Thesis Statement: Bob Marley's life affected his writing and contributed to the development of his poetry. Bob Marley is without a doubt the greatest musician a third world country ever produced. Through Rastafari ideas, he influenced many others with songs that touched the lives of millions with his constant message of unity. His wisdom through experience helped him achieve a grand distinction over other artists. In the year 1944, Captain Nor vol Marley, a middle-aged white marine officer, married a young Jamaican girl named Cedilla 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 grandfather's house (The Story). Soon after Bob was born his father left his mother. Bob's 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.
Trenchtown got its name because it was built over a ditch, which drained the sewage of old, Kingston. In Trenchtown Bob spent a lot of his time with his good friend Neville Livingston, who people called by his nickname, Bunny. He began to attend a music class with Bunny, which was held by the famous Jamaican singer Joe Higgs. In that class they met Peter Macintosh and soon became good friends. When Bob was 16, he started to follow his dream of becoming a musician. According to Michael Anderson, "Music to many young Jamaicans was an escape from the harshness of everyday life" (Anderson, 1).
Bob's life looked brighter on February 10, 1966 when he married girlfriend Rita Anderson. Rita gave birth to their first born whom they named Cedilla. Stephen, Sharon, and Ziggy then followed Cedilla. Bob Marley had quite a massive r'esum'e for his artistic career. It first started when he met 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 (Lieb lich, 7). Bob's musical talents shone much more brightly than 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. The band was introduced to Clement Dodd, a producer of the record company, Coxsone. 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. The next day after his marriage Bob left for the United States to visit his mother who lived in Delaware. 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's oul. They released a couple singles on their label such as "Bend Down Low" and "Mellow Mood" before Wail n's oul folded the very same year.
The ending of their label affected the band greatly; it wasn't 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." 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. 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. 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. 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.
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 KS AN-FM.
The whole experience boosted their popularity in North America. With 1973 winding down the Wailers released the much-anticipated follow up album to "Catch a Fire" called "Bumming." On this album many Wailer classics appear such as "I Shot the Sheriff" and "Get Up Stand Up." The Wailers popularity in North America grew even more when Eric Clapton re-recorded "I Shot the Sheriff", becoming a number one hit on the US singles charts. 1975 saw the release of the Wailer's third album, "Natty Dread" with such great tracks as "Talking Blues", "No Woman No Cry" and "Revolution." On the down side two thirds of the original Wailing Wailers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer quit the band to pursue solo careers. This caused the band to change their name again and this time to Bob Marley and the Wailers. The departure of the two members created a hole in the backing vocal section, this hole was filled and then some by the I-Threes (Rita Marley, Judy Mo watts and Marcia Griffiths).
That summer the band started a new European tour. Two of those shows were at the Lyceum Ballroom, both shows were considered among the top of the decade. Both shows were recorded and made the album "Live!" which included the unforgettable live version "No Woman No Cry" which was a worldwide hit. The last time the original Wailers ever played together was at a Stevie Wonder concert for the Jamaican Institute for the Blind.
Bob Marley and the Wailers continued their roll releasing the incredible album "Rasta man Vibration" in 1976. This capped off a type of Reggae-Mania happening in the states. Rolling Stone named them Band of the Year. On the Rasta Man Vibration album was the powerful track "War" which lyrics came from a speech given by Emperor Haile Selassie. Bob Marley decided to play a free concert at Kingston's National Heroes Park on December 5, 1976. The idea behind the concert was a peaceful message against the ghetto wars happening in Trenchtown at the time.
Tragedy struck two days before he went on stage; gunman broke into the Marley home and shot at Bob, Rita, and two friends. Luckily no one was killed. Despite this Bob Marley went on to put on a memorable show two days later at the Smile Jamaica concert. Following the show the band left for the United Kingdom.
While they were there they recorded 1977's "Exodus." It went to the top of the charts in many countries including England and Germany. It was also one of the top albums of the year. During their European tour, the band did a week of shows at the Rainbow Theatre in London. It was at the start of the tour when Bob injured his toe playing football. It was later diagnosed as cancerous.
Also during this tour Bob received a very important ring, whose previous owner was the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie. In May Bob was informed of his cancer. His cancer would most certainly be taken care of by amputating the toe, but Bob refused. To do so would be against his Rast.