1966


This year was the birth of the Bee Gees. Barry, Robin, and Maurice worked together as a group to create and record their own songs. Barry channelled much more of his songwriting— but not all— to the Bee Gees’ cause, and Robin and Maurice began to write too. Barry and Robin took more solo vocals. Harmony singing remained important but was no longer the main purpose of the group. Maurice improved greatly as an instrumentalist and he began his study of recording techniques. ‘Bee Gees’ was now Brothers Gibb.

The reason for all this was a change in their recording contract. Hugh Gibb, acting as the Bee Gees’ manager, argued with Fred Marks of Festival, the one claiming poor promotion and the other a lack of public interest. The solution came when producer Nat Kipner offered to sign the boys to his newly formed label, Spin. Festival got distribution rights for Spin, the boys got promises of studio time and a producer who was going out of his way to work with them, and Nat Kipner got what he considered potentially the best group in Australia, built on the foundation of Barry’s proven talents.

Nat brought the Bee Gees to St Clair Studio, Hurstville, outside Sydney. It was a small place in a strip mall owned and operated by Nat’s friend Ossie Byrne, an engineer who was working wonders with even more modest facilities than Festival Studio. Both Nat and Barry recall that the recording equipment was just two one-track tape decks and a mixer. But many Festival acts would make the trip to Hurstville to get the benefit of Ossie’s talents and the more relaxed artist-oriented atmosphere. Among them were the band Steve and the Board, led by Nat’s son Steve Kipner, all of whom became friends with the Bee Gees because both groups were allowed the run of the studio whenever it was not booked for other performers. The Bee Gees had never had much studio time before. Nat gave them plenty of feedback on their music. Ossie let them experiment with sound effects and overdubs. Maurice had a piano to play and electronics he was allowed to try out. Robin learned to double-track his voice. Barry had precious time to work with his group to make recordings as good as those by the other performers who had recorded so many of his songs.

The only catch was getting the elusive hit record. The Bee Gees ended up recording two albums in 1966, the first delayed until they had a hit song to sell it, and the second finally scrapped and used as a publisher’s demo reel to sell the songs other performers. The hit was ‘Spicks and Specks’, their first national best-seller, but it came so late that they were on the boat to England when they heard about it.

The Bee Gees decided by October to leave Australia and return to their native England. Nat Kipner tore up the contract and let them go— but he did reserve the Australian rights to whatever they managed to record over the next several years.


songs


I WANT HOME
Barry Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, March 1966

CHERRY RED
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, March 1966

HOUSE ON THE WINDY HILL
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright April 1966. no record

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
Barry Gibb
Australian copyright April 1966. no record

NEITHER RICH NOR POOR
Barry Gibb
B side by the Richard Wright Group, May 1966

MONDAY’S RAIN
Barry Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, June 1966; album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

PLAY DOWN
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

ALL OF MY LIFE
Barry Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, June 1966

HOW MANY BIRDS
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

SECOND HAND PEOPLE
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHER WITH MYSELF
Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

BIG CHANCE
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

JINGLE JANGLE
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

TINT OF BLUE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

WHERE ARE YOU
Maurice Gibb
(or Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb)
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

BORN A MAN
Barry Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

GLASS HOUSE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
(or Barry Gibb)
album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

SPICKS AND SPECKS
Barry Gibb
A side by Bee Gees, September 1966; album cut by Bee Gees, 1966

I AM THE WORLD
Robin Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, September 1966

THE STORM
[ WAITING IN THE STORM ]
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by the Family Dogg, October 1967

EXIT, STAGE RIGHT
Barry Gibb
(or Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb)
A side by Ronnie Burns, June 1967; album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

BUTTERFLY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

HOUSE OF LORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by the Monopoly, April 1967

TERRIBLE WAY TO TREAT YOUR BABY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

LUM-DE-LOO
Robin Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 1970

LIKE NOBODY ELSE
Barry Gibb
A side by Los Bravos, October 1967

ALL THE KING’S HORSES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Ronnie Burns, December 1966; album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

TOP HAT
Barry Gibb
album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

COALMAN
Barry Gibb
(or Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb)
A side by Ronnie Burns, December 1966; album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

I’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Ronnie Burns, 1967

ALL BY MYSELF
Maurice Gibb
A side by the Brigade, 1968

FOREVER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Dave Berry, August 1967

HEY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by Bip Addison, August 1966

YOUNG MAN’S FANCY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
B side by Bip Addison, August 1966

MESSIN’ ROUND
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by Sandy Summers, August 1966

A GIRL NEEDS TO LOVE
Barry Gibb
B side by Sandy Summers, August 1966

TALK TO ME
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by Anne Shelton, August 1966

DON’T YOU GO, I NEED YOUR LOVE
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by the Mystics, September 1966

HE’S A THIEF
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by April Byron, October 1966

A LONG TIME AGO
Barry Gibb
B side by April Byron, October 1966

LONG LIFE
Barry Gibb
album cut by the Twilights, 1966

IN YOUR WORLD
Barry Gibb
B side by Lori Balmer, January 1967

AS FAST AS I CAN
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by Barrington Davis, June 1967

RAINING TEARDROPS
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
B side by Barrington Davis, June 1967

SO LONG BOY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner
A side by Jenene, April 1967

DON’T SAY NO
Barry Gibb
B side by Jenene, April 1967

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Jon, February 1967

TOWN OF TUXLEY TOYMAKER, PART 1
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
B side by Jon, February 1967

GILBERT GREEN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by Gerry Marsden, August 1967

DEEPLY, DEEPLY ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
album cut by Bee Gees, 2006

MRS GILLESPIE’S REFRIGERATOR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
A side by the Sands, September 1967

I CAN’T SEE NOBODY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
B side by Bee Gees, April 1967; album cut by Bee Gees, 1967

LADY
Barry Gibb
A side by Johnny Young, July 1967

THE WISHING SONG
Barry Gibb
B side by Noeleen Batley, September 1967

DON’T FORGET ME IDA
Barry Gibb
A side by Johnny Ashcroft, 1967

For the first time the Bee Gees now recorded the majority of the songs Barry came up with. Also for the first time a few Robin and Maurice songs began to appear. Barry said many years later that their first idea was to credit the one who was the main writer of each song, but that they really all contributed to all the songs. However by the second half of the year they began to use the now familiar ‘B R & M Gibb’ credit line for the songs they worked on together, challenging listeners to detect the main writer. Barry’s legendary facility at songwriting makes it very likely that he led the sessions in most cases. He even crafted songs for Robin to sing just as he crafted songs for other singers. But the few Robin and Maurice solo songs here serve to show their emerging talents and direction.

