On this day in music history: January 6, 1979 …

On this day in music history: January 6, 1979 – “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #10 on the R&B singles chart on February 17, 1979. Written by Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, it is the seventh chart topping single for the pop music family trio from the Isle Of Man, UK. Taking a conscious step away from their recent uptempo singles, the Bee Gees record the soulful, lush ballad mid way through the sessions for their next album at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL in June and July of 1978. The group also enlists the assistance of Chicago’s horn section including James Pankow, Walt Parazaider and Lee Loughnane to play on the track. The Bee Gees spend the better part of the two months it takes to complete the song working out and recording the vocal harmonies on the song, which features nine tracks of three part vocal harmony (the equivalent of twenty-seven voices). “Too Much Heaven” is issued as the first single from the Bee Gees forthcoming album “Spirits Having Flown” in early November of 1978, the official follow up to the phenomenally successful “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. Entering the Hot 100 at #35 on November 18, 1978, it races to the top of the chart seven weeks later. The group perform the song live on the television program “Music For UNICEF” on January 9, 1979, with the brothers donating all of their royalties from the publishing and sales of the single to UNICEF. The single generates over $7 million for the children’s charity. “Too Much Heaven” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.