Paul Johnson

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Olivia Newton-John with the crew from

Owing to my line of work, I’ve been blessed to meet lots of people.  Some celebrities.  Most not.   I just love meeting and talking with people.  It’s never matters to me how so-called “famous” they are.  After all, “fame” can be a fleeting thing.  Being “real” is far more important.  I love sharing an enthusiastic moment with anybody, although  I confess,  it delights me when I meet a celebrity who embraces being genuinely nice and considerate to all.

When people inevitably ask me ‘Who’s the biggest star you ever met?’, I consider a few different factors.  “How well known is the person around the world?”  “What are his/her accomplishments?”  Maybe near the top of the list, “Did you have a real conversation (with a unique question) instead of just occupying a place in a line?”

No doubt, though, is “How kind was he or her?”  (Four-time Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali goes right to the top of the list.  But there are others.)

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John with the crew from WDGY Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Having interviewed lots of different celebrities, I always prided myself in being prepared with a question having an interesting answer on the back end.

Except once!

Working at a big Country station (50,000 Watt WDGY-AM/Mpls.St.Paul) in my hometown in 1980, we were paid a visit by Olivia Newton-John (pictured above.)  This was about a year and after the movie release of “Grease,”  both a critical and box-office smash!  The “Grease” soundtrack was, at the time,  the biggest-selling musical soundtrack ever!  She was, at the time, one of the biggest stars in the world!

Standing in line, waiting for her to make her way down to where I was standing, and fishing my mind for a good question, I suddenly found myself with her standing in front of me!  And I had nothing to ask or say!  I was dumbstruck!  Not a word came out of my mouth!  I could think of nothing to do but smile and bow!

Thanks to her gracious nature, she curtsied!  And after a pause, we both laughed! I finally said, “Nice to meet you.”  She, “You too!”

We later had a nice and more meaningful conversation!  At a reception later that evening, she was as gracious to my wife as she had been to me!

GALLERY: More Olivia Newton-John Over the Years

Super Bowl 2022 Best Commercials Ranked

  • 13. High Stakes

    Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham graced our eyes once again with her fierce, elegant beauty while gambling in this commercial for e-commerce brand Rakuten.

  • 12. Lays

    Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen take a literal trip down memory lane on Seth’s big day — from their scary stalker kidnapping experience to a haunted house experience that led him to his beautiful bride.

  • 11. Stuck In

    Imagine living your life with your arm stuck in a Pringles can… Doesn’t seem so bad, actually.

  • 10. Land of Loud Flavors

    Guy Fieri, aka the King of Flavor has made a very important announcement to his loyal subject of a new seltzer flavor.

  • 9. Sally’s Seashells

    Zendaya is a hot commodity and seeing her in this clever rendition of the nursery rhyme,”She Sells Sea Shells” was one of our favorite commercials of the night.

  • 8. Thrill Driver

    Eugene Levy with luscious locks?! We’re in love with seeing Eugene evoke his inner action star.

  • 7. Old Friends, New Fun

    Things get delightfully creepy when animatronics are involved in this VR commercial for Meta Quest.

  • 6. The Joneses

    Tommy Lee, Leslie and Rashida star as “The Joneses” in this Toyota commercial. At the very end, one more “Jones” makes it — Nick Jonas, causing the other Joneses confusion.

  • 5. Welcome to Superior Bowl

    Steve Buscemi is the bowling attendant of this star-athlete bowl-off that has a big ‘Big Lebowski’ influence (Buscemi co-starred in that bowling-centric film).. As we see the likes of Peyton Manning, Jimmy Buttler, Brooks Koepka, Alex Morgan, and Nneka Ogwumike bowl for a strike, Serena Williams struts in to show everyone who the real GOAT is.

  • 4. Zeus & Hera

    Retiring from Mount Olympus to Palm Springs, Zeus (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is underwhelmed by all earthly electric things and becomes a shell of his former self. But right when we think all hope is lost, his wife, Hera (Salma Hayek), introduces him to the all-electric BMW iX and helps mighty Zeus reclaim his spark.

  • 3. Dr. Evil

    Dr. Evil is up to no good once again! Well, he is actually up to some good — but not for Scott.

  • 2. Sopranos Chevy

    Meadow Soprano (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) finally learns how to park in this meta nod to the Sopranos, even seeing AJ (Robert Iler) meet up with her for a bite to eat at Bahrs Landing.

  • 1. FTX Larry David

    Don’t be like Larry. As we witness Larry David in iconic moments in history, he turns down every great idea presented to him.