Bob Marley

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Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a promoter of peace and believed in the union of all people. He used his music as a channel to get his opinions and thoughts out into the world. “Me only have one ambition, y’know. I really have only one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together-black, white, Chinese, everyone-that’s all.”

Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6th, 1945 in the small ghetto of Nine Miles, in the parish of St. Anne, Jamaica. His father was a white British Naval officer named Narval Marley, and his mother was a young, poor Jamaican girl named Cedalla Brooker. The well-to-do Marley family did not approve of Narval and Cedalla’s relationship(Clark).

Despite marrying Cedalla, Narval was more of an occasional visitor rather than a father figure to Bob(Clark). He did not survive to see his son’s success. After a few years, Bob and his mother moved to Trenchtown (western Kingston), which was built around the former Kingston refuse dump(Salewicz). People would spend their days scavenging for whatever they could find here(Salewicz). The shanty-town people who lived here considered it desirable accommodations and were not ashamed of their home at all(Salewicz). Trenchtown was also considered a spiritual power point for the Rastafarians, which is a major form of religion in Jamaica(Salewicz). It is said that those who have nothing, and therefore nothing to lose, are not afraid to express their talents(Salewicz). This was true for many people who lived in these areas, including Bob.

Living in Kingston, Bob cut his first record at the age of 16, with a song called “Judge Not”(Clark). This album was a complete flop. In his teen years, he had many influences, including Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Joe Higgs(Peake). He also loved Jamaican, Ska, and Rock Steady music(Peake). The biggest influence that anyone had ever had on Bob was Joe Higgs(Salewicz). Joe was the areas most famous singer and musically prominent Rasta, or person who followed the Rastafarian religion(Salewicz). He was Bob’s first mentor and introduced him to Peter Tosh, and Bunny Livingston, who would be his future band mates(Salewicz). Bob, Peter, and Bunny all took part in evening music sessions in Joe’s Third Street Yard every night.

When he was just 18, Bob, Bunny, and Peter formed the Wailin’ Wailers, and their first song “Simmer Down” was an instant number one in Jamaica(Pagewise). From here, their success grew.

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