Andy Gibb was the youngest scion of the 1970s ruling music family, the Bee Gees. The Anglo-Australian clan dominated the pop charts during that decade and helped their little brother achieve rightful fame on his own. Not just another token teen idol, Andy also co-wrote the songs and played his own instruments. And then he left us too soon.
There was little doubt that Andy would enter the world of pop music and he was encouraged by older bother Barry, who gifted him his first guitar when Andy was in his early teens. The young man started performing around Australia and soon had a #1 hit which he had written himself, “Words and Music”. The Bee Gees’ manager, Robert Stigwood, brought Andy into the fold by signing him to RSO Records in 1977. Gibb relocated to Florida and joined his older brothers, who were enjoying the fruits of the hugely successful Saturday Night Fever album. Working with Barry, Andy’s hit single “I Just Wanna Be Your Everything” shot to #1 in the US charts and stayed there for four weeks. While Barry had written that hit, Andy was primarily responsible for the rest of the album, titled Flowing Rivers.
A little brotherly competition ensued in 1978 when Andy’s song, “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water”, wrested the #1 spot from a Bee Gees song. On a roll now, Andy topped the charts for a third time in a row—the first artist to do so—with the disco anthem “Shadow Dancing”. His album, also titled Shadow Dancing, rose to #7 in 1978.
Andy embarked on a solo tour, more than able to stand on his own two feet, musically speaking. Despite a persistent drug problem, he remained at the top of the charts with two Top 10 hits, “An Everlasting Love” and “Our Love (Don’t Throw It All Away).” His album After Dark included two duets with Olivia Newton-John and “ Desire”, a lively dance number that peaked at #4.
In the 80s, Andy continued to release pop hits and also turned his attention to other media endeavors. He served as host for the television music variety show Solid Gold and performed in two stage musicals—Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Broadway and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in Los Angeles. Music output declined during this period, but Andy was working on a comeback album when he developed a heart infection and died in 1988. Forlorn fans around the globe mourned his passing, reminiscing about the golden 70s and his bright turn at the top.
If you have some fond memories of Andy Gibb you’d like to share, we welcome and and all of your recollections in our comments section.