Outside the Bee Gees, Maurice wrote a series of songs with Nat Kipner. Nat recalls that Maurice became a studio rat, learning all the equipment and practicing on the studio piano. While Barry still liked to go off and write by himself, Maurice was happy to have company while he played and made up melodies. He took up Nat on his offer to make some of them into songs, which were then recorded by various artists Nat was working with. Maurice never liked writing lyrics, so it is likely Nat took care of that. Most of them are forgettable but some of the last ones, especially the rocker ‘Raining Teardrops’, are lost gems.

Some of Barry’s songs for other singers are worth more attention than they have ever got. His ability to write for female voice, well shown in the songs for Noeleen Batley, continued to shine in obscure B sides like ‘A Girl Needs to Love’ and ‘A Long Time Ago’. The B R & M rocker ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ is another forgotten standout.


recording sessions


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar, organ
probably Colin Petersen — drums
others — bass, possibly guitar
engineer: ?
producer: Joe Halford
probably February 1966, Festival Studio, Sydney

I WANT HOME
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:24, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, March 1966

CHERRY RED
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 3:07, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
B side, March 1966

Promotional material for this single asks radio to play both sides, but ‘I Want Home’ is listed first and it has the lower number matrix number, usually indicating the A side.

‘Cherry Red’ is slow ballad with a lot of harmony singing, a bit of a throwback to their old sound. It featured the Farfisa organ (which got a credit on the label of the single) played by Maurice (who did not). ‘I Want Home’ was definitely not the old sound, the most thumping rock the group had ever done. The lead guitar is probably Maurice. Colin Petersen thinks he played drums on these two songs.

With these two songs the Bee Gees inaugurated Festival’s new four-track recording equipment. If the master tapes had been kept, stereo mixes would be possible, but instead only the mono mixdowns survived.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, harmonica, guitar
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar, bass, piano
John Robinson — bass
Colin Petersen — drums
Steve Kipner — vocal
possibly others — guitar, drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about April and May 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

MONDAY’S RAIN
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:58, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
A side, June 1966
mono (alternate vocal track) 2:58, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

ALL OF MY LIFE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:36, lead vocal Barry Gibb
B side, June 1966

HOW MANY BIRDS
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 1:57, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

PLAY DOWN
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:54, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966
mono (alternate vocal track) 3:05, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Spicks and Specks, reissue 2013

SECOND HAND PEOPLE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:10, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHER WITH MYSELF
Robin Gibb (1966)
mono 2:43, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

BIG CHANCE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 1:40, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

JINGLE JANGLE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:10, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

TINT OF BLUE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1966)
mono 2:05, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

WHERE ARE YOU
Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:10, lead vocal Maurice Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

BORN A MAN
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 3:10, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

GLASS HOUSE
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1966)
mono 2:25 lead vocal Robin Gibb
Spicks and Specks, 1966

The first group of St Clair recordings were an excellent set of songs that show the brilliance of the Bee Gees set loose and of Ossie Byrne as a recording engineer. They were recorded mainly by the three brothers themselves. On some tracks the drums were played by Colin Petersen from Steve and the Board, who would later be the Bee Gees’ regular drummer.

The one-track tape machines required the use of sound-on-sound for all overdubs. An instrumental base track was recorded first. Then that was played back while the group sang or played, the playback and microphones mixed together and recorded to other tape machine. If another ‘track’ was needed, the process could be repeated. Each track however added another layer of tape hiss. Some of these recordings must have gone to at least a third track, like ‘I Don’t Know Why I Bother with Myself’ with its double-track vocal. Nat recalls his son Steve adding his voice to a few songs to avoid another track of Gibb vocals, but he does not recall which songs they were. Similarly, on some now unidentifiable songs guitarist John Robinson played bass alongside Maurice playing guitar (‘Second Hand People’ with its active bass might be one of them, with Maurice playing the lead guitar style heard in several of these 1966 recordings).

‘Monday’s Rain’ has unusually low-voiced vocals by Robin and Barry, with a lead bass guitar break. The song appeared on a single and on an album with two different vocal tracks. This happens to show clearly that all of the instrumental was on one track— Robin possibly manages the opening piano notes to allow Maurice to play bass, and all of the vocal including the backing vocal is on another track. Robin varies the lyrics slightly on the two vocal takes, and Barry varies his timing.

‘Play Down’ was also saved with two vocal tracks, a fact unknown until 2013 when a different version turned up on the CD version of Spicks and Specks. The ‘new’ version has less group harmony, Barry singing parts solo and Robin singing the vocal break solo, and runs to conclusion without a fadeout.

‘This album is made up of a great variety of compositions’, Nat wrote in the liner notes to the LP that eventually contained these songs. ‘As instrumentalists they have mastered practically every instrument in the book. As harmonists and vocalists they are acknowledged as the foremost in this country.’ Lead vocals are by Barry, or Robin, or both taking different sections, or all three together as one voice, and Maurice sings lead on one song. No one voice predominates. Barry’s distinctive rhythm guitar is everywhere, accompanied by Maurice on lead guitar and sometimes bass, and occasional one-off flavors including 12-string guitar by Maurice, harmonica by Robin, and even a vocal ‘instrumental’ break a la the Mills Brothers.

