Last Friday our Goodnight music blog featured lots of interesting nuggets about Grease. The movie’s 40th anniversary is tomorrow, Saturday.
There were just too many behind the scenes stories to be included. One that was left out is the subject of tonight’s oldie.
Teen idol Frankie Avalon was chosen to play Teen Angel who sang “Beauty School Dropout” to Frenchy, portrayed by Didi Conn.
The scene had Avalon walking down a slippery three-story staircase that had no railings. Avalon was afraid of heights.
“I get really frightened and panicky with this,” Avalon said. “After the second take, I said to Randal (Director Randal Kleiser), ‘You got to cut. I can’t do this.’”
The staircase stayed. No railings were put up.
Instead Kleiser placed mattresses on both sides of the staircase that were out of sight of the cameras.
Go ahead. Look for those mattresses. You won’t find ’em.
Didi Conn then…
Didi Conn now…
In the 80’s Conn held a news conference in Milwaukee about some issue or awareness campaign that I covered while at WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio. Normally my memory on my radio days is indisputable, but I recall nothing about that news conference except that she didn’t talk about Grease and I didn’t save the tape.
About ten years ago Conn became an advocate for autistic children after her son was diagnosed
The popularity of Grease
On August 26, 1978, Grease by Frankie Valli moved into the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Hopelessly Devoted To You by Olivia Newton John moved from #9 to #8.
Summer Nights by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John & Cast moved from #23 to #22.
You’re The One That I Want by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John moved from #71 to #61. It would go much higher.