I’d just arrived in Miami a month before the beginning of the 1978-79 winter season of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra as its newly appointed General Manager, and the local movers and shakers were determined that I got to know some of the leading lights among the orchestra supporters straightaway. As part of the meet-and-greet plan laid out for me, FPO president Bob Paul and his attentive German wife Christa invited me one day to join them at a cocktail party held in the spacious ocean-front residence of a Board member. Among the invitees of some well-known citizens and luminaries were included the pop group BeeGees, whom I’d heard about while in New York, but only peripherally. They had just come to Florida from their Australian home and turned out to be a blast at the event. Being a twin myself, I was happy to speak at length with group members Maurice, the guitarist, and his twin brother Robin, the singer-songwriter. For the record, the twins were born this day December 22 in 1949 in Douglas, Isle of Man, U.K., but unfortunately neither lived to a ripe old age – Maurice died of cardiac arrest in 2003 aged 53, followed by Robin in 2012 of colon and liver cancer aged 62.
On a happier note, co-founder, Barry (born 1 September 1946) was the musician and record producer of the group, which in 1960 moved to Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia. There it evolved into the BeeGees, which Barry formed into a successful rock act beginning in 1966 until the early 1970s, and then as prominent performers of the disco-music era in the late 1970s. Barry’s known for his high-pitched falsetto singing voice. Here’s a YouTube presentation of BeeGees’ singing Still Waters – that was twenty years ago in 1997!
For services to music, Gibb was made a CBE (Commander in the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace on May 27, 2004.
It turns out I was prophetic in remembering just a week ago one of my musical heroes without realizing that he would be knighted in England by Queen Elizabeth.
Thus, CNN (along with other news channels in the US and abroad) reported December 30, 2017 that BeeGees co-founder Barry Gibb has been awarded a knighthood by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in her 2018 New Year Honors List.
It also noted that: Gibb, the 70s disco pioneer …..said he was “deeply honored, humbled, and very proud” to be recognized.
“This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten. I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honor. It is as much theirs as it is mine,” Gibb, 71, told the UK’s Press Association.
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