After giving disco fans feverishness in the 1970s, Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees turned to his first love: country music.
The 74-year-old has released a new album titled ‘Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers’ Songbook Vo.1′, a collection of Bee Gees music reworked in duets with notable Nashville artists including Dolly Parton and Keith Urban.
The last surviving brother Gibb, who has carried on the family’s musical heritage as a solo artist, immigrated from the UK to Australia as a child. However, Gibb told NPR on Friday that he has been passionate about American country music for many years.
“Since I was about 9 or 10 years old,” Gibb explained. “It was really in my system and it never left. Bluegrass music and country music are really what I care about more than anything else. Once all of my brothers were no longer with me, once I was alone, I was able to focus on, “Well, what’s my passion?”
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According to the outlet, Gibb’s son introduced him to music by Chris Stapleton. It was then that Gibb reached out to country music star producer Dave Cobb about working together on a record. It turned out that Cobb was a big fan of the Bee Gees.
Gibb admitted that he “didn’t have a sense of belonging” to release a country album early in his career.
“You know how it is in Nashville; it’s a pretty closed circle if you will, ”Gibb told the outlet. “And it’s a hard place to enter even if you love music and want to be there… if you enter another realm of music, you have to work hard enough to be accepted. ”
Despite his eagerness to pursue the country world, Gibb recognized the important role disco played in musical history – even after a massive backlash against it.
On July 12, 1979, Chicago shock DJ Steve Dahl hosted a “Disco Demolition Night,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
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“… There was something very beautiful and rhythmic about all this music in the late 70s, and for the life of me, I have no idea why anyone thought it should be censored, this that it was, ”Gibb said. “But it was a project – a bit like making a movie. You become a character and you try to fit into the soundtrack… But reinventing yourself is, for me, everyone’s greatest pleasure.
Gibb is grateful for giving new life to his beloved songs in Nashville. However, his brothers have always stuck in his mind.
” Of course [I miss them]”He said.” We’ve spent over 40 years around a microphone; how did you ever get past that? You don’t. But if I have the opportunity to be on stage, as far as I know, they are there with me. I can still smell the cologne used by Maurice. When you’re near a microphone, there are things you never forget. ”
These days, Gibb is determined to continue as an artist and present the music he created with his brothers to new audiences.
“This is my mission,” he says. “It’s not about me, it’s not about the Bee Gees. It’s just about these songs and how special they are to me. I want people to keep remembering them, and that was one way. ”