This is a post I have avoided, mainly because information about this group has already be written many times over. I will try and look only at the music and the Talents of these Four Brothers. They were born on the Isle of Man then moved to Manchester before settling in Australia.
All three siblings were born on the Isle of Man but moved to their father Hugh’s home town – Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester – to attend school.
They attended Oswald Road Primary School where they began to sing in harmony in the early 1950s. It is believed that, as with other children their age, they had to lip sync to a record at their local theatre but the record broke. The boys had to sing live and received such a positive response that they decided to pursue a music career.
In 1958, the family moved to Australia, along with their youngest brother Andy and, once there, they began performing regularly and were soon performing on radio with two friends, Bill Goode and Bill Gates.
The group had a new name for themselves, The BGs – made up from the common initials of Barry Gibb, Bill Goode, Bill Gates. A few years later, the name evolved into The Bee Gees, which came to mean the Brothers Gibb.
Recognition was slow in coming, and the Bee Gees decided to move to England to try their luck there.
With Robert Stigwood as their manager, the Bee Gees had their first international hit in 1967 with ‘New York Mining Disaster’.
With two new band members, Colin Peterson (drums) and Vince Melouney (guitar), the Bee Gees first album ‘Bee Gees 1st’ was a success. Within just over a year, the Bee Gees had clocked up 24 number 1 hits in 15 different countries.
Their fourth album ‘Horizontal’ was released in 1968 and became a huge hit spawning the international hit singles ‘Massachusetts’ and ‘World’. This was followed by ‘Idea’ later the same year, which included the single ‘I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You’.
By 1969 though, cracks were beginning to show, as the group was racked with arguments and tension. Colin Peterson left the band and brought a lawsuit to prevent the name Bee Gees being used in his absence.
Briefly they went their separate ways, but reunited in 1971 to record ‘Two Years On’. While this was well received, they had a series of flops between 1972 and 1975. However, they stayed together as a band and did not split again.
In 1975, with the help of producer Arif Mardin, the Bee Gees moved from a ballad band to an R&B influenced style and released ‘Main Course’. They then released ‘Jive Talkin’ which went to number 1. Their album ‘Children of the World’ went platinum, with three hit singles and, when touring the album, all proceeds went to children’s charities.
The Bee Gees’ next project, recording the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night Fever’ (1977), was another huge success and resulted in some of their best known songs, including ‘Stayin’ Alive’, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and ‘Night Fever’. The album was unsurprisingly another number 1, but it set a record of being so for 24 consecutive weeks.
By the end of the decade, the Bee Gees had five albums which had all gone platinum.
In 1988, tragedy struck the family as Andy Gibb, their youngest brother, died, closely followed by their father.
The Bee Gees continued to release well received singles and albums and, in 1997, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Music Awards, a Legend Award at the World Music Awards and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, in 2003, Maurice Gibb died at the age of 53, following complications during an operation. Initially, his surviving brothers announced that they intended to carry on the name ‘Bee Gees’ in his memory. But as time passed they decided to retire the group name, leaving it to represent the three brothers together. The same week Maurice died, Robin’s solo album ‘Magnet’ was released.
Although there was talk of a memorial concert featuring both surviving brothers and invited guests, nothing materialised. Barry and Robin continued to work independently and both released recordings with other artists.
In November 2011, it was revealed that Robin Gibb had been battling liver and colon cancer for some months and had undergone surgery to combat the disease. He was given a ten percent chance of survival which was announced in early 2012.
Robin appeared and performed with ‘The Soldiers’ for the Coming Home concert on 13 February and this would be his final performance. In April 2012, he contracted pneumonia and fell into a coma. Robin woke up and appeared to be recovering but he passed away on 20 May 2012 leaving Barry as the last surviving Bee Gee.
Andy Gibb, the youngest was a Teen Idol, actor and singer. From what I have read he really wanted to be a Bee Gee with his brothers. His life was short only 30 years, but he attained great success, a drug addiction and depression all packed into 30 years, very sad. I must admit, I was a huge Bee Gees fan, but not so much Andy.
