As a member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb sang and played the guitar along with his twin brothers Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb. Among the group's well-known hits are "How Deep Is Your Love," "Night Fever," and "Run to Me." Their records have sold more than 100 million copies; they have produced more than 25 albums and have had at least 19 hits on the American music charts.
Barry Gibb was born in England and emigrated with his family to Australia where the career of the Bee Gees began. The Bee Gees name came from the Brothers Gibb. Their debut performance was on Australian television in 1963 when they sang their first single, "The Battle of the Blue & Grey." "Spicks and Specks," another hit, went over big in Australia. Despite the band's success "down under" they were envious of groups like the Beatles who had become internationally known by this time. In 1967, the trio went back to Britain to achieve national fame.
After signing a record contract the Bee Gees produced their first hit in the UK, "New York Mining Disaster 1941," which also scored on the American musical charts. Following this, the group had a string of hits that landed on both the U.K. and American charts. The songs included "Massachusetts," "Words," "I've Got a Message to You," "I Started a Joke," and "First of May."
With success looming in their path, Robin Gibb decided to leave the group in 1969 to pursue a solo career. Barry Gibb and his brother decided to keep the Bee Gees alive and produced the hit single "Tomorrow, Tomorrow." The two performed on the television show Cucumber Castle singing "Don't Forget to Remember." Barry Gibb's songwriting talents not only benefited the Bee Gees but also several other '70s and '80s singers such as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and most recently, Celine Dion and Michael Bolton.
By 1970, Robin Gibb had rejoined the group and a new decade was upon the Bee Gees. The early '70s were hard on the group as the transition was happening between pop and folk-rock to heavier rock. Main Course, released in 1975, produced the band's next hit, "Jive Talkin." Their manager, Robert Stigwood, used these songs to enhance the trio's popularity during the disco phenomenon. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack brought about enormous popularity for the Bee Gees. Hits from the soundtrack include "Night Fever," "How Deep Is Your Love," "Stayin' Alive," and "You Should Be Dancin." By the end of the '70s, the group was once again on the charts.
Despite the '70s success, the Bee Gees were less successful in the '80s, producing few hits. The group released You Win Again in 1987. Unfortunately, Andy Gibb, the group's musically talented younger brother, died in 1988 from myocarditis brought on by years of cocaine use. The '90s proved a bit more successful with the 1993 album Size Isn't Everything and the singles "Paying the Price of Love" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls." The Bee Gees were awarded the lifetime achievement award at the Brit Awards in 1996 and at the American Music Awards in 1997. Also in 1997 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. ~ Kim Summers