Relive Andy Gibb, ABBA and Olivia Newton-John's incredible 'jam session' from 1978

21 October 2020, 11:47 | Updated: 21 October 2020, 11:55

Relive Andy Gibb, ABBA and Olivia Newton-John's incredible 'jam session' from 1978
Relive Andy Gibb, ABBA and Olivia Newton-John's incredible 'jam session' from 1978. Picture: YouTube / tung

By Sian Moore

Sat in a circle on stage, Olivia Newton-John and Andy Gibb sang and chatted with the Swedish supergroup in an informal 'jam session' on TV in the seventies.

The show was an Olivia Newton-John special which broadcast on May 17, 1978. At the time, Olivia was 29 years old, as she sat beside close friend Andy Gibb, who was just 19.

The programme was recorded during "ABBA Month" in the States, and the pop group were invited onto the show as special guests. Together they all performed a medley of ABBA hits, including 'Dancing Queen' and 'Fernando'.

But it was the informal "jamming session" that followed which was the really special musical moment.

As the talented musicians laughed and joked while effortlessly singing songs from Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys, the audience silently watched on in awe...

Read more: When Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John sang 'Islands in the Stream' and it was glorious >

Between moments of storytelling and conversation, the group slip in and out of music with ease.

Together their harmonies on the Beach Boys' 'Help Me, Rhonda' are faultless, as Olivia taps away on the drums, Benny Andersson plays the piano, Björn Ulvaeus and Andy strum guitars while Anni-Frid Lyngstad shakes a tambourine.

Read more: Andy Gibb: Remembering the life and career of the Bee Gees' younger brother

Straight after, the group take on another Beach Boys hit.

"I know one you could start off with your voice," Olivia says to Benny, as she mimics the start of 'Barbara Ann'.

Benny smiles at the group of musicians before singing the opening lines. Moments later, they all join in for a lively cover, chuckling throughout and teasing each other as they try to hit the high notes.

"How come you're doing the high part and I'm doing the low part?" Olivia asks Andy.

Read more: ABBA are releasing five brand new songs in 2021, Björn Ulvaeus confirms

Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John joke during "jamming session" with ABBA for TV special in 1970s
Andy Gibb and Olivia Newton-John joke during "jamming session" with ABBA for TV special in 1970s. Picture: YouTube / tung

Their renditions of pop hits are briefly paused for an operatic performance from Anni-Frid, who showcases her impressive vocal range.

"Do you have any musical sisters or brothers, Andy?" Björn asks Gibb, as the group and audience members erupt in laughter.

"Well I've got a sister," he answers. "No, I have two sisters and three brothers."

Read more: Bee Gees: Excruciating moment trio walked off Clive Anderson TV show after host's music jibes

"Oh yeah, what are they doing?" someone off camera teases.

"My brothers have got this group together, they've started... I don't know, they've got this album they're trying to... Fever something," he answers, as he pretends to act coy.

Olivia plays along, quipping: "It's not that Fever thing? Oh that'll never take off."

"I keep telling them, they won't listen," Andy replies.

Read more: Bee Gees first TV gig: Teenage Barry Gibb and 10 year olds Robin and Maurice sing in 1960

Olivia Newton-John smiles at Andy Gibb as they perform "jamming session"
Olivia Newton-John smiles at Andy Gibb as they perform "jamming session". Picture: YouTube / tung

Olivia goes on to ask Andy about his earliest memories of music from growing up in a musical household.

"I don't think I ever really got involved with it that much though until I was about ten or 11," he reveals.

Read more: Relive the Bee Gees' flawless impromptu acapella performance of 'How Deep Is Your Love' on live TV

"My brothers were like a generation sort of ahead, so I mean we never really mixed."

He continues to chat about his siblings, adding: "Their music has always been, like you know, the music I've been inspired by."

After Andy finishes talking, the group ease into an early song from the Bee Gees and perform their 1967 hit 'Holiday', with Andy taking on the lead vocals.

Read more: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and the cast of Grease reunite for 40th anniversary

ABBA, Olivia Newton-John and Andy Gibb in informal 'jamming special' for TV special
ABBA, Olivia Newton-John and Andy Gibb in informal 'jamming special' for TV special. Picture: YouTube / tung

The group's 'jamming session' comes to an end with Elvis Presley’s 'Jailhouse Rock'.

Read more: Elvis Presley's greatest performance just two months before he died with 'Unchained Melody' cover

"I'm going to really miss you guys when you go back," Olivia tells ABBA. "I've had a really nice time."

She dedicates her final solo of the night to the group and sings a beautiful rendition of 'What'll I Do', as the lights dim and everyone watches on...