Bob Marley

Bob Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley on April 6, 1945 in a rural St. Ann's Parish in Jamaica; the son of a middle-aged white father and teenaged black mother, he grew up poor in Trenchtown. He left home at 14 to pursue a music career in Kingston, becoming a pupil of local singer and devout Rastafarian Joe Higgs. Bob's first recording attempt was his first single "Judge Not" in 1962 for Leslie Kong.

In 1963 Marley teamed with fellow singers Peter Mac Intosh, Bunny Livingstone, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso and Cherry Smith to form the vocal group the Teenagers; later rechristened The Wailing Rudeboys and later simply the Wailers; they signed on with producer Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One and recorded their debut "I'm Still Waiting. However it wasn't until 1964 that the Wailing Wailers first hit the Jamaican charts. The record was "Simmer Down," and over the next few years the Wailing Wailers was properly established as one of the hottest groups in Jamaica. Mclntosh later shortened his surname to Tosh, while Livingston is now called Bunny Wailer. On February 10, 1966 Marley married Rita Anderson.

By the end of the Sixties, with the legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry at the mixing desk, The Wailers were again back at the top in Jamaica. This combination resulted in some of the finest music the band ever made. Tracks like "Soul Rebel" and "400 Years" were not only classics, but they defined the future direction of reggae. In 1972 the Wailers signed to Island Records. It was a revolutionary move for an international record company and a reggae band. For the first time a reggae band had access to the best recording facilities. The Wailer's first album, "Catch A Fire" broke all the rules: it was beautifully packaged and heavily promoted. And it was the start of a long climb to international fame and recognition.

A year later came "Burnin"', an LP with tracks like "Get Up Stand Up" and "I Shot The Sheriff". The female vocal trio the I-Threes (which included his wife Rita Anderson) was added. In 1975 Bob Marley & The Wailers released the extraordinary "Natty Dread" album, and toured Europe that summer. The shows were recorded and the subsequent live album, together with the single, "No Woman No Cry," both made the UK charts. By that time Bunny and Peter had officially left the band to pursue their own solo careers. "Rastaman Vibration", the follow-up album in 1976, cracked the American charts. It included "War," the Iyrics of which were taken from a speech by Emperor Haile Selassie. In 1977 Exodus was released, which established Marley's international superstar status. It remained on the British charts for 56 straight weeks, and netted three UK hit singles, "Exodus," "Waiting In Vain," and "Jamming." In 1978 the band released Kaya, which hit number four on the UK chart the week of its release.

There were two more events in 1978, both of which were of extraordinary significance to Marley. In April that year he returned to Jamaica (he had left in 1976 after the shooting that had almost cost him his life), to play the One Love Peace Concert and at the end of the year he visited Africa for the first time, going initially to Kenya and then on to Ethiopia, spiritual home of Rastafari. In 1979 the Survival LP was released. A European tour came the following year: the band broke festival records throughout the continent, including a 100,000 capacity show in Milan. Bob Marley & the Wailers were now the most important band on the road that year and the new "Uprising" album hit every chart in Europe.

On a European tour Marley & the Wailers played an informal soccer game (his other passion) against a team of French journalists. In the process, Marley injured his foot. Treatment revealed cancerous cells, but he refused surgery. In 1980, again on tour, Marley collapsed while jogging in New York's Central Park. The cancer had spread to his brain, lungs and liver. Marley fought the disease but the battle, however, proved to be too much. He died in a Miami Hospital on May 11,1981 at 36 years old. A month before the end Bob was awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit, the nations' third highest honor, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the country's culture. On Thursday, May 23,1981, the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley was given an official funeral by the people of Jamaica. Bob's body was taken to his birthplace where it now rests in a mausoleum. .

Marley has been called "the first Third World superstar," "Rasta Prophet," "visionary," and" "revolutionary artist." Marley was one of the most charismatic and challenging performers of our time. His style encompassed every aspect in the rise of Jamaican music, from ska to contemporary reggae. It's difficult to properly understand Bob Marley's music without considering Rastafari which was at the very core of the Wailers' music. Reggae's most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was to become the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far-flung corners of the globe. Bob Marley was. His legend lives on.

69 " Soul Shakedown", 70 "Soul Rebels", "Trojan", 73 "Catch a Fire", "Burnin' ", 74 " Natty Dread", "Rasta Revolution", 75 "Jah Live", "Live", 76 "Rastaman Vibration", 77 "Exodus", 78 " Kaya", "Babylon by Bus [live] ", 79 " Bob Marley and the Wailers", "Survival", 80 "Uprising", 81 "Chances Are", 83 "Confrontation", 84 "In the Beginning", " Riding High ", 86 "Rebel Music", 88 "The Bob Marley Story: Caribbean Nights", "The Mighty Bob Marley", 89 "Return to Dunns' River Falls", 91 "Bob Marley", "Talkin' Blues", 92 "Rebel's Hop", 93 "Reggae Magic", 94 "56 Hope Road Live", "Simmer Down at Studio One, Vol. 1", 95 " Bob Marley & Wailers", "One Day: Live","So Much Things to Say", "50th Birthday", "Dunn River Falls" , "Island Fever", "Reggae Classic", 96 "Mellow Mood" , "Reggae Sensation", "Rebel Revolution", "Soul Revolution, Vol. 2" , 1997 "Reggae in Dub", "Dreams of Freedom: Ambient
Translations of..
", 98 "Gabon '80 [live]," 98 "Chicago Live 1975", "Down South Miami [live]", 98 "Live at the Apollo Theatre", "Live at the Lyceum in London", "One Love Peace Concert [live]", "Rotterdam 1978 [live]", 99 "Try Me Sound", "Best of the Wailers", "Natural Mystic", "Live at Santa Barbra", "Bob Marley", "Kinky Reggae", "Treat Me Right Charly", "Bob Marley & the Wailers", "Lively Up Yourself", "Rainbow Country".

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