Bee Gees’ Musical Resurgence: Unseen Footage from Johnny Carson’s 1973 Show

‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ featured ‘The Bee Gees’ on a 1973 broadcast. Johnny introduces them, saying, “My next guests have had quite a career. Their compositions have been recorded by people like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Mandy Williams, Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, and hundreds of others.”

Johnny continues, “This is their latest album called Life in a Tin Can. It’s always a kick to have them on the show.” The Bee Gees stand on a platform stage with orange carpeting, and the drummer is on the top step before the sparkling red background.

The guitarists are on the floor next to singer Robin Gibb. Brother Barry starts singing and strumming his white acoustic guitar. He sings a tender vocal intro to the tune ‘Wouldn’t I Be Someone.’

Robin and Maurice join in with a sweet harmony to Barry’s lead vocal. After the first chorus, the lead guitar player does a soulful solo. Robin takes the lead for verse two, holding his ear to hear himself better.

The second song has more movement, and the band starts rocking back and forth as the upbeat tempo to ‘Saw a New Morning’ gets them tapping their feet. Later, they go onstage, and Johnny asks if they compose all of their own music, and they say they do.

Barry says he and Robin take up most of the lyrical responsibility, while Maurice helps mainly with the melody because he plays many instruments.
Johnny asks how much the audience plays a part in their music, and Robin says they are a huge part because they are the reason they make music. Robin says he hates when they have big concerts because he feels the audience members further away can’t connect with them.

Barry backs him up and says Robin loves the audience, though. It’s his favorite part of the shows. Later, they talk about how they started when they were very young, and they would perform in matinee theaters before big shows to get a “Shilling a time.” The Bee Gees close their interview with an acoustic performance of ‘Massachusetts’ that showcases their fantastic harmony.

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Bee Gees\' Musical Resurgence: Unseen Footage from Johnny Carson\'s 1973 Show