Found Performance: Brothers Gibb (1963)

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Editor’s note: I have had some fun with “Found Performances.” This growing collection consists of rare and/or interesting TV or concert clips of famous performers. My friend and Puget Sound Media contributor, Jay Hamilton, found the video featured here and he agreed to write the text and explain how it related to his life. The video is nostalgic and surprising if you’ve never thought of most rock stars as kids once upon a time. As usual, we doctored up the audio and the original video as much as was possible, and we are pretty happy with this “Found Performance”……Steven L. Smith
I became aware of the Brothers Gibb in 1967. I was living in LA and trying my hand at independent record production. I had an appointment with Atlantic/Atco Records to pitch a group I had under contract. After listening to my product, I was asked to leave a copy of the recording for play to label heads. Then the Atco Rep anxiously shared with me the label’s lastest acquisition from England … playing an advanced pressing of The Bee Gees record “New York Mining Disaster 1941” that eventually became a top 15 hit later that year.  At the time of their signing The Bee Gees were a 5 piece group, brothers Barry with twins Maurice & Robin Gibb, plus drummer Colin Peterson and lead guitarist Vince Melouney.
L to R: Barry, Robin, Vince, Maurice and Colin (1969)
My personal all-time favorite Bee Gees record is their first #1 hit, in 1971, “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart.” I soon learned that although the Gibb brothers were born in England on the Isle of Man (the sons of an English bandleader Hugh Gibb) and had publicly performed together starting in 1955 in Manchester, they eventually migrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1958 where, in earnest, they began their singing career when the boys were quite young.
The irony of this “found performance” by these three young brothers on Australian television in 1963 is that the song the boys were singing would soon become a worldwide anthem. Written in 1962 by a young singer-songwriter named Bob Dylan and inspired partially by Dr. Martin Luther King’s and a young John Lewis’ freedom marches in ’62/’63 and the Vietnam Conflict, (soon to escalate due to the attack on 2 US destroyers in the Bay of Tonkin in Dec. 1964). Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” lyrics asked questions over a half century ago … still being asked today.

“How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?”

 

“How many times must a cannonball fly, before they’re forever banned?”

 

“How many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free?”

 

“How many years can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”

 

“How many ears must one man have, before he can hear people cry?”

 

“And how many deaths will it take ’til he knows, too many people have died?”

 

So, here are a young 16 year old Barry, with his twin 13 year old brothers Robin and Maurice Gibb, in 1963, singing about some questions … with answers that are still “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

About this “Found Performance” —  Jay Hamilton is a veteran disc jockey, program director, music director, program consultant and independent record producer (see photo). In the Pacific Northwest, he is best remembered for his time at KMPS AM/FM during the ’70s and ’80s. Jay is now retired and lives on the Olympic Peninsula. Periodically he contributes stories and articles to Puget Sound Media.

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Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

13 thoughts on “Found Performance: Brothers Gibb (1963)

  1. Mike C. ~ Yes, I knew that about the Leedon label. Started in 1958 by Lee Gordon (combination of his 1st & last name … like the Seattle Jerden Records, for Jerry Dennon). Leedon was acquired by Festival Records in 1960 … which The Bee Gees were under contract to in Australia.
    Before the advent of Top 40 Radio, most record labels had a common belief that including recognizable song titles on albums would boost sales. Records were not receiving repetitive Top 40 style air play, so new artists names were not always recognizable to listeners … but song titles were. So often the choice of material for LPs was based more on recognizable song titles then anything else. Record buying was a much different animal in those days. People went to record stores and perused albums looking for songs they liked, not necessarily artists they liked … even though that was also true. Up-tempo songs we’re not necessarily the criteria for The Bee Gees … recognizable song titles were.

    1. Steven – interesting version with speeded up tempo but missing George Harrison’s distorted guitar. I can certainly hear the comparison to the Beatles

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