Bob Marley (Jamaica)

This week featuring Jamaica

BOB MARLEY

No Jamaican music list would be complete without the mention of the great Bob Marley (1945 – 1981).  Most people know of Bob Marley and his music so I thought I would share some little known facts about this musician.

  • Bob’s father was a 50-year-old white British naval captain, and his mother a 19- year-old black country girl.
  • His father instructed his mother to name the child Nesta Robert Marley, so she did.  A Jamaican immigration official suggested to Bob’s mom that “Nesta” sounded too much like a girl’s name. So they switched his name to Robert Nesta Marley.
  • He left school at 15 to become an apprentice to a welder.
  • Until Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962, the radio stations played music for the white, upper class. Marley and other natives set up mobile sound systems to play the Reggae beats they were making.
  • Marley was a Rastafarian. As such, he was a vegetarian and believed that marijuana (ganga), is a sacred herb. Rastafarians do not cut their hair.
  • When Bob was twenty-one, he lived in Delaware for seven months. During that time he worked the night shift at a Chrysler plant (about which he wrote in his song, “Night Shift”).
  • Bob, who at twenty-one married a beautiful Trenchtown Sunday school teacher named Rita.  He also fathered an untold number of kids by an untold number of women.
  • Peter Tosh was a guitarist in The Wailers, and a very important reggae singer/songwriter in his own right, he was murdered in his home in 1987.
  • When Bob discovered that the reason he was still poor after being so famous for so long was that his long-time manager and friend Don Taylor had been robbing him blind, Bob beat Don to within an inch of his life.
  • Two days before a free concert scheduled to be given in Jamaica, Marley, his wife Rita, and his manager, Don Taylor were victims of a shooting by unknown gunmen. It is believed that the shooting was politically motivated, luckily Bob had only minor injuries to his chest and arm.
  • For a long time Bob drove a BMW—which, as far as he was concerned, stood for Bob Marley and the Wailers.
  • Bob died of cancer (brain, liver, stomach, lungs) on May 11, 1981. He was thirty-six years old. In one day, 40,000 people filed past his coffin as his body lay in state in Jamaica’s National Arena.
  • Even though he died in 1981, Marley still sells more albums each year than any other Reggae artist.
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. xandimusic
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 10:44:02

    On of my favourite songs from him, fantastic!!!
    RIP Bon Marley!

    Reply

  2. Wendy
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 13:32:56

    🙂

    Reply

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