Born in Douglas, on the Isle
of Man, Barry and twins Robin and Maurice Gibb started their singing very young
-when they were nine and six years old- in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, where the
family had moved in 1955. The three brothers and two friends of theirs started performing
as "The Rattlesnakes" and "Wee Johnny Hays and The Blue
Cats" in some movie theaters in Chorlton. In 1958 the family moved again, this time
to Australia, where the Gibb brothers went on performing as "Barry and The
Twins" and "The BG's." In 1963 the Gibb brothers signed their first
record deal and released their first single, "The battle of the blue and grey."
In three years the Bee Gees released thirteen singles and three albums; their first
big hit came in 1966, with "Spicks and specks."
Before the release of 'Spicks and specks,' the brothers had decided to try their luck in England, so in 1967 the family returned to the UK, where the three brothers signed with Robert Stigwood. From 1967 through 1969 the Bee Gees -with two more members: the Australians Colin Petersen and Vince Melouney- recorded 4 albums and had some huge hits - "New York Mining Disaster 1941", "To Love Somebody", "Massachusetts", "Words", "I Started a Joke," "I've Gotta Get a Message To You". In 1969 Melouney left the band and so did Robin to pursue a solo career. Soon Petersen followed them, leaving Barry and Maurice as the only band members until Robin rejoined his brothers one year later.
From 1970 thru 1973 The Bee Gees recorded 4 more albums, and though they had some hits ("Lonely Days", "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", "Run To Me"), the record sells slipped. Finally, in 1973 they recorded A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In the Pants, which the record company didn't release, and the band decided to move to the States.
In America, with the help of a new producer, Arif Mardin, The Bee Gees evolved to new musical forms, starting with the superb albums Mr Natural and Main course, followed by Children of the World, where the song "You should be dancing" anticipated Saturday Night Fever, the soundtrack that topped the charts for over 20 weeks and that remains the best selling soundtrack ever. The Bee Gees tremendous success continued with the 1979 album Spirits having flown.
But soon the Disco era was
over. In 1980, their new album Living eyes showed a very different style. In
spite of being one of their best albums, it didn't make well in the charts, and the Bee
Gees did not record another album until 1987. In the meantime they released solo albums
and produced other artists. They topped the charts again, this time as producers and
songwriters, with "Guilty", "Woman in love", "Heartbreaker",
"Islands in the stream" and "Chain reaction" as highlights.
In a career spanning over forty years, the Bee Gees sold more than 175 million records worldwide, and have written dozens of hits for themselves and other acts. Over 1,000 artists have performed their songs, from Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Al Green or Barbra Streisand to Destiny's Child, Happy Mondays, Celine Dion or Wyclef Jean.
The Bee Gees, the second most successful band in music history after the Beatles, have had more than 200 no. 1 charts positions worldwide, themselves or with others acts singing their songs. They had no 1. hits in each decade from the 60s to the 90s, and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, that topped the US album charts for 24 weeks, remains the world's biggest selling soundtrack ever.
They have won 7 Grammy Awards and 28 Ivor Novello Awards and have been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame both in the United States and in Australia. They have also been honoured with Lifetime Achievement awards by the American Music Awards, the Brit Awards and the World Music Awards.
For more details go to the Anniversaries page