The exact chronology of the St Clair sessions remains a mystery, one that will not be solved since the studio documentation is long gone. The two songs for the ‘Monday’s Rain’ single were certainly recorded by May 8, based on a press report. Also listed above are the other songs sequenced into the Monday’s Rain LP, which was not released. The album compilation pre-dates the song ‘Spicks and Specks’, which seems to date from early July.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, harmonica
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, guitar
Russell Barnsley — drums (some songs)
Colin Petersen — drums (some songs)
Steve Kipner — vocal
Geoff Grant — trumpet
others — guitar, drums, horns
orchestra (‘Forever’)
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about June to July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

SPICKS AND SPECKS
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:52, lead vocal Barry Gibb
A side, September 1966; Spicks and Specks, 1966

I AM THE WORLD
Robin Gibb (1966)
stereo 2:35, lead vocal Robin Gibb
B side, September 1966

THE STORM
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:28, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

EXIT, STAGE RIGHT
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:30, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

BUTTERFLY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 3:13, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

HOUSE OF LORDS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 1:45, lead vocal probably Robin Gibb
unreleased

TERRIBLE WAY TO TREAT YOUR BABY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:51, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

LUM-DE-LOO
Robin Gibb (1966)
mono 2:02, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

LIKE NOBODY ELSE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:33, lead vocal Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

ALL THE KING’S HORSES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 1:54, lead vocal Barry Gibb
unreleased

TOP HAT
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:14, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

COALMAN
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:51, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

I’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

MORNING OF MY LIFE
Barry Gibb (1965)
mono 2:52, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

ALL BY MYSELF
Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:38, lead vocal Maurice Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

FOREVER
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:43, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

LONELY WINTER
Carl Keats (1966)
mono 2:28, lead vocal Maurice Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

Dating this group of songs is difficult. They are later than the ‘Monday’s Rain’ group (unless a few songs are left over from those sessions). Evidence keeps pointing to a large number of songs being done around the same time, namely early July, which may well be true. If any came later, they must have been done at least by some date around October, when a tape containing most of them was sent to Ronnie Burns for consideration. Sometime before that the idea of releasing them as Bee Gees records must have been abandoned.

The important song ‘Spicks and Specks’ is dated to early July by the memory of Geoff Grant (Geoffrey Streeter), who played the trumpet. He recalls working three nights in a row on four songs: ‘Spicks and Specks’, ‘I Am the World’, ‘All by Myself’, and ‘The Storm’. There were no charts. Barry sang what he wanted, live, and Geoff copied it. Some of the artists whose disks came out in August (see below) recall hearing ‘Spicks and Specks’ being worked on or completed, further confirming that early July is about right.

What happened as to releasing the material is that the previously prepared Monday’s Rain album was used as the basis of the Spicks and Specks album after ‘Spicks and Specks’ was released and became a national hit record late in the year. Side 1 of the two albums was exactly the same, and early copies of Spicks and Specks had labels on side 1 with the Monday’s Rain title, indicating that Festival, thrifty to a fault, had been saving the printed labels and probably the LP stampers as well. Only side 2 had to be re-mastered, ‘Spicks and Specks’ replacing the first song, quite likely edited to the old side 2 master tape. Although such mechanical considerations may have forced Nat’s hand on choosing material, the Monday’s Rain album was a good one and worth release.

The only catch was that then this whole later group of carefully recorded songs fell into a no man’s land because the Bee Gees were leaving the country and would therefore not be available to promote anything. It appears that the recordings were never delivered to Festival, but were taken instead by the boys’ publisher Belinda and sent around to managers as unusually polished demos.

Seven of the recordings were partly released. A singer called Ronnie Burns not only liked the songs but the tracks themselves, so he recorded his vocals over the instrumental backing. The tape he was sent contained twelve Bee Gees recordings, shown above in the order as on the tape, from ‘Exit Stage Right’ to ‘All By Myself’, and with the timings as given on the tape box. (‘The Storm’ was not on the tape.)

The Bee Gees recorded the non-Gibb song ‘Lonely Winter’ in exchange for Carl Keats’s band Steve and the Board recording a revised version of Barry’s ‘Little Miss Rhythm and Blues’. Each group was to have a song on their new album that was written by a member of the other group. Keats was later known under his real name Carl Groszman.

The song ‘Forever’ has orchestral accompaniment, so the recording must have some separate history. They might have recorded it for a television show that had a house orchestra. Otherwise it is hard to explain who paid for it.

All of the songs above, except ‘All the King’s Horses’ and ‘House of Lords’, were released in 1970 on a peculiar two-LP set called Inception / Nostalgia, that came out in Germany and France on Polydor’s Karussell label. The album also contained some of the band warmups and karaoke songs listed in the next sections below. Who provided this material to Polydor was never revealed, but Polydor did at that time have rights to issue Festival-era recordings of the Bee Gees, instigated by the boys’ Australian publisher. When compiling the all-inclusive Brilliant from Birth CD set in 1998 Festival archivists reported privately not having master tape of any of the Inception / Nostalgia songs, but only what they called ‘lacquers’, the industry term for any type of archival disk. The sound quality for the only available copies of the songs is below that of other St Clair recordings.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal, harmonica
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, guitar
others — guitar, drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about June to July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

ANOTHER TEAR FALLS
Burt Bacharach, Hal David (1962)
original by the Walker Brothers, 1966
mono 1:50, lead vocal Robin Gibb
unreleased

DAYDREAM
John B Sebastian (1966)
original by the Lovin’ Spoonful, 1966
mono 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

IF I NEEDED SOMEONE
George Harrison (1965)
original by the Beatles, 1965
mono 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased

PAPERBACK WRITER
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1966)
original by the Beatles, 1966
mono 3:05, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

TICKET TO RIDE
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1965)
original by the Beatles, 1965
mono 3:10, lead vocal Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

YOU WON’T SEE ME
John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1965)
original by the Beatles, 1965
mono 3:10, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

It seems these songs were not intended for release, although that calls into question why they were committed to tape at all. Dennis Wilson, a session player working at Ossie Byrne’s studio, recalls hearing the Bee Gees and friends playing ‘Paperback Writer’ only two days after the Beatles single had come out, which would be about the first week of June. They did a few other Beatles songs and recent chart hits by the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Walker Brothers. These recordings are noted here only because some of them ended up on the Inception / Nostalgia set in 1970.


