As a group, the Bee Gees actually started out in Australia in the early 1960s.
The story of the Bee Gees began when the Gibb family emigrated to Redcliffe in August 1958. The young brothers started performing as a way to earn money. Their performances were so impressive that Speedway promoter and driver Bill Goode, introduced them to leading Brisbane 4BH radio DJ Bill Gates, who then hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1959.
The brothers performed during the intervals and the crowd would throw money onto the track for them.
Contrary to popular belief, Bee Gees is not a reference to “Brothers Gibb”. Gates named them the BGs (which was later changed to Bee Gees) after his (as well as Goode’s) and Barry Gibb’s initials.
The Gibbs family later moved to a house at Cribb Island which was demolished to allow the expansion of Brisbane Airport. While living there, the brothers attended Northgate State School.
By 1960, the Bee Gees had been featured on television shows singing “Time Is Passing By,” which was their first performance on television.
The brothers then began working regularly at resorts on the Queensland coast for a few years.
Credit: Robert Widermann/YouTube
In 1966, The Bee Gees released their first big single called “Spick and Specks” which was included in the Top 10 Australian singles.
The Bee Gees returned to England to further their career. That was when a string of international hits followed. These included songs such as To Love Somebody (1967); Massachusetts (1967); I Started A Joke (1968); Lonely Days (1970); Jive Talkin’ (1975); You Should Be Dancing (1976); Stayin’ Alive (1977); Night Fever (1978) and You Win Again (1987).
In 2013, as a tribute to the Bee Gees, the Moreton Bay Regional Council unveiled a 70-metre monument, connecting Redcliffe Parade and Sutton Street, and renamed the alley as the Bee Gees Way Redcliffe.
Credit: Visit Moreton Bay Region/YouTube
Barry Gibb returned to Redcliffe for the Grand Opening of Bee Gees Way stage 2 in 2015.
Today, the State Library of Queensland holds the largest collection of Bee Gees recording and memorabilia. The Library acquired the collection from a Melbourne collector Mark Crohan, who has been collecting Bee Gees material since he was 12 years old.
The collection includes vinyl LP’s, EP’s, and singles as well as published sheet music, videos, and multiple scrapbooks containing tons of newspaper and magazine articles, photos, brochures, and tour books relating to the group.