Yesterday brought additional tragic news to the music industry as well as the Gibb family as it was announced Robin Gibb, co-founder of the musical group “The Bee Gees,” had succumbed to complications from intestinal surgery in addition to a long battle with colorectal cancer. This morning on the local radio station they were paying a tribute to this world class performer through the songs which made this band such a phenomenon with a wild comeback during the disco era even though their music could hardly be described as “disco.”
Personally, I LOVED the Bee Gees when I was younger and listened to their first recordings while in junior high like “I Started A Joke” and “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart.” When I went to college, they got their “second wind” with the birth of the disco era and songs like “Stayin’ Alive” and “How Deep Is Your Love” from the Saturday Night Fever album were all the rage! “Tragedy” would follow as another well played record in my collection. Hearing these songs this morning brought back so many memories additional tears were shed for this singer I cherished as a young adult and reminded me of my disdain for the “tribute” presented last night on the “2012 Billboard Music Awards” by Julie Bowen.
Anyone who was watching the show would have had to been blind AND deaf to not have seen and heard the background snickers and smirky faces on the hosts, Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen of Modern Family, who looked as though they were struggling to keep from busting out with laughter as Julie announced they had received word an hour prior that Robin Gibb had passed away and asked for a moment of silence stating his voice and the music of the Bee Gees would live on forever. What was so funny being whispered through the earpieces or nearby comments that they could not provide a heartfelt thought toward this fallen musician? Were there comments on the teleprompter? Is this what the BBMAS have come to represent – musical sacrilege? It seems so because even though this announcement was made shortly after the beginning of the BBMAS last night, the show cut short the Donna Summer tribute performance by Natasha Bedingfield by going to a commercial break! While these two instances might not have been outright affronts of disrespect to the individual artists, it certainly came across as such, especially to this writer. Although there was no video clip available for the segment related to Julie Bowen’s announcement of Robin Gibb’s death and subsequent moment of silence, there are several comments about the Donna Summer tribute.
Some research late last night revealed a remarkable feat by Robin Gibbs with the assistance of his son, Robin John (RJ), written while battling colorectal cancer which is the Titanic Requiem. He recorded his final vocal performance earlier this year before falling seriously ill in March, 2012.
Gibb was definitely an unsung musical talent and the slight last night makes it even more difficult to overlook when the BBMA celebrates such mindless lip syncing pop billboard marketing sensations as Chris Brown or Justin Bieber as “talent” who could not carry a tune in a wheelbarrow if it was cemented in! I mean, has Chris Brown ever performed live on television? It appears everything he does is lip synced and it is was more than obvious as last night on the BBMAS as is much of the music in these modern times where technological advancements create stars out of those with no natural ability. Performers like the Bee Gees, the Beatles, and other artists who came before them were not privy to the wonders of studio mixing. Justin Bieber proved the allegations of lip syncing last night on the “2012 Billboard Music Awards” as he was horribly off tune when his voice actually came through!
For those who have never heard of Titanic Requiem, this is a feat of musical genius Robin Gibb created in collaboration with his son, RJ. Below is a tribute to this wonderful talent of true nature from Titanic Requiem which Robin called “Don’t Cry Alone” and is a track on the album he sang with such a strong voice amidst his illness as it seemed a most fitting tribute. Robin was to have been afforded the opportunity to perform with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on April 10, 2012 but was unable due to his hospitalization for surgery which placed him in a coma.
Titanic Requiem, in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the launch of the Titanic on its disastrous and tragic maiden voyage from London to the United States, was released to the public on April 15, 2012. As this tribute goes out to the family of Robin Gibbs as a sympathetic gesture and acknowledgement of his contributions, CMR wishes to congratulate RJ on a remarkable musical accomplishment and encouragement to carry on the Gibb name proudly for those of us who appreciate honest and non-commercialized musical talent! RIP Robin, Maurice, and Andy!
Image courtesy of Zimbio and video courtesy of YouTube