Mathontes Club discusses ‘The Bee Gees’

“Only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees,” according to their 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame citation.

With 220 million units sold, the Bee Gees ranked among the best-selling music artists of all time in the genres of pop, pop rock, disco and soft rock.

“The 1970’s – The Bee Gees” was the topic of the program presented at the recent meeting of the Mathontes Club held at the Pine Bluff Country Club. It was in keeping with the year’s study of “Rock Your Decade.”

Sue Smith and Pam Wood were in charge of the program, which traced the career of the Bee Gees, which included brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.

The brothers were born on the Isle of Mann (Great Britain), but moved to Australia in the 1950s, where they started their musical career. They returned to Great Britain in 1967. In 1963, they began to record under the the name the Bee Gees. “Spicks and Specks” was their first major hit. Some listeners assumed they were The Beatles, so they received a lot of air play.

During the late 1960s, they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and Laugh-In.

Robin quit the group in 1969 to pursue a solo career, and Barry and Maurice continued. By 1973, their music was waning and hard rock was the focus. In 1975, the group relocated to Miami, Fla., at the suggestion of Eric Clampton.

The Bee Gees sold 40 million copies of the “Saturday Nigh Fever” soundtrack, which is the fourth highest selling album. By 2007, “Stayin’ Alive” had earned $11 million for UNICEF. Barry had four No. 1 hits. Two thousand and five hundred singers recorded their songs, and they influenced dozens of hip-hop groups. Steven Spielberg did a movie about the Bee Gees entitled “Daily Mail.”

Their final concert was in 2012.

“They changed the face of music,” Smith said, “and changed what our children and grandchildren listened to.”

Pauline Cherry announced that a book entitled “Southern Heirloom Gardens” had been purchased by the club and will be placed in the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Public Library in memory of Nola Anderson, a deceased member.

The hostesses for the meeting were Biddley Wood, Jane Nixon, LaNelle Roberts, Karen Johnson and Bettye Jean Hutt.