The Bee Gees released “The Battle of the Blue and the Grey” in Australia on this day in 1963.
This was the first single released by the group. They would go on to release new music as a trio throughout the next thirty-eight years. As of this writing, the last living member, Barry Gibb, still releases music on his own. At the time of this song’s release, primary songwriter Barry Gibb was just sixteen years old. Maurice and Robin Gibb, meanwhile, were each just thirteen years old.
Interestingly for a trio of English boys then based in Australia, the song is based on the American Civil War. Specifically, the song focuses on the jauntily nostalgic remembrances of a Confederate Soldier, including a meeting with General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and shooting a Union Soldier. The group’s ties to the United States would continue throughout their careers, with some of their most well-regarded work being done in the US and several of their most famous songs focusing on US-based themes.
The B-Side to this song is “Three Kisses of Love”, also written by Barry Gibb. This song, even shorter and more simplistic than the A-Side, particularly shows off the great vocal harmonies the trio would become known for as their careers went on.