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Posts Tagged ‘the Bee Gees’

Died On This Date (August 2, 2012) Jimmy Jones / Early ’60s Hit Maker

Posted by themusicsover on August 2, 2012

Jimmy Jones
June 2, 1930 – August 2, 2012

Born in Birmingham, Alabama,  Jimmy Jones got his start in show business as a tap dancer after he moved with his family to New York City as a teen.  By the mid ’50s, Jones was singing in local doo-wop groups, but soon went solo.  In 1959, he recorded “Handy Man,” a song that he co-wrote, for Cub Records.  The record soared to #3 on the US singles chart and topped the charts in the UK as well.  That was quickly followed by “Good Timin,'” which did nearly as well.  Each sold over a million copies. In later years, both Del Shannon and James Taylor had hits with “Handy Man.” Jones continued to perform and record, though with no other major hits,  until the time of his death.  He has been cited as popularizing the use of a falsetto voice in pop music, a style that was later used by the likes of Frankie Valli and the Bee Gees.   During the ’90s, Jones enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to the Northern Soul movement in the UK.  Jimmy Jones was 82 when he passed away on August 2, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.

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Jimmy Jones

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Died On This Date (August 15, 2012) Rich Fitzgerald / Veteran Record Label Executive

Posted by themusicsover on August 15, 2011

Rich Fitzgerald
February 23, 1947 – August 15, 2011

Rich Fitzgerald was a greatly respected music industry professional who took his tireless passion for music and made a successful career out of it.  Raised in Seattle, Washington, it was the young Fitzgerald who was likely turning his classmates on to the newest records.  He went as far, it has been said, as creating his own pop charts and distributing them to his friends.  Fitzgerald began his career working for Capitol Records there in Seattle, and by the mid 1970s, he was employed by one of the hottest new labels at the time, RSO Records, where he played a role in the success of such artists as the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, and Eric Clapton with whom he would build a lifelong business and personal relationship.  He was also directly involved with the pop culture phenomenons known as Saturday Night Fever, Grease, and Fame while at RSO.   He went on to work for Network, Geffen, Reprise, and Warner Bros.   Fitzgerald eventually rose to the position of Vice President of Promotions while at Warner Bros. where he helped such future stars as Madonna, Prince, Green Day, and the Pretenders  get their first records played on radio.  During his final years, Fitzgerald was working directly with Clapton.  Rich Fitzgerald was 64 when he died of esophageal cancer on August 15, 2011.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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Died On This Date (September 4, 1995) Chuck Greenberg / Shawdofax

Posted by themusicsover on September 4, 2010

Chuck Greenberg
March 25, 1950 – September 4, 1995

Chuck Greenberg was a musician, producer and composer who is best remembered as the leader of Shadowfax, a Grammy-winning band that is generally thought of as “New Age.”  Greenberg launched his music career during the ’70s and was soon was tapped to perform in the Bee Gees’ back-up band on one of their U.S. tours.  He soon moved to Los Angeles where he formed Shadowfax.  The band built a loyal fanbase thanks to it’s ability to marry elements of rock, world, jazz and folk music.  They would become one of the few New Age bands to cross over to a pop audience.  The band traveled the world playing to adoring fans until Septembe 4, 1995 when Chuck Greenberg died unexpectedly of a heart attack.  He was 44.

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Died On This Date (March 7, 2009) Jimmy Boyd / Sang “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Posted by themusicsover on March 7, 2010

Jimmy Boyd
January 9, 1939 – March 7, 2009

jimmy-boydJimmy Boyd was a popular ’50s and ’60s television actor as well as a singer and musician who is best remembered for his 1952 recording of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”  Recorded just before he hit his teens, the song as gone on to sell an astonishing 60,000,000 copies ever since.  Thanks to its popularity, Boyd became a popular fixture on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Frank Sinatra Show, The Tonight Show, and American Bandstand, to name a few.  Although Boyd had opportunities to make rock ‘n roll records, including with legendary producer Sam Phillips, he was working with Mitch Miller who hated the new style of music.  Boyd was very loyal to Miller who had signed him to Columbia Records, but as a pop singer.  During the mid ’60s, Boyd finally started making more rock-leaning records when he worked with the likes of Bobby Darin,Terry Melcher and Leon Russell.  One such record was for a song written by Barry Gibb of Bee Gees fame – it helped Boyd land a recording contract with A&M.  Jimmy Boyd was 70 when he died of cancer on March 7, 2009.

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Jimmy Boyd

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Died On This Date (January 12, 2003) Maurice Gibb / The Bee Gees

Posted by themusicsover on January 12, 2010

Maurice Gibb
December 22, 1949 – January 12, 2003

Maurice Gibb was an English singer-songwriter, musician and producer who, along with his twin brother, Robin Gibb and younger brother Barry Gibb, made up the Bee Gees.  The group went on to become one of the most popular and successful bands of all time and almost single-handedly sent disco into the stratosphere during the late ’70s.  But don’t hold that against them.  They have sold in the neighborhood of 225 million albums throughout their career.  And their younger brother, Andy Gibb, had a successful career as a pop musician as well.  While Maurice was still just a child, the Gibb family moved from the Isle of Man to Australia where the brothers Gibb, or Bee Gees, formed their band.  Maurice primarily handled the arrangements, played lead guitar and other instruments, and sang harmony vocals, which of course, the group was very famous for.  After relocating back to England in 1966, the Bee Gees began getting noticed.  Their early albums were more English folk rock and progressive than their late ’70s disco output, and their first album of significance, 1967’s Bee Gees 1st (which it wasn’t) can easily stand along any number of the great British Invasion albums of its time.  The album ultimately cracked the Top 10 in both America and the UK.  Their later pre-disco albums leaned more rock and even progressive at times.  In 1977, the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever was released, and with several Bee Gees tunes on it, their lives changed.  The album sold over 15 million copies, and although it didn’t “invent” disco, it certainly helped bring it to the suburbs of white America.  Over the next year and a half, the Bee Gees earned six consecutive #1 singles – holding the record until  Whitney Houston came along.   After disco crashed during the ’80s, the Bee Gees took a long break during which Maurice worked on solo releases by Barry and Robin while producing other projects.  The group reunited during the ’90s and again, the 2000s to respectable success, both on record and on tour.  Their final live performance as a trio came in 2002.  In his later years, Maurice took up paint ball and even opened a paintball equipment store near his Florida home.  On January 12, 2003, Maurice Gibb died from complications of volvulus, or a twisted intestine.  He was 53.

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Bee Gees 1st (Remastered) - Bee Gees

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