It has just come over the wires over the last half hour, and I just received an e-mail from a contact in Long Island. The music world is mourning anew this evening, this time over the passing of Robin Gibb, one of the founding members of the Bee Gees, at 62 from intestinal cancer, the same disease that claimed his twin brother, Maurice, 9 years ago.
The Bee Gees amassed a string of hits from the early 70's through the late 80's, and even wrote hits for other artists, including Samantha Sang ("Emotion", 1978), Yvonne Ellman ("If I Can't Have You"), and Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton ("Islands in the Stream", 1983). The watershed album remains the powerhouse soundtrack to 1977's "Saturday Night Fever", with the signature single, "Staying Alive".
The Gibb brothers had successfully transitioned from middle-of-the-road pop ("How Do You Mend a Broken Heart", "Massachusetts") to disco ("How Deep Is Your Love", "Staying Alive") and back again ("You Win Again", "One"). Now, Barry, 65, is the lone brother remaining. Youngest brother Andy, for whom Barry & Robin had written hits such as "Shadow Dancing", had passed away years earlier at 30.
As a tribute to Robin, here are the Bee Gees, all together, with "Staying Alive". Courtesy of the band's YouTube channel:
Rest in peace, Robin. Rock on.