreply 107May 10, 2024 2:01 AM

She actually looks a bit like Barbra Streisand in that cover. Big nose, beautiful eyes. After her nose job in middle age, she doesn’t look like herself anymore.

by Anonymousreply 108May 10, 2024 11:27 AM

But she feels her best face side is the opposite side to Barbra.

by Anonymousreply 109May 10, 2024 11:31 AM

Her 1982 "In Concert" album cover makes her look like Yentl. I'm surprised she never recorded "Papa Can You Hear Me?" later on.

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by Anonymousreply 110May 10, 2024 11:52 AM

R105, I always thought she looked like she was having a migraine.

The problem with Jane is that the record company tried to make her into a pop star, which she could never be. She was meant to be a lesser-known, extraordinary musician/singer with a following singing and recording incredible, obscure songs with very talented musicians and brilliant orchestrators.

by Anonymousreply 111May 11, 2024 1:46 AM

[quote]extraordinary musician/singer with a following singing and recording incredible, obscure songs with very talented musicians and brilliant orchestrators.

And that's exactly what Streisand returned to since the 90s when she left 'Top 40 / Pop' behind.

by Anonymousreply 112May 11, 2024 2:36 AM

left 'Top 40/ Pop' behind.

LOL like she had a choice.

by Anonymousreply 113May 15, 2024 4:48 AM
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