1964


The influence of the Beatles on all of pop music reached Australia early in 1964. The concept of a group writing and recording their own songs would be inspirational to the Bee Gees, who were at this time still a vocal group rather than a band.

Barry’s songwriting began to pay off. This year he charted hits by other artists with ‘One Road’ and ‘I Just Don’t Like to Be Alone’. The Bee Gees had no hits with their own disks, but carried on as popular television performers and backup singers for other artists.


songs


BOY ON THE BOARD
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright January 1964. no record

RUN RIGHT BACK
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright January 1964. no record

ONE ROAD
Barry Gibb
A side by Jimmy Little, February 1964

WALKIN’ TALKIN’ TEARDROP
Barry Gibb
album cut by Jimmy Little, 1964

NEVER LIKE THIS
Barry Gibb
A side by Del Juliana, June 1964. Australian copyright March 1964.

PEACE OF MIND
Barry Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, March 1964

DON’T SAY GOODBYE
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, March 1964

CONCERTO WITH NO NAME
Barry Gibb
noted in the press, March 1964. no record

ONE LITTLE BLUE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright March 1964. no record

SCARED OF LOSING YOU
Barry Gibb
B side by Reg Lindsay, 1964

CLAUSTROPHOBIA
Barry Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, August 1964

COULD IT BE
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, August 1964

LOVE AND MONEY
Barry Gibb
B side by Bryan Davies, October 1964

WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
Barry Gibb
A side by Bryan Davies, February 1965

I JUST DON’T LIKE TO BE ALONE
Barry Gibb
A side by Bryan Davies, October 1964

I’LL BE THERE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright September 1964. no record

MY GIRL
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright September 1964. no record

NOW COMES THE PAIN
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright September 1964. no record

WHEN A GIRL CRIES
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright September 1964. no record

IN THE MIDDLE OF A DREAM
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright October 1964. no record

LEAVE THE LOVIN’ TO THE BOY
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright October 1964. no record

SINCE I LOST YOU
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright October 1964. no record

THIS IS THE END
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright October 1964. no record

TRIBUTE TO AN UNKNOWN LOVE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright October 1964. album cut by John Hore, 1966

BOY WITH A BROKEN HEART
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

HEY JENNIE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

I LOVE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

MR MOD MAN
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

MY BABY CAN
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

THE ONE THAT I LOVE
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

YOU WERE MADE FOR ME
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright November 1964. no record

THEY’LL NEVER KNOW
Barry Gibb
recorded by Wayne Newton, November 1964. US copyright March 1965. album cut by Wayne Newton, 1965

HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS
Barry Gibb
A side by Trevor Gordon, January 1965

AND I’LL BE HAPPY
Barry Gibb
B side by Trevor Gordon, January 1965

IT’S A SURFING WORLD
Barry Gibb, Tony Brady
commercial, 1964

DOUBLE DATING
Barry Gibb
typewritten lyrics given to a fan in 1964

Even discounting three questionable items (next paragraphs), this amounts to an incredible thirty songs in a year by young Barry. The Bee Gees would record only six of them. There was obviously enough for an album, but pop artists did not record albums unless they had a hit single that would generate sales.

In a remarkable March 1964 newspaper interview, Barry said that he had recently completed a classical piano piece called ‘Concerto with No Name’, but that he felt he could make more money writing pop songs. Since the article is accompanied by a photo of Barry at the piano, an instrument he never learned to play, there is a chance of this title being no more than dry Gibb humor, but it is listed here for what it is worth.

Tony Brady recalls that ‘It’s a Surfing World’ was a commercial, presumably for Surfing World magazine. He thinks someone else sang it, possibly Bryan Davies, but Bryan does not remember it.

The paper with the typed lyrics of ‘Double Dating’ (or actually ‘Double Dateing’ as typed) is signed by Barry, but he does not remember the song.


recording sessions


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal
others — bass, drums, lead guitar, piano
engineer: Robert Iredale
producer: ?
probably February 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

PEACE OF MIND
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:20, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, March 1964

DON’T SAY GOODBYE
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:23, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, March 1964

The A side is more rocking than the previous ones, showing some influence of the very new Beatles sound. The B side is a ballad with a good solo vocal by Barry.


Johnny Devlin

Johnny Devlin — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
engineer: Robert Iredale
producer: Johnny Devlin
probably May 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

BLUE SUEDE SHOES
Carl Perkins (1955)
mono 2:15, lead vocal Johnny Devlin
A side, June 1964

WHOLE LOT OF SHAKIN’ GOING ON
David Williams (1957)
mono 2:33, lead vocal Johnny Devlin
B side, June 1964

The Bee Gees sang backup on both sides of a Johnny Devlin single of two rock and roll classics. Jerry Lee Lewis’s hit ‘Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On’ is the only one of the three songs they did with him where the Bee Gees’ contribution is noticeable, and even so it is not much. They probably attended the session for friendship more than necessity.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
engineer: Robert Iredale
producer: ?
around June 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

CAN’T YOU SEE THAT SHE’S MINE
Dave Clark, Mike Smith (1964)
original by the Dave Clark Five, 1964
mono 2:17, lead vocal Barry Gibb
television broadcast

