The Day The Bee Gees Made History

10/17/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1987, The Bee Gees became the only group to have a U.K. no. 1 single in each of the three decades, ('60s, '70s and '80s), when "You Win Again" went to #1 on the U.K. singles chart. It was the brothers' fifth and last #1. Gibson takes a look back: While associated so indelibly with Saturday Night Fever and the disco explosion of the late '70s, the Bee Gees in fact started out as a Beatles-inspired group in the mid-'60s and into the early '70s before re-inventing themselves with the falsetto R&B sound that made them world-famous.

The singing brothers, Barry (the eldest) and twins Robin and Maurice, originated from the Isle of Man, near England, and grew up initially in Manchester before, as was the rage in austere '50s England, the family migrated to Australia Brisbane in Queensland to be precise. Encouraged to sing by their parents, they won a record deal and finally scored a small U.K. hit with "Spicks and Specks." They figured the time was right to enter the music scene in London, which they did in 1967, and hooked up with impresario Robert Stigwood who had been passed their demos by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Their second single in the U.K., "New York Mining Disaster 1941," (an eerie ballad delivered with fitting melancholy by Robin but balanced by a gorgeous and very commercial hook) was released to radio with just a white label and the song title. Presuming it to be a new Beatles single, DJs around the country span the record, making it a massive hit and the Bee Gees were suddenly established pop start in England and America. They followed up with a string of swinging sixties classics like "To Love Somebody," "I Started a Joke" and "Words." more on this story

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