Was there a singing group in your youth that qualified you as a number one fan? For me, it was the Bee Gees. In fact, I think I knew every word to every Bee Gee hit ever performed, even the ones they did when they themselves were but mere children.
I loved the Bee Gees before they hit it big with Saturday Night Fever, which still ranks as one of the top best-selling albums of all time. I think I went to see Sgt. Pepper the very day it arrived in theaters.
Of course, as a Brothers Gibb fan, I quickly became an Andy Gibb fan when he, the youngest of the Brothers Gibb, yet not associated with the official Bee Gees band, took to the stage with his first public works: I Just Want to Be Your Everything and Shadow Dancing.
As with most successful pop stars, the Bee Gees lives became entrenched in fame, fortune and gossip, including rumors about substance abuse problems, love affairs and any number of other typical-for-big-name-music-stars type issues.
Andy Gibb suffered an unexpected, untimely death. There was much speculation about his drug addiction and depression. Gibb’s death was later determined to have been caused by a pre-existing heart condition. He died just a few days after he had turned age 30.
Now, there is but one Gibb brother left as Maurice and Robin have since passed away as well. Barry has shared his struggle with depression and grief since he no longer has his brothers to share his passion for music and performing. The male Gibbs do have one sister, Leslie, who is currently age 72.
The Brothers Gibb began their public career together as children. They were born in England but later moved to Australia. Many are not aware that they performed under another group name before their famous Bee Gees moniker took hold. That group’s name? The Rattlesnakes!
Paul McCartney, the Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis and Michael Jackson are the only music performers ever to outsell the Brothers Gibb. At various points in time, the Bee Gees group contained several other members: Vince Melouney, Colin Petersen and later, Terry Cox. Robin Gibb left the group for a while, along with Melouney. Ultimately, it would come down to the three brothers who changed the face of the music industry forever with their three-part family harmony and high falsetto voices.
I can still recall the thrill of watching the Bee Gees perform live, on stage in Pittsburgh. I was convinced that Maurice had smiled directly into the lenses of my binoculars! My friend and I sang along with every word of every song. A woman approached us, gave us her name and number and said she was a record manager who would love to have us come and sing for her in a studio. That was “music” to teenagers’ ears, for sure! Of course, the dream ended when the concert was over and we returned to our homes, school and average daily lives. The memory, however, lingered. Someone had heard us sing and liked it!
The big news of late is that Barry Gibb is working in conjunction with Maurice’s widow, Yvonne, and the estate of Robin Gibb, to produce an upcoming musical that will share the true story of the Bee Gees. I can’t wait to see who takes to the Broadway stage to portray the iconic brothers! It just may turn out to be their biggest hit yet!
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.