Anniversary of Maurice Gibb's Death
Maurice was born on December 22, 1949 and was the fourth of five Gibb children, but only just barely. His twin brother Robin was born 35 minutes before him. Maurice (pronounced "Morris") grew up in England in the '50s, until the family moved to Brisbane, Australia in 1958 – just after the birth of youngest brother Andy. As a kid, Maurice, along with older brother Barry and twin brother Robin, began singing to make a little extra money. The trio first called themselves the Rattlesnakes and then Wee Johnny Hayes & the Bluecats. They were introduced to a radio DJ, Bill Gates, by Bill Goode, a racetrack promoter who had seen the boys perform at Brisbane's Speedway Circuit. Gates renamed the group the Bee Gees after his and Goode's initials (and not the Brothers Gibb, as some once thought).
The trio did pretty well for themselves in the early '60s in Australia, with the oldest brother Barry getting plenty of attention for his songwriting skills (hence the title of their 1965 debut LP, The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs). The year after their debut, the boys decided to move back to the U.K. In advance of their arrival, their father had sent demos to Beatles manager Brian Epstein. He, in turn, passed them along to Robert Stigwood, who helped orchestrate a five-year contract with Polydor Records in England and ATCO Records in the U.S. more on this story
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