FROM ME TO YOU
Paul McCartney, John Lennon (1963)
original by the Beatles, 1963
mono 1:54, lead vocal Barry Gibb
television broadcast

YESTERDAY’S GONE
Chad Stuart, Wendy Kidd (1964)
original by Chad and Jeremy, 1964
mono 2:28, lead vocal Barry Gibb
television broadcast

JUST ONE LOOK
Doris Payne, Gregory Carroll (1951)
model by the Hollies, 1964
mono 1:59, lead vocal Barry Gibb
television broadcast

ABILENE
Lester Brown, John D Loudermilk, Bob Gibson (1963)
model by George Hamilton IV, 1963
mono, lead vocal Barry Gibb
television broadcast

These five songs were recorded at Festival but not for record release. They were made so the Bee Gees could mime to them on Johnny O’Keefe’s television show Sing, Sing, Sing, which featured Australian artists performing their versions of current hit songs. Four of these songs were by English beat groups, and ‘Abilene’ was by an American country singer.

The Bee Gees made numerous recordings of this kind for broadcast, and broadcasts are not the subject of Gibb Songs. This session is listed because four of the songs eventually saw record release. The disks that would normally have been discarded after broadcast were miraculously found in October 1983 at a garage sale in a Sydney suburb, and the owner allowed their use on Festival’s Brilliant from Birth CD set when it was compiled in 1998. ‘Abilene’ was left off because the CD set ran long.

The disk labels do not give the dates, but ‘Just One Look’ is known to be for a show in the second week of June 1964, on which another Festival group called the Rajahs did ‘Can’t You See That She’s Mine’. The Bee Gees’ version would be from around that time too, while the song was still on the charts.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, melodica
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar
Bruce Davis — guitar
Leith Ryan — guitar
Bill Swindells — bass
Laurie Wardman — drums
engineer: Robert Iredale
producer: ?
about July 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

CLAUSTROPHOBIA
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:14, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, August 1964

COULD IT BE
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:03, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, August 1964

For this pair of Beatlesque songs the Bee Gees were backed by a good beat group who had played with Johnny Devlin this year and who would play in 1965 with Dennis Williams as Dennis and the Delawares. The Bee Gees had met them doing shows, and Barry requested them for this recording session, probably having written the songs with them in mind. Although the presence of four guitars is not obvious, Maurice joined Barry for the first time as an instrumentalist, and Robin of all people plays the solo on ‘Claustrophobia’, on a melodica, a hybrid keyboard-recorder that sounds like a harmonica.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal
others — guitar, bass, drums, orchestra, chorus
engineer: ?
producer: ?
about September 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

TURN AROUND, LOOK AT ME
Jerry Capehart (1961)
original by Glen Campbell, 1961
mono 2:16, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, October 1964

THEME FROM ‘THE TRAVELS OF JAIMIE MCPHEETERS’
Jerry Winn, Leigh Harline (1963)
original by the Osmond Brothers, 1963
mono 1:51, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, October 1964

Despite all the Barry Gibb songs available, someone at Festival decided that to get any hits, the Bee Gees needed to record songs by other writers. For both these numbers the lead vocal is all three brothers singing closely together. ‘Turn Around, Look at Me’ has an overblown arrangement with orchestra and Hollywood chorus, all probably recorded before the brothers were invited in to dub vocals. Neither song appears to have even Barry’s guitar.

Both these songs are American. ‘Turn Around, Look at Me’ was written in 1961 by Jerry Capehart, and recorded by Glen Campbell, who claims to be co-writer; it was later a US hit in 1967 for the Vogues. Capehart is known as the writer of numerous country-rock hits with Eddie Cochran including ‘Summertime Blues’.

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters was an American television show (Sep 1963-Mar 1964) being shown in Australia, starring a young Kurt Russell and featuring the Osmond Brothers, who also sang the title song. The music is by Leigh Harline, best known for ‘When You Wish upon a Star’.


Trevor Gordon

Trevor Gordon — vocal
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, organ
others — drums, bass
engineer: Robert Iredale
producer: ?
about December 1964, Festival Studio, Sydney

HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:35, lead vocal Trevor Gordon
A side, January 1965

AND I’LL BE HAPPY
Barry Gibb (1964)
mono 2:14, lead vocal Trevor Gordon
B side, January 1965

Here Barry amply demonstrated the quality of his songwriting for what could have been a Bee Gees single, and almost was anyway, since the single went out as ‘Trevor Gordon and the Bee Gees’.

Trevor Gordon, born 1948 in Yorkshire, was known in Australia for television work, just as the Bee Gees were. They became friends and Trevor appears in some home movie footage of the Bee Gees in Australia that is still used in clips. He was later in the Marbles along with Graham Bonnet (see 1968).


selected record releases


Jimmy Little : single
Australia: Festival, February 1964.

A ONE ROAD
B JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

Jimmy Little : New Songs from Jimmy
Australia: Festival, 1964.

