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Published on Jan 18, 2012
Hawaiian beauty, Yvonne Elliman, was not on the pop landscape all that long, but she made her impact, and her gorgeous face and sweet but powerful vocals graced the 1970's with a distinctive air. I am posting "Hello Stranger", as it is not one of her bigger chart successes, but it does showcase her wonderful voice and it is a very seventies take on the 60's Barbara Lewis classic.
35 years ago, "Love me", written by the Bee Gees, was a breakout hit for Yvonne, giving her a worldwide hit, including Australia, where it would ascend the charts and reach #4 in the late summer of 1977. "Hello Stranger" was discovered by me, once again courtesy of a Various Artist compile - the sexy styled "Ripper 77" with the curvaceous cheeks of a woman adorned with lipstick writing of the names of the 20 original artists featured on the record.
"Hello Stranger", like several of the hits on this compile, was not a hit in Australia, but three and a half decades later, it is a fondly considered musical postcard from the era, and i am eternally grateful to the record companies for releasing those compilations, even if some of the inclusions were bizarre and obscure. Back in the halcyon days of the late 1970's, radio airplay and tv shows like "Countdown" and "Sounds Unlimited" were the few outlets for songs to receive exposure. So many fine recordings were simply overlooked, because of the few opportunities for visibility or audibility at the time.
1978 would be the major year for Yvonne with another Gibb brothers extravaganza giving her the biggest success of her career with the #1 smash "If I can't have you", from the pop & disco juggernaut "Saturday Night Fever". Another movie soundtrack "Moment by Moment" also starring John Travolta, would see another recording by Yvonne Elliman - the title track, but the gentle ballad could not break through the endless litany of disco hits that monopolised 1979. Her own "Love Pains" was her final hit from that part of her career, and it is a much loved and much covered anthem from the disco era.
I hope "Hello Stranger" gives whoever hears it, the joy that it has given me.