Over three decades after his death, the immortal words the revered Bob Marley gave the world, continue to inspire.
Protestors around the world, whether those at Occupy Wall St. styled protests or elsewhere, continue to chant “Get Up Stand Up” … “Some people think a great God will come down from the sky, take away everything and make everybody feel high/but if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth and now we see the light, we’re gonna stand up for our rights!”
If he were alive, Bob Marley would have turned 67 today. Bob Marley was born Robert Nesta Marley on February 6, 1945. He remains the best-known and admired performer of reggae music and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.
Despite the poverty and despair among the ghetto dwellers in Trench Town (in the Jamaican capital of Kingston) where he lived in his teens, Bob Marley’s musical genius was nurtured too and served as a source of inspiration for him.
Bob immortalised Trench Town in his songs No Woman No Cry (1974), Trench Town Rock (1975) and Trench Town, the latter released posthumously in 1983.
In 1963 Bob Marley and his childhood friend Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer) were introduced by successful singer Joe Higgs to Peter (Macintosh) Tosh and The Bob Marley and the Wailers legend was born. Bob and Bunny attended vocal classes by Joe. The Bob Marley and the Wailers legend was born.
The Wailers were at their peak in the 70s. Their second album Burnin was released in October 1973, featuring some of Bob’s most celebrated songs, including Get Up Stand Up and I Shot The Sheriff, which Eric Clapton covered and took to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.
Clapton’s cover significantly elevated Bob Marley’s international profile, the same year that Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left the group.
Tosh and Bunny were replaced in Natty Dread which released in October 1975, by Rita Marley (his wife), Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt.
More international fame came to Bob Marley in 1976 with the release of Rastaman Vibration, his only album to reach the Billboard Top 200.
In early 1980, he was invited to perform at the Zimbabwe’s Independence Day. Uprising (1980) was Bob Marley’s final studio album and is one of his most religious productions. It includes Redemption Song and Forever Loving Jah.
Bob Marley, the legend who gained everlasting fame starting from the ghettos, died on the morning of May 11, 1981, at the age of 36, from melanoma which spread to his lungs and brain.
Happy Birthday Bob and thank you for the music, forever.