Disco

The Brothers Johnson

QUESTION:  George Johnson's nickname was "Lightnin' Licks."  What did his brother Louis go by?
A)  "Thunder Thumbs"
B)  "Bellicose Bass"
C)  "Slappin' Slams"
D)  "Slammin' Cymbals"
ANSWER BELOW

Today the American Treasure Tour blog revisits the vinyl wall in our Music Room, honoring one of the bands for which we are happy to make a nostalgic call to, but who is less remembered today. The Brothers Johnson earned their name because they are, in fact, brothers. Los Angeles-based Louis and George Johnson formed their band in 1975 when they were teenagers but, prior to becoming a duo, they were Three Plus One. The band included their older brother Tommy and their cousin Alex. Although they were a band in their own right back then, they were better known as a backing outfit for such acts as Bobby Womack and the Supremes.  They performed Rhythm & Blues and funk predominantly, but moved on into Gospel and other styles of music later on in their career.  

The album we would like to discuss today is their 1980 studio release Light Up the Night. It was their fourth album, and their third to reach number one in the R&B charts (1977's Right on Time only made it to number two).  It included the hit "Stomp!" which reached number one on the R&B and disco charts, and made it to the top ten on the pop charts as well.  It also did extremely well in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. It was also the last album the Brothers Johnson made together that made any substantial impact on the charts at all, so they broke up as a musical act in 1982 to pursue separate projects, while still occasionally getting back together for their fans.  Tragically, Louis Johnson died in 2015 at the age of sixty.

ANSWER:  A)  "Thunder Thumbs"

Andy Gibb

Andy_Gibb_shadow dancing.jpg

QUESTION:  Andy Gibb had four siblings, including older brother Barry.  Who of the following was not one of them?
A)  Maurice
B)  Lesley
C)  Cynthia
D)  Robin
ANSWER BELOW

Anyone with an appreciation for the music of the seventies has definitely heard of the Gibb brothers.  Three of them would become international superstars in their own band, called the Bee Gees.  The Bee Gees formed in 1958, the same year their younger brother Andy was born. He was nine years old when they had their first number one hit called "Massachusetts," in their native United Kingdom.  It wouldn't be until 1971 before they reached number one in the United States, with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart."  Andy was thirteen. Their star dominated the musical skies by 1977, when their soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever proved disco would last forever.  By that time, Andy had been the lead singer of a few different bands. None of them took off, but his solo career did.  With the help of older brother Barry, Andy released his first record, Flowing Rivers, which included his "I Just Want to Be Your Everything" and garnered the youngest Gibb some positive attention.

Andy's second album, the subject of today's blog, is called Shadow Dancing. It came out in April 1978, by which time he had become a teen heart throb.  It would be his hugest success. The songs were all written by Andy and his three brothers and gave Gibb four top-twenty hits. Andy would only record one more album - 1980's After Dark - prior to his untimely death at the age of thirty. Some diagnoses of Gibb's death claimed he died of natural causes, although it is likely his heart failed in part due to complications from years of cocaine abuse. Sadly, of the four Gibb brothers, only the oldest, Barry, remains with us today, but we have their music with us always.  Come to the American Treasure Tour and admire Andy's sophomore album, displayed on our vinyl wall in the Music Room.

ANSWER:  C)  Cynthia.