We remember today May 11, 2020 in a special way the Legend, Robert Nesta Marley who died exactly 39 years ago. Bob Marley was a classical testimony of grass to grace story. The only crowned King of Reggae Music, a prolific and inspirational song writer, a master guitarist, an outstanding band leader, a philosopher, a freedom fighter per excellence and a Rastaman.
|BOB MARLEY ON STAGE IN THE MID-1970s|
Born in Nine Mile, British Jamaica on February 6, 1945, Bob Marley began his professional musical career in 1963 when he formed a band called the Teenagers with his friends, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith. They later changed the name to the Wailing Rudeboys, then to the Wailing Wailers, at which point they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally to the Wailers. Their single "Simmer Down" for the Coxsone label became a Jamaican No. 1 in February 1964 selling an estimated 70,000 copies. The Wailers, now regularly recording for Studio One, found themselves working with established Jamaican musicians such as Ernest Ranglin, the keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and saxophonist Roland Alphonso. By 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had left the Wailers, leaving the core trio of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh. The trio were soon to break up also and each started a successful solo career.
|BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS|
Bob Marley continued recording as "Bob Marley & The Wailers". His new backing band included brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man" Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl "Wya" Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on percussion. The "I Threes", consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley's wife, Rita, provided backing vocals. In 1975, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, with a live version of "No Woman, No Cry", from the Live! album. This was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, Rastaman Vibration (1976), which reached the Top 50 of the Billboard Soul Charts.
|BOB MARLEY THE MISTIC MAN|
Under the name Bob Marley and the Wailers 11 albums were released (4 live albums and 7 studio albums). In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma; he died because of the illness on May 11, 1981. His fans around the world expressed their grief, and he received a state funeral in Jamaica. The greatest hits album Legend was released in 1984 and became the best-selling reggae album of all time. Marley also ranks as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with estimated sales of more than 75 million records worldwide. He was posthumously honored by Jamaica soon after his death with a designated Order of Merit. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.