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17 December 2021, 14:43
Bee Gee brother Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb appeared their wives and children on Cilla Black's christmas TV show in a rare family outing for the famously private stars.
Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb were appearing on Cilla Black's Christmas, a one off show produced by LWT, when they invited their wives and children to join them for a beautiful rendition of 'Silent Night'.
The special event is not only unusual because the Bee Gees are joined by wives Linda, Dwina and Yvonne but because they weren't even recording any music together in 1983; They instead released solo albums and wrote Kenny Rogers’ Eyes That See In The Dark LP.
Barry had previously been married to Maureen Bates, whom he married in 1966 when he was just 19, but the couple divorced in 1970 not long before he married Linda Gray, who had recently been crowned Miss Edinburgh at just 17-years-old.
Barry and Linda have five children: Stephen (born 1973), Ashley (born 1977), Travis (born 1981), Michael (born 1984) and Alexandra (born 1991) and seven grandchildren and divide their time between their homes in Miami and England.
A fifty year marriage is almost unheard of in music circles, yet Barry says having his wife by his side through his career has made all the difference to him: “Linda, along with me, has seen everything you can see if you’re a pop group on the rise. She never missed anything and that’s something to take great comfort from,” Gibb told the Roxborough Report in 2012.
“We can talk to each other about any single instance in our lives and what happened to the group and she was there.”
Gibb called Linda a “tower of strength” in the same interview, saying she is “always right behind me and she’s either going to give me a top on the head or a kick up the ass.”
Barry attributes a lot of his success to his wife and thanks her for not allowing him to go down the same path as the other Gibbs (Maurice suffered from alcoholism and Andy Gibb died from a drug overdose when he was just 30-years-old).
“My brothers had to deal with their demons, but I was married to a lady who wasn’t going to have it,” he told The Guardian in 2020.
“I could bring drugs into the house, but they would end up down the toilet. She never allowed me to go in that direction. I had to deal with my brothers being pretty much out there, but I was lucky.”
Barry has also spoken about remaining faithful to his wife despite and both having many opportunities to stray in their half a century of marriage.
“I do remember [Australian tennis star] Evonne Goolagong tried to get me to go out with her about 25 years ago. She asked me if she could come over!” Barry told The New York Post in 2016, adding that his wife had had offers too.
“One time we were at the Record Plant in Los Angeles and Steve McQueen tried to take off with Linda on the back of his motorbike! She’s a very beautiful woman, and had just as many opportunities as me!”
Whilst Barry's 50-year relationship with Linda may be unusual, the other Gibb brothers also brief marriages followed by long and happy unions.
They had two children: Adam (born 1976) and Samantha (born 1980) and the pair were together for the rest of Maurice's life.
However, the star's alcohol problems came to a head in 1991, when he pulled a gun on his wife and children after a month-long binge.
They left him and immediately went to brother Barry's house, refusing to return until he had got sober once and for all.
Maurice went to rehab, and eventually returned to his family when he recovered.
He and Yvonne renewed their wedding vows in 1992, with the ceremony attended by their families and many of the friends Maurice made while at rehab. He would stay sober until his death in 2003.
Robin Gibb first married In 1968, to Molly Hullis, a secretary in Robert Stigwood's company, and they had two children together: Spencer (born 1972) and Melissa (born 1974).
Molly and Robin divorced in 1980 after years of living apart from each other and he went on to marry his second wife, Dwina Murphy, an author and artist.
The second marriage lasted from 1985 until his death in 2012. and the couple had a son together, Robin-John (known as RJ, born 1983), who recently said he wants Rami Malek to play his father in a biopic about the Bee Gees.