John Farrah – Greece (2008)

Emails to our Managing Director Leah Gallin’s father from John Farrah who wrote and produced Grease, one of the biggest musicals of all time. Olivia Newton John and John Farrah were from Monnie Ponds in Melbourne. When John lived in Monnie Ponds he used to get the tram into the city to have guitar lessons at Allans Music, which Leah’s father later owned. When her father met with John in Malibu, he lived two doors down from Olivia. ‘John is a really nice bloke, I went to his house and saw his guitars and recording studio’.

John Farrah is an Australian music producer, songwriter, arranger, singer, and guitarist. As a musician, Farrah is a former member of several rock and roll groups including The Mustangs (1963–64), The Strangers (1964–70), Marvin, Welch & Farrah (1970–73), and The Shadows (1973–76);

As a songwriter and producer, he worked with Olivia Newton-John from 1971 through 1989. He wrote her number-one hit singles: “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “You’re the One That I Want” (1978 duet with John Travolta), “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (1978), and “Magic” (1980). He also produced the majority of her recorded material during that time including her number-one albums, If You Love Me, Let Me Know (1974), Have You Never Been Mellow (1975), and Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (1982). He was a co-producer of Grease (1978) – the soundtrack for the film Grease.

Farrah also produced Newton-John’s first American number-one hit single, “I Honestly Love You”, which was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1975. In 1969, Farrar married the Australian singer, Pat Carroll – formerly Ms. Newton-John’s singing partner.

Grease is a 1971 musical named after the 1950s United States working-class youth subculture known as greasers, the musical is set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School. The Robert Stigwood Organization adapted Grease into a 1978 feature film, directed by Randal Kleiser and choreographed by Patricia Birch. In addition to Birch, three performers from the stage version carried over to the cast: Jamie Donnelly reprised her role as Jan, John Travolta performed as lead Danny Zuko while Jeff Conaway played Kenickie. Olivia Newton-John, an Australian country-pop singer, was cast as Sandy; to accommodate the casting move, the character’s nationality was rewritten, and parts of the score were replaced.

Grease was a major success for both Stigwood and Paramount Pictures, who re-released the film several times; the film soundtrack made international hits out of several of the songs.