Famed Bee Gees Member Robin Gibb Passes Away

May 22, 2012 by Amy Gold

Robin Gibb, 1973
Robin Gibb, 1973 (Photo by AVRO)

Famed singer and songwriter Robin Gibb (Dec. 22, 1949 - May 20, 2012), who was one of the co-founders of the legendary Bee Gees, passed away on May 20, 2012 at 62 after a long battle with colon and liver cancer. He is survived by his mother, Barbara Gibb; his second wife, Dwina Murphy Gibb; his brother, Barry Gibb; his sister, Lesley Evans; and four children.

He was born Robin Hugh Gibb on December 22, 1949 in the Isle of Man and was the twin brother of Maurice Gibb (Dec. 22, 1949 - Jan. 12, 2003). In the late 1950s, he began his music career as part of a trio with his brothers Barry and Maurice while the Gibb family resided in Australia. The brothers had their first hit in 1966 with "Spicks and Specks," which topped the Australian charts. The Gibbs then moved to Manchester, England, and from there, the Bee Gees' fame really took off. In 1967, they debuted on the US charts with the melodic ballad, “New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife, Mr. Jones),” which was followed by a long string of hits all penned by the Gibb brothers. Robin Gibb's beautifully expressive, ethereal warble took center stage in such songs as "Words," (1968), "Massachusetts” (1968), "I've Gotta Get A Message to You” (1968), "I Started A Joke" (1969), and "Run to Me" (1972).

The Bee Gees then switched to R&B-infused dance music in the mid 1970s and topped the charts with "Jive Talkin'” in 1975. This and other dance hits were followed soon thereafter by the fabulously successful "Saturday Night Fever" disco soundtrack, which made the Bee Gees the top pop-rock act of the 1970s. Over the years, the Bee Gees received numerous awards and honors, including being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Since their founding, they have recorded and performed to well into the 21st century. Their final album, “This Is Where I Came In,” was released in 2001, two years before Maurice Gibb passed away.

As a solo artist, Robin Gibb recorded seven albums and in 1969, he had his first hit with “Saved By the Bell,” which reached #2 on the UK charts. In the late 1970s-early 1980s, he had several US chart hits that included “Oh! Darling” (1978), “Boys Do Fall In Love” (1984), and “Help Me!” (1980). In 1980, he topped the German, Italian, and Swiss charts with “Juliet.” In his later years, Gibb turned to serious orchestral composition and in 2012 released his final album, "The Titanic Requiem," a collection of orchestral and vocal pieces he co-wrote with his son, Robin-John, telling the story of the famous ocean liner. This work, which was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, premiered in London on April 10, 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.