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As a member of the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb scored numerous hits during the 1970s.
A preview of the two-our special "The Bee Gees: In Our Own Time."
From their first break on a local Australian radio show to their phenomenal success of the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, this is the story of the Bee Gees.
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Part of a musical family, Maurice Gibb started out performing with his brothers Barry and Robin at a young age. The trio, eventually known as the Bee Gees, had their first international hit in 1967. The group enjoyed a second, bigger wave of success in the 1970s with such songs as "Staying Alive" and "How Deep Is Your Love." The brothers kept recording and performing until Maurice's death in 2003.
As part of the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb enjoyed tremendous pop success while maintaining somewhat of a lower profile than his brothers and bandmates Barry and Robin. He was known for his sense of humor and his musical talents.
Gibb started his life as a part of duo, being born roughly half an hour after his twin brother Robin in 1949. In addition to the fraternal twins, the family also included older sister Lesley and older brother Barry. The youngest son, Andy, was born in 1958.
Music was an important part of their family life. Their father Hugh worked as a bandleader and a drummer. Not long after Andy's birth, the Gibb family moved to Australia in 1958. There Gibb and his two older brothers first tasted musical success. They hosted a television show and released their first single, which featured their soon-to-be trademark vocal style. The three Gibb brothers, eventually known as the Bee Gees, sang most of their songs in three-part harmony with Maurice handling many of the higher parts. Maurice was also a skilled musician, playing bass guitar on some of their songs.
To advance their career, the trio moved to England in the late 1960s to participate in the thriving rock scene there. They soon landed on the charts in 1967 with "New York Mining Disaster 1941," their take on psychedelic rock, which became an international hit. A few months later, their first album Bee Gees First (or sometimes referred to as Bee Bees 1st) made it into the top 10 in both Britain and the United States. The recording also featured the ballad "Massachusetts."
Gibb wed fellow pop music star Lulu in 1969, but their union didn't last long. At the time, he engaged in a partying lifestyle, which strained his marriage. The couple divorced in 1973. Relations between Gibb and his brothers also faltered around this time. Robin briefly left the group, and Maurice and Barry recorded one album without him. Maurice also worked on a solo project, but it was never officially released.
In 1971, the reunited trio scored another of their famous hits with the soft ballad "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart." The Bee Gees then went on to achieve an even greater level of success, riding a wave of new music called disco. "Jive Talkin" went to number one in 1975, and the group soon had more successful singles from their contributions to the Saturday Night Fever (1977) soundtrack. They also won several Grammy Awards for the project. Over the coming years, fans could not get enough of their catchy dance music and moving ballads. Their next album, Spirits Having Flown (1979), sold 35 million copies.
See pictures of the legendary group from their early days in Manchester to their smashing success on the dancefloors of the 70s and beyond in BIO.com's Bee Gees Photo Gallery.
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