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal
with pre-recorded backing tracks of unknown origin
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: ?
sometime in 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

THE END
Sid Jacobson, Jimmy Krondes (1958)
original by Earl Grant, 1957
mono 2:59, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

HALLELUJAH I LOVE HER SO
Ray Charles (1956)
original by Ray Charles, 1956
mono 2:11, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE
Leon Payne (1949)
model by Jim Reeves, 1962, or Al Martino, 1963
mono 2:28, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

SOMEWHERE
Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim (1956)
from the musical West Side Story, 1956
mono 3:01, lead vocal Robin Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

THE TWELFTH OF NEVER
Paul Webster, Jerry Livingston (1956)
original by Johnny Mathis, 1956
mono 2:40, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

YOU’RE THE REASON I’M LIVING
Bobby Darin (1963)
original by Bobby Darin, 1963
mono 2:18, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

YOU’RE NOBODY TILL SOMEBODY LOVES YOU
Russ Morgan, Larry Stock, James Cavanaugh (1946)
model by Frank Sinatra, 1961, or Dean Martin, 1965
mono 1:52, lead vocal Barry Gibb
Inception / Nostalgia, 1970

Asked about these songs in 2001, Maurice recalled that the boys found backing tracks in Ossie Byrne’s studio and decided to record their own vocals to them. That makes it sound as if they are all from one day’s karaoke session. They would not be worth listing here if they had not been released on the Inception / Nostalgia album in 1970 and then on a few later albums. Although nicely sung they are surely among the most forgettable Bee Gees tracks ever. They also appear on CD on Brilliant from Birth, Festival.


Bip Addison

Bip Addison — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, piano, bass, 12-string guitar, harmonica, maraccas
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Colin Petersen — drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

HEY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 1:47, lead vocal Bip Addison
A side, August 1966

YOUNG MAN’S FANCY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:06, lead vocal Bip Addison
B side, August 1966

The Bee Gees worked on singles for eight other artists right around the same time as they were creating ‘Spicks and Specks’. The songs were variously by Maurice and Nat, Barry, and all three brothers. They feature instrumental and vocal work by the Gibb brothers, and Colin Petersen is on some of them.

For this pair of songs, Maurice sang with sixteen-year-old Bip Addison on both sides, and based on Bip’s memory years later, Maurice overdubbed many instruments as listed. Barry played guitar on the A side, and all three brothers sang backup on the B side. Bip recalled also that Colin played drums on this session.


Sandy Summers

Sandy Summers — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, piano, guitar, bass
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Colin Petersen — drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

MESSIN’ ROUND
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 1:28, lead vocal Sandy Summers
A side, August 1966

A GIRL NEEDS TO LOVE
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:56, lead vocal Sandy Summers
B side, August 1966

Maurice sings backing vocal on the brief up-tempo A side. The B side ‘A Girl Needs to Love’ is an excellent ballad by Barry with a melody similar to his later ‘Words’ and the trademark Maurice and Barry instrumental sound. It sounds like a Bee Gees recording off the Spicks and Specks album. Maurice (or Barry) is singing along with Sandy for almost the entire song, and all three sing backup.


Anne Shelton

Anne Shelton — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, piano, guitar, bass
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Colin Petersen — drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

TALK TO ME
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:22, lead vocal Anne Shelton
A side, August 1966

I MISS YOU
Nat Kipner, Ossie Byrne (1966)
mono 2:40, lead vocal Anne Shelton
B side, August 1966

Young Anne Shelton, sixteen, purrs the A side with backing vocal by Maurice. Once again the B side ballad is the better song. Although it was written by Nat and Ossie, it gets the full Bee Gees treatment with an instrumental track by Maurice, Barry, and Colin, and the three brothers singing backup.

A promo sheet for this single discovered in 2002 says the upcoming disk features songs written by Maurice Gibb and Barry Gibb. Is this just an error, or is the credit on the label an error? Asked in 2002, Nat Kipner does not remember the song.


Vince Maloney

Vince Melouney — vocal, lead guitar
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others unknown
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ TONIGHT
Cliff Bennett (1966)
mono 2:01, lead vocal Vince Melouney
A side, September 1966

MYSTERY TRAIN
Junior Parker, Sam Phillips (1953)
mono 2:34, lead vocal Vince Melouney
B side, September 1966

The Bee Gees sing backup for Vince Melouney, who would become their lead guitarist in England in 1967. The A side was an obscure recent single by the English band Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.


April Byron

April Byron — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, piano
Barry Gibb — vocal
Robin Gibb — vocal
Dennis Wilson — guitar
Michael Cuprati — guitar
John Jones — bass
Russell Barnsley — drums
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

HE’S A THIEF
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:00, lead vocal April Byron
A side, October 1966

A LONG TIME AGO
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:51, lead vocal April Byron
B side, October 1966

This must have been recorded close to the date of ‘Spicks and Specks’ since the drumming career of young Russell Barnsley was cut short when he decided to go back to being a butcher’s assistant after just a few sessions at St Clair. The drum pattern on ‘A Long Time Ago’ is reminiscent of that on the verses of ‘I Am the World’.

