Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Robert Stigwood Has Died

Robert Stigwood, legendary producer and record company owner, died today in London at the age of 81.

Stigwood helped guide the careers of the Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Cream, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, founded the Robert Stigwood Organization in 1978.  The label RSO became the most successful label at the time, featuring the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Player, Clapton and Yvonne Elliman.  Stigwood promoted Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart at David Bowie.

But it was the the classic movie Saturday Night Fever and its accompanying soundtrack which really put Stigwood and RSO on the map.  Columbia, the company which oversaw the project, believed the movie would make $18 million worldwide.  Today, it has made well over $250 million.   The soundtrack album, featuring the Bee Gees, Elliman, K.C. and the Sunshine Band and the Trammps, became the #1 album of all-time, a position it held until Michael Jackson eventually overtook it with his Thriller album. 

Stigwood followed up that blockbuster with another, Grease, which again starred Travolta with Olivia Newton-John.  Both the movie and soundtrack were highly successful as well.

Stigwood was one of the first people to see how the various forms of media fit together, staging the London production of Hair.  Stigwood also staged Jesus Christ SuperstarSweeney Todd and Evita in the West End.

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