Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag
Jamaica Flag


BOB NESTER MARLEY

Bob marley Bob marley Bob marley Bob marley Bob marley

Bob Marley has been and still continues to be touted as one of the greatest musicians ever. His vibrant Reggae music took the world by storm and catapulted his Island country Jamaica to international centerstage. As a matter of fact, up until today, two decades after Bob's death, the two things that come to people's minds at the mention of Jamaica are Bob Marley and his Reggae music. What sets Bob aside from other major musicians is the fact that his music transcends all geographic and ethnic barriers and can easily be heard blaring in even the least expected places. Bob's music also had life, which is quite uncharacteristic of most musicians today because their music dies off in a matter of months. Some of the albums Bob released way back in the 1970's are still on demand today and act as a lasting testament to his legend.

But Bob was not just a musician making money off his albums. He was a visionary, smart enough to realize that his musical talents accorded him a rare pulpit powerful enough to enable him to speak against injustices around the world, especially against his people of African descent. Needless to say, Bob became a very respected figure around the world, and Africa in particular, where his inspirational tunes played a huge part in the struggle against colonialism. In what he once described as one of the greatest honours bestowed on him, he was invited by President Robert Mugabe of the African country Zimbabwe to perform during the ceremony marking the country's independence in 1980. Bob returned Zimbabweans the favour by recording the song Zimbabwe.

Robert Nester Marley was born in 1945 to Captain Norval Marley and Cedalla Booke in the Jamaican town of St.Ann. St. Ann also happens to be the birth place of other Jamaican greats including Marcus Garvey and the other great Reggae artist Burning Spear(Winston Rodney). Very little is said about his white father but it is known that he left soon after Bob's birth. Bob then moved with his mother to Trenchtown where his mother hoped to find a job. It was in Trenchtown that Bob began a musical career that would take him around the world and propel him into music immortality.

Bob's music career can be traced way back to 1962 soon after he ran into then teenage music sensation Jimmy Cliff. Jimmy introduced Bob to a local record producer called Leslie Kong, who helped Bob record two singles Judge Not and One More Cup Of Coffee. Unfortunately, neither of these songs did well and soon Bob broke ranks with with his local producer Leslie Kong. In 1963 Bob joined his childhood friends Neville Livingstone(Bunny Wailer) and Peter Macintosh(Peter Tosh) to form a band called Wailing Wailers. The Wailing Wailers recorded several songs under the Coxsone Record label including Simmer Down, It Hurts To Be Alone, and Rule The Roadie which did very well in Jamaica. They soon left Coxsone Records and changed their name to The Wailers. They also formed their own record label called Wail 'N Soul under which they recorded such hits as Bend Down Low and Mellow Mood. Wail 'N Soul records did not last long and soon afterwards, The Wailers got a new producer named Lee Perry who helped them record such hits like Duppy Conqueror, Soul Rebel, 400 Years, and, Small Axe. By 1970, The Wailers were already a big hit in Jamaica eventhough on the international stage, they were still relatively unknown.

The Wailers left for London in the early 1970's where they got signed by Island Records. With Island Records, they released their first album Catch A Fire which did very well and to this day is considered a milestone album in Reggae Music. This is because before Catch A Fire which was an exclusively Reggae album, Reggae music was sold on compilation albums, often mixed with music from other genres. In 1973, The Wailers released a follow-up album called Burning which featured all-time hits like I Shot The Sherrif and Get Up Stand Up. The Wailers' popularity in North America was further boosted when American icon Eric Clapton recorded a remake of their song I Shot The Sherrif topping the US Single's Chart.

In 1975, The Wailers released their 3rd album Natty Dread featuring such hits as Talking Blues, No Woman No Cry and Revolution. However in the same year both Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, who had stood beside Bob since their early days as the Wailing Wailers, left to pursue solo careers. Bob then changed The Wailers' name to Bob Marley and The Wailers and went on to record the hit album Live!. Bob Marley and The Wailers went on to release the album Rastaman Vibration in 1976, which contained the hit song War, believed to have been inspired by by a speech given by Emperor Haile Selassie.

In December 1976, Bob had a brush with death when gunmen attacked his house just two days before a scheduled free concert. Though obviously shaken by the incident, the courageous Bob put up a memorable show and after the concert, left with his band for a European tour. While on the European tour, they recorded the album Exodus, which rocked music charts in Europe and to this date, is considered one of his finest works. It was during this European tour that Bob came face to face with the biggest challenge of his life. He was diagnosed with cancer. Following the terrible news of Bob's cancer, the rest of the "Exodus European Tour" was cancelled and his fans worldwide were gripped with apprehension, knowing full well the serious implications of his diagnosis. To treat Bob's cancer, it would require that his toe be amputated. Bob's strong Rastafarian beliefs did not allow him to pursue that line of treatment, which effectively left him staring death right in the eye.

Though openly overwhelmed by his medical condition both physically and emotionally, Bob was determined to push on with his music career and went on to record the album Kaya in 1978. Also in the same year he recorded the live album Babylon By Bus. In April the same year he played at the memorable "One Love One Peace" concert in Jamaica where he stunned the crowd by calling Jamaican President Michael Manley and Leader of the Opposition Edward Seaga to the stage and had them make a reconciliatory handshake. Bob's symbolic act at this concert earned him a lot of praise worldwide and culminated in him being awarded the "Peacemaker" award by the United Nations. Bob then capped this memorable year with a trip to Mother Africa where he visited Kenya and Ethiopia. In Kenya he was warmly received by among others, President Jomo Kenyatta. In 1980, Bob would again find himself performing in Africa, this time in the West African country Gabon. It was also in 1980 that his band got an invitation from President Mugabe of Zimbabwe to perform at the ceremony marking the country's independence. The same year, Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded the album Uprising.

Bob's health at this time was seriously deteriorating and evidence of this came during his 1980 American Tour. While on tour, Bob almost fainted performing in New York and then collapsed the following day while jogging through New York's Central Park. On further examinations, his doctors found a tumor in his brain and gave him just a month to live. Against the advise of fellow band members who were now seriously concerned about his health and and asking him to cancel the rest of his American tour, Bob went on to perform an unforgettable show at Pittsburgh which sadly, would also be his last performance. After this performance, the rest of the American Tour was cancelled and Bob underwent intensive medical care. He was flown to Germany to get specialized treatment but even that could not save his life. Seeing that death was inevitable, he requested to be flown back to Jamaica so he could die there. Unfortunately he did not finish his homecoming trip and died on May 11th 1981 in a Miami Hospital. Bob was buried on on May 21st 1981 with full Jamaican honours and his funeral attracted a host of world dignitaries, among them Jamaican President and The leader of the Opposition.

Return to the Home Page

Copyright©AfricanTribute.com Inc., 2002
All Rights Reserved

World Banner Exchange Banner
World Banner Exchange BannerWorld Banner Exchange Banner


The Africa Banner Network