Bob Marley
Essay Preview: Bob Marley
Report this essay
Bob Marley
Bob Marley is the greatest musician that a third world country has ever produced. His songs touched the lives of millions and his constant message of peace helped to shape Jamaicas future. His breakthroughs in Reggae also helped in the formation of Rap and Rhythm and Blues.

In the year 1944, Captain Norvol Marley married young Jamaican girl named Cedella Booker. On February 6, 1945 at two thirty in the morning their son, Robert Nesta Marley, otherwise known as Bob Marley was born in his grandfathers house (The Story). Soon after Bob was born his father left his mother. Bobs Father did, however give financial support and occasionally arranged to see his son. It was now the late fifties and jobs were scarce in Jamaica. Bob followed his mother from their home in St. Ann to Trenchtown (West Kingston) to seek employment in the big city (White).

Trenchtown got its name because it was built over a ditch, which drained the sewage of old, Kingston (White). In Trenchtown Bob spent a lot of his time with his good friend Neville Livingston, who people called by his nickname, Bunny.

Also in the big city Bob was more exposed to the Soul music which he had loved, including such legends as Fats Domino and Ray Charles. Bob and Bunny attended a music class together that was held by the famous Jamaican singer Joe Higgs. In that class they met Peter Macintosh and soon became good friends. In the meantime Jamaican music evolved and became very popular throughout the Caribbean due to its invention of Ska music (White).

When Bob was 16, he started to follow his dream of becoming a musician. According to Timothy White “Music to many young Jamaicans was an escape from the harshness of everyday life” (White).

One of those kids was Jimmy Cliff who at the age of 14 had already recorded a couple of hit songs. After meeting Bob, Jimmy introduced him to Leslie Kong, a local record producer. Bob followed his advice and auditioned for Leslie Kong (The Story). Bobs musical talents shone much more brightly then anyone else that day and found him in the studio recording his first single “Judge Not”. Unfortunately neither “Judge Not” nor his 1962 single “One More Cup of Coffee” did very well (The Story). Bob soon left Kong after she failed to give him his pay. The following year Bob, Bunny and some other friends formed the Wailing Wailers. They didnt get off to a great start and after a couple of recording sessions two members, Cherry and Junior Braithwaith left the band (White). The band continued on and was introduced to Clemet Dodd, a producer of the record company Coxsone (The Story).

It was here where the Wailing Wailers recorded the first song “Simmer Down” which did quite well in Jamaica. To help with the recording of their songs the studio provided several talented Ska musicians.

The Wailing Wailers were consisting now of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny who were starting to become quite popular locally. Their audiences rapidly grew and they recorded several more songs on the Coxsone label, which included “It Hurts To Be Alone” and “Rule the Roadie”. Bob soon took on the role of the leader, being the main songwriter.

Bobs life continued to look brighter on February 10, 1966 when Bob Marley married girlfriend Rita Anderson. The next day Bob left for the United States to visit his mother who lived in Delaware (White). While in North America he worked to better finance his music and soon returned home. When Bob Marley returned the Wailing Wailers music evolved from Ska to Rock Steady. This evolution conflicted with Coxsone who wanted a Sim band. So the new Wailing Wailers left Coxsone to form and renamed themselves the Wailers.

Instead of looking around for a new label the Wailers decided to form their own which they called Wail n Soul. This coincided with the birth of the Marleys first born whom they named Cedilla. They released a couple singles on their label such as “Bend Down Low” and “Mellow Mood” before Wail n Soul folded the very same year (The Story). The ending of their label affected the band greatly; it wasnt until they met Lee Perry that they got back on track.

With the help of Lee Perry and the Wailers produced such great tracks as “Duppy Conqueror”, “Soul Rebel”, “400 Years” and “Small Axe”. 1970 saw the Wailers family grow with the addition of Aston “Family Man” Barret and his brother Carleton. The

Wailers were now quite popular throughout the Caribbean but still internationally unknown. With this popularity the Wailers called Tuff Gong after a nickname of Bob Marley formed a second more successful label. The Wailers met Johnny Nash and soon Bob accompanied Nash to Sweden and London (White). When in London, Bob recorded “Reggae on Broadway” which was released by CBS. After this the rest of the Wailers arrived in London to help promote the single only to find that there were out of money and stranded there.

With little options available, Bob went into the Island Records Basing Street Studios and asked to speak to the boss, Chris Blackwell with hopes of a possible record deal. Mr. Blackwell had already heard of the Wailers and signed them on the spot. He advanced them eight thousand pounds so that they could fly back home and record their first album for Island. This was a massive deal, for the first time a reggae band would have access to the finest recording facilities.

The album they released was “Catch a Fire”; it was very well received by critics and was one of the first reggae albums. Before the Wailers reggae was sold on signals or compilation albums. In the spring of 1973 the Wailers arrived back in London to kick off their three-month tour of Britain. At the conclusion of the tour they returned back to Jamaica where Bunny decided to quit touring to spend more time with his family. Joe Higgs replaced him (White).

The Wailers along with Higgs traveled to North America were they were scheduled to open 17 shows for the number one black act in the States, Sly and the Family Stone. The Wailers were fired after 4 shows because they were more popular than they band they opened for, the crowd often chanted “Wailers” well into the Sly and the Family Stone set (White). They also opened on occasion for Bruce Springsteen. After Sly and the Family Stone axed the Wailers they found themselves once again without money and stranded, this time in Las Vegas.

Somehow they found their way to San Francisco. While there they did a live concert broadcast for the radio station KSAN-FM. The whole experience boosted their popularity in North America. With 1973 winding

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Bob Marley And Wailing Wailers. (June 1, 2021). Retrieved from