Other similarities to the sound of Bee Gees records make one wonder about these players being on their disks as well, but Dennis Wilson at least says he never played on a Bee Gees record although he knew them from working at St Clair.

April Byron (April Potts) had a big hit in 1964 with ‘Make the World Go Away’. Here, the featured Maurice and Nat song is once again upstaged by a good B side by Barry. April is in fine voice for both songs, especially the challenging ‘A Long Time Ago’ which requires her to go from half-spoken verse to full-voice chorus.


M P D Ltd

Mike Brady — vocal, guitar
Pete Watson — bass, vocal
Danny Finley — drums, vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — piano strings (‘Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’)
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about July 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER
Danny Finley, Peter Watson (1966)
mono 2:31, lead vocal Mike Brady
A side, August 1966

I AM WHAT I AM
Danny Finley, Peter Watson (1966)
mono 2:25, lead vocal Mike Brady
A side, August 1966

The fifth single by a well-respected band had the Bee Gees singing backup on both sides. On ‘Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’ Maurice plays the solo by plucking piano strings like a guitar.


Ray Brown and the Whispers

Ray Brown — vocal
Laurie Barclay — guitar
Alex Zacali — guitar
John Manners — bass
Pat Jeffrey — drums
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
engineer: ?
producer: Joe Halford
August 1966, Festival Studio, Sydney

TOO LATE TO COME HOME
Arnold, Martin, Morrow (1966)
mono 2:24, lead vocal Ray Brown
A side, October 1966

This was one of the last recordings by the popular group Ray Brown and the Whispers, and the vocals were done separately after the band did the instrumental tracks. They had worked earlier with Robert Iredale and Bill Shepherd as the Bee Gees had done. John Manners recalls the recording date as August.

Reports of the Bee Gees singing on Ray Brown’s earlier single ‘I Am What I Am’ are not correct according to John Manners in 1998. They did sing on the M P D Ltd song ‘I Am What I Am’ (see above) which is a different song.


Ronnie Burns

Ronnie Burns — vocal
with backing tracks from Bee Gees sessions, 1966
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about November 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

COALMAN
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:47, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
A side, December 1966; Ronnie, 1967

ALL THE KING’S HORSES
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 1:45, lead vocal Ronnie Burns
B side, December 1966; Ronnie, 1967

As previously stated, Ronnie Burns recorded vocals to unreleased Bee Gees backing tracks. This took advantage of work already done, such as the special tape effects on ‘Coalman’, which was issued as a Ronnie Burns single in December 1966. The songs all have Barry and Maurice playing instruments, and sometimes the Bee Gees singing backup when that was part of the instrumental track, as on the B side ‘All the King’s Horses’. Ronnie’s lead vocal follows the Bee Gees’ models so closely that if the two versions are synched up it sounds like double-tracking. ‘Coalman’ is a few seconds shorter than the Bee Gees version in the fades at the beginning and end.

These first two songs were recorded at St Clair. Ronnie recalls that the Bee Gees were present when he went to record, and that Barry did as much as Nat did to produce the session. But Ronnie was based in Melbourne, and when he recorded to more Bee Gees tracks about six months later, it proved to be more expedient to send the tapes to Melbourne than to bring Ronnie to Sydney.


Lori

Lori Balmer — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
engineer: ?
producer: Ron Wills
late 1966, EMI Studio, Sydney

WHO’S BEEN WRITING ON THE WALL AGAIN
Barry Gibb (1965)
mono 3:07, lead vocal Lori Balmer
A side, January 1967

IN YOUR WORLD
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 2:24, lead vocal Lori Balmer
B side, January 1967

Lori Balmer, called Lori on the label, was eight years old when she recorded this single, and sounds like it. The A side was a re-make of a little-known single by another child singer, Jenny Bradley, from the year before, but the B side was a new song. Lori recalls that she rehearsed the song with the Bee Gees at St Clair, but the recording was not done there. Barry directed the session, and all three Bee Gees can be heard singing on it, with no credit, likely for contractual reasons.

Lori Balmer made another single with the Bee Gees in 1968 in England.


Marty Rhone

Marty Rhone — vocal, guitar
Marty van Wynk — guitar
Barry Kelly — organ
Jerry Darmick — bass
Roger Felice — drums
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — bass (‘Wild Thing’)
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
late 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

SHE IS MINE
Kenny Lynch (1966)
mono, lead vocal Marty Rhone
A side, December 1966

VILLAGE TAPESTRY
Marty Rhone (1966)
mono, lead vocal Marty Rhone
B side, December 1966

WILD THING
Chip Taylor (1965)
original by the Troggs, 1965
mono, instrumental track
unreleased

Marty Rhone (Carl Van Rhoon) was signed to Spin at the start of 1966, and naturally recorded at St Clair. For his first three singles he was backed by a band called the Soul Agents, and although the label of this fourth single credits only Marty Rhone, the Soul Agents’ drummer Roger Felice recalls them playing on this one too. He also remembers the Bee Gees singing backing vocals on both sides.

‘Wild Thing’ is an instrumental track of Marty Rhone on guitar and Maurice on bass, with some off-mic vocals. It may have been a first pass for a recording that was never completed with a vocal track, or it may have been just for fun.


Vyt

Vytautas Zvirzdinas — vocal
Chris Eggleston — guitar
Alex Hill — guitar
Carl Keats — guitar
Dennis Neville — bass
Geoff Bridgeford — drums
Steve Kipner, Marty Rhone, John Rowles — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
late 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

WHY DO I CRY
Barry Tashian (1965)
original by the Remains, 1965
mono, lead vocal Vytautas Zvirzdinas
B side, December 1966

Nat Kipner produced this first disk by the man with the long name, under a deal he had made with CBS in August. Aside from Vyt’s friend Chris Eggleston the backing is Steve and the Board plus a few other singers. The A side ‘I Haven’t Got You’ was recorded at the same session, but Barry, Robin, and Maurice, just visiting it seems, are only on the vocal track for ‘Why Do I Cry’, a song originally by the American band Barry and the Remains.


