Sole surviving Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, will release his latest album, Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, on Friday (January 8th.) The collection features Gibb teaming up with Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Olivia Newton-John, Sheryl Crow, and Alison Krauss, and others on a new take on the Bee Gees' classic tunes.
In a new chat with Billboard, Barry Gibb explained how an R&B song he and his late-brothers Robin and Maurice wrote became a country music sensation: “There were so many songs that were really written in the spirit of country music. 'Islands In The Stream,' for instance, was written for Diana Ross, but when I agreed to work with Kenny (Rogers), he wanted to do a duet with Dolly (Parton). And so we suggested that one — we knew it was good, we knew it was potentially very strong, but we didn't know it was a duet. So we just went to work on that, and the R&B song became a country song. There's such a close link between country music and R&B music. Songs like 'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,' the rest, these are country songs.”
During a recent chat on CBS This Morning, Barry Gibb was asked if it was a difficult decision to carry on without his brothers: “Yeah, it took me a decade to get there. I had to give up on issues in life that I'd had with my brothers. I'm leading a double life; I'm trying to be me — the individual, but I'm also. . . I also feel passionate that I have to be one of the Bee Gees no matter what happens.”
Shortly before his 2012 death, Robin Gibb told us he cherished his relationship — both professional and personally — with older brother Barry: “I feel more — every day as I go on — fortunate to be born into a family where Barry is my brother, because I get to work with him! And he's one of the greatest writers of all time. I mean, out of all the millions of families that are born in the world, I got to born in the family with him. How good can it get?”