July 30, 1977: Andy Gibb Hits #1 With ‘Everything’

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Andy_Gibb_-_I_Just_Want_to_Be_Your_EverythingIt’s never easy to prove yourself when you’re the younger sibling of a superstar; with rare exception, you’ll always live in a shadow. If you are talented yourself, you’ll spend your days wondering if you could make it on your own if you weren’t related to someone world-famous. Paul McCartney’s brother Mike was so determined to succeed or fail on his own merits that, when he formed his own band in England, the Scaffold, he changed his name to Mike McGear. They had a respectable run in the U.K.—even reached #1 with their 1968 single “Lily the Pink”—but everyone knew he was Paul’s little bro from the start despite Mike’s best efforts. Today he is better known for his photography than his musical career.

Andy Gibb didn’t try to pull one over on anyone. Born in 1958, he was the youngest of five children, three of whom—his brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice—happened to be the Bee Gees. Andy was still a child when his older siblings began tearing up the pop charts but as he grew up he too harbored dreams of becoming a famous singer. At age 13, he decided to make a go of it, quitting school to become a professional performer. He played in various bands in a few different locales and cut his first recording in 1973, well after the Bee Gees had been established as a major act, but the world wasn’t ready for another Gibb.

Andy hoped that a move back to Australia—where his family had lived during his childhood—might do the trick. He packed up and left England in 1974, with a couple of musician friends in tow. At first, nothing—although he cut a number of demos, only one track, 1975’s “Words and Music,” did anything, scraping into the bottom of the charts in Australia.

In 1976, Gibb’s luck began to change, but not without the help of his brothers. Signed to RSO Records, run by Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood, he began working on his debut album, Flowing Rivers, which was released the following year. For his first single, the label chose “I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” a track written by Barry Gibb and performed in the disco style that was, at the time, returning the Bee Gees to the top of the charts via their hits from the best-selling soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.

Related: Bee Gees book reappraises their “other” career

“I Just Want to Be Your Everything” began its slow climb up the U.S. Billboard chart on April 23, 1977 and finally, on July 30, it reached #1, where it remained for three weeks in all. Andy Gibb, too, was now a star. He would remain one into the early ’80s, reaching the top with his next two singles, “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” and “Shadow Dancing,” and placing four albums on the chart as well (the last being a greatest hits set in 1980).

Andy Gibb enjoyed all of the trappings of success but it soon caught up to him. As the ’80s unfolded his personal and professional life took several downturns, most notably a severe addiction to cocaine. For several years he lived an up-and-down existence, attending rehab but on March 10, 1988, Andy Gibb died, just five days after his 30th birthday.

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