Python Lee Jackson

Malcolm McGee of this band recalls recording their single ‘Um-Um-Um-Um’ in November 1966 at St Clair with Nat Kipner producing and Maurice (not Ossie Byrne?) as recording engineer. The single was issued in December 1966 on CBS, probably the same day as the Vyt single noted just above. Maurice’s involvement is uncertain. Python Lee Jackson did open for the Bee Gees at their last Australian show in December.


Dennis Knight

Singer Dennis Knight recalls recording his single ‘Every Breath I Take’ with Barry, Robin, and Maurice on backing vocals, but this cannot be confirmed from the record, released on CBS in January or February 1967.


Barrington Davis

Barrington Davis — vocal, guitar
Maurice Gibb — vocal, guitar, piano, bass
others
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about November or December 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

AS FAST AS I CAN
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:35, lead vocal Barrington Davis
A side, June 1967

RAINING TEARDROPS
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:32, lead vocal Barrington Davis
B side, June 1967

This is an excellent pair of songs by Maurice and Nat, well matched to Barrington Davis’s strong vocals. Like Bip Addison and Anne Shelton, he was about sixteen at the time, the same age as Maurice.

Barrington recalls seeing Barry working on ‘Spicks and Specks’ with Maurice on piano at St Clair. If his memory is right, that would probably have happened when he recorded his first single, ‘Complicated Riddle’, not this one.


Jenene

Jenene Watson — vocal
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb — vocal
others
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about November or December 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

SO LONG BOY
Maurice Gibb, Nat Kipner (1966)
mono 2:21, lead vocal Jenene Watson
A side, March 1967

DON’T SAY NO
Barry Gibb (1966)
mono 3:16, lead vocal Jenene Watson
B side, March 1967

Publicity for this disk says that Jenene Watson was an ‘accomplished singer, dancer, versatile entertainer, a trouper in Australia and overseas’. These songs have a big band sound to them, like a postwar nightclub in England with Jenene’s posh enunciation (‘ahsk’). The Bee Gees may have recorded nothing here but a small amount of backing vocal. The instrumental parts sound different from the other recordings.


Jon

Jon Blanchfield — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, piano, bass, 12-string guitar
Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
others — drums, horns
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about November or December 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 2:48, lead vocal Jon Blanchfield
A side, February 1967

TOWN OF TUXLEY TOYMAKER, PART 1
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono 3:28, lead vocal Jon Blanchfield
B side, February 1967

Jon Blanchfield is another artist who recalls the Bee Gees working on ‘Spicks and Specks’ while he was at St Clair. He adds that Barry wrote ‘Coalman’ at the same time. However, Jon spent some time with the Gibb family this year, and while he may have been at St Clair in July, other factors such as the writing credit suggest a later date for his recordings. His Festival contract dated January 1967 was for the release of these two already existing recordings.

Jon thought that they wrote the fast-paced ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ specifically for him. It’s surprising that in 1966 no one asked them to change the lyric ‘what the hell’ to something more acceptable on radio.

Judging by the way Jon sings, Barry sang lead on the A side and Robin on the B side, in whatever now-lost demos he had to work from. ‘Town of Tuxley Toymaker, part 1’ is the first in a series of songs featuring bizarre Robin lyrics, set for good measure to a melody inspired by ‘Matchmaker’ from Fiddler on the Roof. By the time Jon’s single appeared the Bee Gees were in England recording another version of it with Billy J Kramer. Part 2 has never appeared.

The sound quality of both sides is not up to Ossie’s standard for some reason. ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ sounds overloaded as soon as it starts, and the rhythm section gets lost under the vocals. Too many overdubs, perhaps? Or someone else at the controls?


Bee Gees

Barry Gibb — vocal, guitar
Robin Gibb — vocal
Maurice Gibb — vocal, bass, piano, guitar
others
engineer: Ossie Byrne
producer: Nat Kipner
about November 1966, St Clair Studio, Hurstville

GILBERT GREEN
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1966)
mono, lead vocal probably Robin Gibb, Barry Gibb
unreleased

DEEPLY, DEEPLY ME
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono, lead vocal probably Robin Gibb
unreleased

MRS GILLESPIE’S REFRIGERATOR
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (1966)
mono, lead vocal probably Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
unreleased

I CAN’T SEE NOBODY
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb (1966)
mono, lead vocal probably Robin Gibb
unreleased

The first three are the only songs known to be on an acetate disk that Hugh sent to NEMS, England, together with the Spicks and Specks LP and a cover letter dated November 25, 1966. The Bee Gees recorded the three songs again in England in 1967 but those versions were not released either until 2006. ‘Gilbert Green’ and ‘Mrs Gillespie’s Refrigerator’ were recorded by other artists in England.

Nat Kipner has said that ‘I Can’t See Nobody’ was made as a demo at St Clair, and Robin separately said that it was written in Brisbane, where they toured in November 1966. Whether all four of these songs were recorded at the same time is unknown, but they are all very late Australian recordings.


selected record releases


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Leedon, March 1966.

A I WANT HOME
B CHERRY RED

The Bee Gees’ last single on Leedon was not a hit. The credit ‘Barry Gibb and the Bee Gees’ used on the last several disks now reverted to simply ‘Bee Gees’.

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


John Hore : Hit the Trail
New Zealand: Joe Brown Label, 1966.

  TRIBUTE TO AN UNKNOWN LOVE

A Barry Gibb song from 1964 turned up on this New Zealand LP by country artist John Hore. It’s a catchy tune enhanced by whistling breaks.


The Richard Wright Group : single
Australia: HMV, May 1966.