  WALKIN’ TALKIN’ TEARDROP

Jimmy Little, an aborigine who sang mostly country songs, boldly followed up his number 1 hit ‘Royal Telephone’ with a song by Barry Gibb, ‘One Road’, which reached as high as number 2 in one New South Wales chart, Barry’s best chart success to date. On request Barry rewrote his tune’s lyrics from a love song to a religious theme, as a followup to sentiments like ‘you can talk to Jesus on this royal telephone’. The music is in the same music-hall style as ‘Starlight of Love’. Barry was not at the session.

Jimmy recorded a second song by Barry for his LP New Songs from Jimmy, the country ‘Walkin’ Talkin’ Teardrop’, with more typical Barry lyrics. A stereo mix was made for the LP, but it was already too late to do so for ‘One Road’.

Aborigines had suffered a couple of centuries of racial segregation, since the British began settling in Australia. Jimmy was a breakthrough artist who was named Australian Pop Star of the Year for 1964 by Nat Kipner’s Everybody’s magazine (the Beatles got the Overseas Pop Star nod). Most of Jimmy’s many records are either country music or ballads with orchestra, but he hit big in 1999 with an alternative rock album. He has also acted in films and on stage. In 2004 he was voted a ‘National Living Treasure’.

CD: ‘One Road’ and ‘Walkin’ Talkin’ Teardrop’ on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Leedon, March 1964.

A PEACE OF MIND
B DON’T SAY GOODBYE

The third Bee Gees single, like the second, did not chart.

CD: Both on Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Jimmy Hannan : single
Australia: Reg Grundy, March 1964.

A YOU MAKE ME HAPPY
B HOKEY POKEY STOMP

Backing vocals by the Bee Gees.


Reg Lindsay : single
Australia: Columbia, 1964.

A LONELY ROAD
B SCARED OF LOSING YOU

Reg Lindsay, a popular country singer, recorded ‘Scared of Losing You’ on April 17, 1964, according to the liner notes on his 1968 LP collection Encores. The release date was some time in mid 1964.


Del Juliana : single
Australia: RCA, June 1964.

A NEVER LIKE THIS
B WHAT’D I SAY

‘Never Like This’ had the surfing sound, even if it was released in the winter. Del also lent her powerful voice to a recording of Barry’s ‘Boy on the Board’ which was however never released. Johnny Devlin produced the session.

CD: ‘Never Like This’ on Girls Girls Girls / Australian Girl Singers of the Sixties, part 1, Canetoad (Australia).


Johnny Devlin : single
Australia: Festival, June 1964.

A BLUE SUEDE SHOES
A WHOLE LOT OF SHAKIN’ GOING ON

Backing vocals by the Bee Gees.

CD: Johnny Devlin, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Festival (Australia).


Leedon Hit Parade
Australia: Leedon, about June 1964.

  PEACE OF MIND

The first LP with a Bee Gees song was a collection of twelve songs by seven Leedon artists. Their one title, ‘Peace of Mind’, was credited to the B.G.s, the only use of that spelling on a record release. It was also the oldest single here, the others being from April, May, and June. One of the other artists was Trevor Gordon, who recorded with the Bee Gees in December.

CD: On Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Leedon, August 1964.

A CLAUSTROPHOBIA
B COULD IT BE

The fourth Bee Gees single, a good effort but another exercise in futility as far as record sales.

CD: Both on Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees : single
Australia: Leedon, October 1964.

A TURN AROUND, LOOK AT ME
B THEME FROM ‘THE TRAVELS OF JAIMIE MCPHEETERS’

The fifth Bee Gees single, with no new Barry Gibb songs to recommend it, and probably their worst ever musically speaking, gracefully kept itself off the charts. They were now ‘Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees’ in the style of so many older acts, while the hottest act on the charts was the Beatles, using only a group name like... the Bee Gees.

The title of the B side was given as ‘Theme from Jamie McPheeters’ with the character’s name misspelled.

CD: Both on Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Bryan Davies : single
Australia: HMV, October 1964.

A I JUST DON’T LIKE TO BE ALONE
B LOVE AND MONEY

Bryan Davies, a Manchester native two years older than Barry, recorded three songs that Barry wrote for him to do in the style of the Beatles. Matrix numbers show that ‘Love and Money’ and ‘Watch What You Say’ (see 1965) were recorded together, followed twelve serial numbers later by ‘I Just Don’t Like to Be Alone’. Did he ask Barry to top himself after the first session? The band’s chunky guitar-based sound is reminiscent of the Kinks and Bryan’s strong vocals should have propelled this single higher on the charts than it did— but it did at least break the top forty, reaching number 25 in a New South Wales chart. Both songs appeared also on his LP Together by Myself in 1965. The title of the A side was given on the records as ‘I Don’t Like to Be Alone’ without the ‘just’ that Bryan sings every time and which is on the copyright registration.

As Bryan remembers it, Barry was present at the session or sessions and may have sung backup, but he is not audible and his appearance on a non-Festival disk would not have been officially permitted. The songs were recorded in Sydney and produced by Geoff Harvey.

CD: Both on Assault the Vaults, Festival. (Australia)