Bob Marley Brought Reggae To the Masses

Sometime in the 70's I was having a drink with a record business colleague, who told me he'd just gotten back from Jamaica and fallen in love with Reggae Music...said it was the next big thing. Well he was right to an extent, Reggae, sometimes mixed with Ska and Rocksteady (please don't ask what the difference in the various genre's is, because I don't know) had a large following and created at least one superstar, BOB MARLEY.

 

In his short life, Marley who was a very talented singer-songwriter and guitarist, was a strong Rastafari, who infused his music with spirituality and marijuana inspired messages. He had started the group, THE WAILERS, in 1963 and they were gaining international recognition when they broke up in 1974, and Bob went solo.

 

He moved to England where he cut his album, EXODUS, in 1977, which started him on his path of becoming one of the biggest selling artists in the world with it's four International Hit Singles: Exodus," "Waiting in Vain," "Jamming," and "One Love." The next year he dropped his second album KAYA, that threw off two more hits, "Is This Love" and "Satisfy My Soul."

 

All this established him as a great artist whose music established the reputation of Jamaica as a hotbed of musical innovation. From the wings, it appeared that like all the Jamaican artists he stayed stoned most of the time, and he seemed to always have a smile on his face. I should add that an important part of the Rastafarian religion includes using pot to open your mind to the Cosmic, so he was basically doing a sacrament.

 

He died in 1981 from Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, a form of skin cancer, at age 36. Bob Marley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame  in the early class of 1994, and his list of awards and honors worldwide is long and impressive. Scott found this great video in beautiful color and excellent sound of Marley performing: NO WOMAN CRY, and if you've never seen him at work this clip will give you a good idea of his presence on stage. @therealdonrocks

 

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