A YOU CAN’T LOVE ’EM ALL
B NEITHER RICH NOR POOR

‘Neither Rich nor Poor’ was recorded before singer Richard Wright formed his group, who did play the A side. The personnel are not known, but David Mackay produced.

This is not the Richard Wright who was in the Australian band the Groop, and certainly not the Richard Wright from Pink Floyd.


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Spin, proposed May 1966.

A MONDAY’S RAIN
B PLAY DOWN

This single was not released. A second version with a different B side is listed as released a few weeks later. Both sides were on later disks.

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


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Spin, June 1966.

A MONDAY’S RAIN
B ALL OF MY LIFE

This single, the Bee Gees’ first on Spin, was criticized as being not original enough. The B side ‘All of My Life’ certainly is very Beatlesque.

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


Bee Gees : Monday’s Rain
Australia: Spin, proposed about July 1966.

A 1 MONDAY’S RAIN
A 2 HOW MANY BIRDS
A 3 PLAY DOWN
A 4 SECOND HAND PEOPLE
A 5 I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHER WITH MYSELF
A 6 BIG CHANCE

B 1 ALL OF MY LIFE
B 2 JINGLE JANGLE
B 3 TINT OF BLUE
B 4 WHERE ARE YOU
B 5 BORN A MAN
B 6 GLASS HOUSE

This proposed album would have followed the single ‘Monday’s Rain’. Some number of albums were actually manufactured, but it was not released, or possibly it was released and immediately withdrawn.


Bip Addison : single
Australia: Down Under, August 1966.

A HEY
B YOUNG MAN’S FANCY

Sandy Summers : single
Australia: Down Under, August 1966.

A MESSIN’ ROUND
B A GIRL NEEDS TO LOVE

Anne Shelton : single
Australia: Down Under, August 1966.

A TALK TO ME
B I MISS YOU

The Down Under label may have been owned by Ossie Byrne. It was in business only from July to October 1966, issuing singles and no LPs. The August releases consisted of three singles released on the same day by Bip Addison, Sandy Summers, and Anne Shelton, all recorded with the Bee Gees on instruments and backing vocals. All three are very rare today.

CD: All on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia), except ‘I Miss You’ which is on Bandstand's Singing Sweethearts, Festival (Australia).


M P D Ltd : single
Australia: Go!!, August 1966; Germany: Ariola, 1966.

A ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER
A I AM WHAT I AM

A double A-side single, a top five hit for this popular band. Bee Gees backing vocals, and Maurice on piano strings.

CD: M P D Ltd, The Legendary Go!! Recordings, Canetoad (Australia).


The Mystics : single
Australia: Down Under, September 1966.

A DON’T YOU GO, I NEED YOUR LOVE
B TURN THE LAMP DOWN

The Mystics were Ron Watford (vocal, guitar), Howard ‘Perry’ Wright (guitar, vocal), Peter Wright (bass), and Dave Bell (drums). This was recorded at St Clair with Ossie Byrne and Nat Kipner. Ron Watford recalls that Maurice was in the control room as musical director, but none of the Bee Gees are on the record. He also recalls hearing ‘Spicks and Specks’ at St Clair before it was released.

CD: ‘Don’t You Go, I Need Your Love’ on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Bee Gees : single
Australia: Spin, September 1966; UK: Polydor, February 1967.

A SPICKS AND SPECKS
B I AM THE WORLD

‘Spicks and Specks’ was a ballad built around a strong piano beat, Barry writing off a riff by Maurice in a way that would later get a joint writer credit. The single entered the Sydney charts at the end of September and stayed in the top forty for nineteen weeks, peaking at number 3, and elsewhere in Australia it reached number 1. The press also praised the B side, a Roy Orbison flavored production number by Robin that showed off his vocal range.

Success at last: but by the middle of October the Bee Gees were dead set on returning to England. It did finally convince Nat and Festival to release an LP, and it must have helped convince Polydor (England) to sign the group. This was the first Bee Gees single released in England.

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


Vince Maloney : single
Australia: Kommotion, September 1966.

A I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ TONIGHT
B MYSTERY TRAIN

Bee Gees backing vocals on both sides. Vince Melouney sometimes used the spelling Maloney to encourage the correct pronunciation of his name. He played lead guitar for the Bee Gees in England in 1967 and 1968.

Vince first became well known as lead guitar for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs in 1964 and 1965. In 1966 he released two singles as the Vince Maloney Sect and then this one as simply Vince Maloney. He may have played on Bee Gees recordings in late 1966 and he may have played on Tony Barber recordings the same year. Tony had been rhythm guitar for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs.


Barrington Davis : single
Australia: Down Under, October 1966.

A DEAR LADY
B COMPLICATED RIDDLE

Both titles written by Nat Kipner and Ossie Byrne, and produced by them, and recorded at St Clair. Barrington is not sure whether the Bee Gees sing or play on it. The songs are light pop, not as good as his second single written by Nat and Maurice.


April Byron : single
Australia: Down Under, October 1966.

A HE’S A THIEF
B A LONG TIME AGO

April Byron’s single was one of the last two on Down Under. Bee Gees vocals, and Maurice on piano.

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


Denise Drysdale : single
Australia: Phono Vox, October 1966.

A SUNSHINE SHADOWS
B RESCUE ME

The label reads ‘a T Barber - M Gibbs production’ on both sides. This presumably means Tony Barber and Maurice Gibb. Tony wrote ‘Sunshine Shadows’. Nothing is known of what Maurice contributed to this single. Denise recalls that it was recorded at St Clair.

Denise Drysdale is very well known in Australian television having appeared as host, sidekick and comedian on countless shows from the 1960s till the present day. At age 16 she was named the Girl of the Year for 1964 by Everybody’s magazine. She talked her way into touring with Ray Brown and the Whispers despite never having sung professionally, and that seems to have led to this record, the first of her two singles. She appeared on Go!! singing both sides of this single in October 1966.


