Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rest in Peace Robin Gibb

The year 2012 is not half over and we have lost our share of industry superstars. In January, Etta James passed. Then we heard the reports of the tragic deaths of Whitney Houston and Davy Jones in February. April brought the deaths of Jim Marshall, Dick Clark, Levon Helm, and Greg Hamm. Just last week, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Donna Summer left this earthly abode.

On Sunday, I learned of the death of Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gibb had been suffering from colorectal cancer; he contracted pneumonia and went into a coma in April. It was expected that his demise would shortly follow; however, he clung to life as best as he could and six days later he awoke from the coma while his family had been playing one of his more recent compositions. The cancer with which he had been battling took its toll – Gibb was 62

His voice had the characteristic vibrato that was heard on songs like “New York Mining Disaster, 1941”; “Massachusetts”; “I Started A Joke”; and others. One of his last singles in the pre-disco incarnation of the Bee Gees was the title to the band’s 1974 “Mr. Natural” album. It was penned by Robin and his oldest brother Barry. Both brothers sing on the number, but Robin had the lead on the first verse and the chorus which is augmented by Barry’s and Maurice’s harmonies. The second verse features Barry on lead.

“Mr. Natural” was only a hit in Australia where it peaked at #11. In the US, the song didn’t fare as well and could be considered a bubbling under hit as it only charted at 93. It’s a song you never hear on the radio these days, but I remember hearing it quite a bit in 1974. Rest in peace Robin.

Only 120 more posts until the end of "Reading Between the Grooves."

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