Robin and Maurice Gibb would have been 70

The working title for the film was Saturday Night

Bee Gees 1977
Barry, Robin, Maurice Gibb, 1977
Robin and Maurice Gibb, fraternal twin brothers and 2/3s of the BeeGees, would have been 70 on December 22.

Maurice “died unexpectedly on 12 January 2003, at age 53, from a heart attack, while awaiting emergency surgery to repair a strangulated intestine.” Robin had contracted pneumonia, went in and out of a coma, and “died on 20 May 2012 of liver and kidney failure” at age 64.

This leaves Barry as the only brother Gibb remaining, as I noted here. What more can I say about these guys beyond what I’ve already written?

I’ve always liked this anecdote: “When Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood was producing a movie about a New York disco scene, the working title for the film at that time was Saturday Night. Stigwood asked the group to write a song using that name as a title, but the Bee Gees disliked it.

“They had already written a song called ‘Night Fever’, so the group convinced Stigwood to use that and change the film to Saturday Night Fever… The string intro of ‘Night Fever’ was inspired by ‘Theme from A Summer Place’ by Percy Faith…”

While their disco-era music was fine, I always felt their earlier stuff is still somewhat overlooked. They never received a Grammy or An American Music Award before 1978. They did make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, based on the whole body of their work.

LISTEN

I decided to fill this, in part, with some BeeGees covers. Coverville has a necessarily incomplete list. Chart action is from US Billboard charts; some of these songs were bigger hits in the UK and elsewhere.

Bee Gees Medley – Perpetuum Jazzile, which popped up on that “next song” feature on YouTube
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart – Al Green
More Than a Woman – Tavares, from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, #33 pop, #36 RB in 1978
To Love Somebody – Roberta Flack

BeeGees songs from SNF I had not previously linked to:

How Deep Is Your Love
Night Fever, #1 pop for eight weeks, #8 RB in 1978
More Than a Woman

Songs from the first BeeGees greatest hits album that I had not previously linked to

Holiday, #16 in 1967
I Started a Joke, #6 in 1969
First of May, #37 in 1969
Massachusetts, #11 in 1967
Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Show You
Tomorrow, Tomorrow – #54 in 1969; only on the CD, replacing Spicks and Specks

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees turns 70

“At one point in 1978, the Gibb brothers were responsible for writing and/or performing nine of the songs in the Billboard Hot 100.”

Robin, Barry, Maurice
Robin, Barry, Maurice
It must be strange being the oldest brother of a musical powerhouse family, and be the only one of the men still alive. So is the case with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.

Barry, his older sister Lesley (later Evans, b. 12 January 1945), his twin brothers Maurice and Robin (b. 22 December 1949) and baby brother Andrew (b. 5 March 1958) were born in the UK. Their father, Hugh Gibb was a drummer and bandleader who married Barbara (Pass); the parents were English.

In the late 1950s the three older boys formed a band, the Rattlesnakes, just before Continue reading “Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees turns 70”

B is for the Bee Gees

The Bee Gees were worthy additions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

When I was a teenager, my sister had this album Best of Bee Gees, with all of the early hits, such as I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You [LISTEN], To Love Somebody [LISTEN], and what I thought was their first hit, in 1967, New York Mining Disaster 1941 [LISTEN], plus a couple B-sides, and this oddity called Spicks and Specks [LISTEN].

It was only later that I discovered that the Barry Gibb (b. 1946), and his twin brothers, Maurice and Robin (b. 1949) had moved with their family, including baby brother Andy (b. 1958), from England to Australia in 1958, where they would achieve some musical achievements; Spicks and Specks went Top 10 in the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia, and went to #1 in New Zealand in 1966. Their return to the UK the next year led to true international stardom.

The brothers had even greater success in the early 1970s with their first #1 hit Continue reading “B is for the Bee Gees”