Last week I mentioned that my mom took me to see Chicago in West Germany in 1977 with Matt Wardlaw and his older sister— I mean, his mother. Yes, of course … his mother.

But Mama Cass did much more than take me to soft-rock concerts in a country where the phrase “crippling national identity crisis” is just another way of saying “We’re number one!” She also taught me the difference between right and wrong, and how promising to fight for what’s right can get you elected to office, at which point you stop promising and start apologizing for everything that’s about to go wrong.

If it weren’t for Mama Cass’s decades of love and support and blackjack earnings (even when I was a toddler, she only frequented casinos where 24-hour day care was available), I never would’ve been able to afford all those negative attack ads that helped me crush my opponents in the 2005 mayoral race. And if it weren’t for Mama Cass’s love and support of blackjack, Bootleg City would’ve given up after several attempts to legalize riverboat gambling and wouldn’t have become the first city in the nation — nay, the world! — to legalize paddle-boat gambling.

So thank you, Mama Cass. By drinking and smoking your way through the pregnancy, you took a gamble on me, but I hope I’ve made you proud by coming up aces. To show my appreciation for all you’ve done, here’s a bootleg from Matthew Boles that’s filled with BBC radio performances by your favorite group, the Bee Gees. In the late ’60s they had a Beatlesque sound and were officially known as a quintet — brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb were accompanied by guitarist Vince Melouney and drummer Colin Petersen.

Melouney left after the 1969 album Odessa, as did Robin, who disagreed with his brothers over the selection of the album’s first single. He quickly established a solo career with the British hit “Saved by the Bell,” but by the following year, after Barry and Maurice recorded Cucumber Castle (1970) and Petersen exited the group, Robin was back. The reunited siblings then had a big hit in the United States with “Lonely Days,” which reached #3 on the Billboard Top 40, and a year later had their first American chart topper, “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.”

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! Don’t forget to tip your paddle-boat dealer!

New York Mining Disaster 1941
To Love Somebody
I Can’t See Nobody
In My Own Time [Version #1]
Mrs. Gillespie’s Refrigerator
I Close My Eyes
Cucumber Castle
In My Own Time [Version #2]
One Minute Woman
Birdie Told Me
And the Sun Will Shine
Man for All Seasons
Lonely Days
Alone Again
Every Second, Every Minute
Saved by the Bell (Robin Gibb)
August October (Robin Gibb)
Weekend (Robin Gibb)

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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