Andy Gibb / 1958 – 1988
1977 / I just want to be your Everything /
1977 / Midnight Special / Love is thicker than water /
1978 / Shadow Dancing /
1979 / George Burns Anniversary show / Our love don’t throw it all away /
ABBA / Olivia Newton John and Andy Gibb / unplugged /
1977 / I just want to be your everything / #1 BB
1977 / (Love is) Thicker than Water / #1 BB
1978 / Shadow Dancing / #1 BB
1978 / An everlasting Love / #5 BB
1978 / (Our Love) Don’t throw it all away / #9 BB
1980 / Desire / #4 BB
1980 / I Can’t Help it (with Olivia Newton-John/ #12 BB
1980 / Time is Time / #15 BB
Andy Gibb was born in England in 1958. He began his career in Australia before relocating to Miami to work with his brother, Barry Gibb. While Andy Gibb pursued a solo singing career, his brothers formed the popular 1970s band the Bee Gees. Andy gained popularity and commercial success with his album Shadow Dancing. However, he struggled with drug addiction and later declared bankruptcy. He died in 1988.
Singer Andy Gibb was born Andrew Roy Gibb on March 5, 1958, in Manchester, England. He grew up in the shadow of his older brothers, Barry, and twins Robin and Maurice. The son of a band leader and a singer, Andy Gibb moved with his family, which also included sister Lesley, to Australia when he was very young. There his brothers had a successful television show and started their recording career. The family later returned to England where the Bee Gees really began to thrive.
Gibb was still a child when his brothers had their first big hit as the sibling singing group the Bee Gees. His brother Barry encouraged Andy to pursue his own interest in music and gave Andy his first guitar. As the youngest brother of the Bee Gees, Gibb also enjoyed the perks of the rock and roll lifestyle. He dropped out of school in his early teens to follow his passion for music. In an interview with People magazine, Gibb later said “Everybody said I’d regret leaving school so young, but there was nothing else I would rather have done.”
While he had hoped to join the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb started up his own group called Melody Fayre in the mid-1970s. He and his band mates split up, however, while they were in Australia trying to promote the group. Before long, Gibb had a new band called Zenta. He eventually attracted the attention of Robert Stigwood, who had helped propel his brothers to fame. A talented songwriter, Gibb scored his first hit in Australia with his own composition “Words and Music.”
Top Solo Artist
In 1976, an 18-year-old Gibb moved to the United States to work on a solo career. He lived in Miami, Florida, with his wife Kim Reeder. The pair had married that summer. (The couple divorced a few years later.) Working with brother Barry, Gibb started recording his first album Flowing Rivers (1977). The recording proved to be a huge success, featuring two number-one hits “I Just Want to be Your Everything” and “Love Is Thicker than Water.”
Gibb quickly became a popular singer in his own right. Attractive and personable, he was a favorite among many teenagers of the day and had photos of him appear in numerous teen magazines. Gibb quickly went to work on his next effort, Shadow Dancing (1978). The record went multi-platinum, and the title track went to the top spot on the pop charts. While professionally thriving, Gibb was struggling with a substance abuse problem in his personal life.
During the recording of his final studio album, After Dark (1980), Gibb seemed to be sinking deeper into his drug addiction. He took on more projects, but his ability to work was severely affected by his personal problems. He served as the co-host for the syndicated music show Solid Gold with Marilyn McCoo, but he lost this job for failing to show up for work. On Broadway, Gibb starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat. He was fired from Joseph, however, for missing too many performances. His drug use also ended his relationship with actress Victoria Principal.
Struggle with Addiction and Death
In the mid-1980s, Gibb finally sought help for his addiction at the Betty Ford Clinic at the urging of his family. After his release, he continued to make appearances but never returned to his past fame. Gibb had gone through all of the money he had made at his peak and had to declare bankruptcy in 1987.
In early 1988, Gibb signed a deal with Island Records. He went to England to make his first record for his new label, but he never finished the project. Gibb began feeling ill shortly after his 30th birthday. On March 10, 1988, Gibb died at a hospital in Oxford, England, at the age of 30. The cause of death was determined to be myocarditis, a heart condition. Gibb is survived by his daughter, Peta, from his short-lived marriage to Kim Reeder.