Ray Brown and the Whispers : single
Australia: Festival, October 1966.

A RESPECT
B TOO LATE TO COME HOME

Bee Gees backing vocals on ‘Too Late to Come Home’. This was the last Ray Brown and the Whispers single.

CD: Ray Brown and the Whispers, Miles of Hits, Festival (Australia).


Bee Gees : Spicks and Specks
Australia: Spin, November 1966.

A 1 MONDAY’S RAIN
A 2 HOW MANY BIRDS
A 3 PLAY DOWN
A 4 SECOND HAND PEOPLE
A 5 I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHER WITH MYSELF
A 6 BIG CHANCE

B 1 SPICKS AND SPECKS
B 2 JINGLE JANGLE
B 3 TINT OF BLUE
B 4 WHERE ARE YOU
B 5 BORN A MAN
B 6 GLASS HOUSE

The great success of ‘Spicks and Specks’ led to the release of the Bee Gees’ second album, also called Spicks and Specks. As much as possible of the Monday’s Rain album was recycled to make this one. Like all their Australian recordings the LP was available in mono only. The release date is not definite but was probably late November or early December.

This album package was not released outside Australia and neighboring territories, and has never been issued on CD. These twelve songs were issued in 1968 in many countries, in a different running order, under the title Rare Precious and Beautiful. Many CD packages called Spicks and Specks have been issued. but a CD with the original running order of the LP was not reissued until 2013.

CD: All on Spicks and Specks, the 2013 release on Festival (Australia), but with a different version of ‘Play Down’. All including the originally released version of ‘Play Down’ on Brilliant from Birth, Festival (Australia).


Steve and the Board : The Giggle Eyed Goo
Australia: Spin, November 1966.

  LITTLE MISS RHYTHM AND BLUES

This song was previously recorded by Trevor Gordon in 1965. Either Barry or the band rearranged the verses and choruses to make it inventively different in this version. The Board’s garage band sound and Steve’s strangled vocals are a better match for the song. This was the other half of the trade in which the Bee Gees recorded ‘Lonely Winter’.

The group were: Steve Kipner (vocal), Carl Keats (guitar, vocal, songwriter), Alex Hill (guitar, songwriter), Dennis Neville (bass), and Colin Petersen (drums, songwriter). Colin was replaced later by Geoff Bridgeford (drums, songwriter). Their 1966 album, named after a hit single written by Nat, was recorded at St Clair with Ossie and Nat and released on Spin. It would not be surprising if the Bee Gees were there during some of the sessions, but there is no definite sign of any participation. Carl sings occasional harmonies, but much of the vocal is just Steve. Colin played drums on some of the Bee Gees’ sessions, and Steve added some harmonies.

Colin was later the Bee Gees’ regular drummer in England from 1967 to 1969.

Steve and the Board ended in May 1967, and the next year Steve Kipner moved to England. He recorded an album called Steve and Stevie with Steve Groves in 1968, and they recorded more songs as Tin Tin in 1969 with Maurice producing.

CD: Entire album, Ascension (Australia).


The Twilights
Australia: Columbia, possibly December 1966.

  LONG LIFE

The Twilights were a six-piece band from Adelaide who hit it big with their fifth single, ‘Needle in a Haystack’ (August 1966), and thus were allowed the privilege of recording an LP. It was a mixture of band-written songs and others, one of which was ‘Long Life’, possibly written specifically for them by Barry. David Mackay produced.

The lead vocal is by Glenn Shorrock, later in the Little River Band in the 1970s. Another key member of the Twilights was guitarist and songwriter Terry Britten.

CD: The Twilights, EMI (Australia).


Tony Barber

Tony Barber sometimes says that the Bee Gees are on ‘a few of the tracks’ of his 1966 album Someday... Now!, but careful listening fails to reveal any vocals or instrumentals that sound like the Bee Gees. Nat Kipner produced Tony’s records. His first single ‘Someday’, December 1965, was recorded at Festival Studios and reports in the pop music press indicate that all of his album was recorded there by the end of March 1966, with members of Steve and the Board participating. This is too early for Bee Gees involvement.

However Tony recorded two singles at St Clair in the middle of 1966 and it is easy to imagine the Bee Gees being involved with those. Tony is yet another artist who recalls ‘Spicks and Specks’ being recorded, including the detail of Maurice spending a long time putting tacks into the piano to get the sound he wanted. The credit on the Denise Drysdale single (see above) also suggests that Tony was working with Maurice sometime in mid year.


Vyt : single
Australia: CBS, December 1966.

A I HAVEN’T GOT YOU
B WHY DO I CRY

Bee Gees backing vocals on ‘Why Do I Cry’.

CD: ‘Why Do I Cry’ on Ugly Things No. 2, Savage Sounds from the Sixties, Raven (Australia).


Marty Rhone : single
Australia: Spin, December 1966.

A SHE IS MINE
B VILLAGE TAPESTRY

Bee Gees backing vocals.


Ronnie Burns : single
Australia: Spin, December 1966.

A COALMAN
B ALL THE KING’S HORSES

Ronnie Burns singing to Bee Gees backing tracks recorded earlier in 1966. This was a top seller in Australia.

CD: Both on Enter Stage Left, Festival (Australia). ‘All the King’s Horses’ is also on Assault the Vaults, Festival (Australia).


Mike Furber : single
Australia: Kommotion, December 1966.

A WHERE ARE YOU
B SECOND HAND PEOPLE

Possibly Bee Gees backing vocals, but press reports at the time of release say nothing about it. Furber probably recorded these songs before the Bee Gees versions were released (November 1966). The backing band were said to be Max Merritt and the Meteors. The single erroneously credits songwriting of ‘Where Are You’ to Barry Gibb.