Bob Marley: from the outcast half-breeds to the stars of world scale

Bob Marley — Jamaican musician, guitarist, vocalist, and composer, all recognizable and many beloved personality. Even if you are far from the music, then surely you’ve heard the song «Do t worry, be happy!» And the appearance of this artist’s style of reggae is quite memorable: a black guy with a happy smile, a beard, a cigarette in his mouth and dreamy. And even after 40 years after the death of the singer and he is considered as the most famous artist in this style. And to make him a worthy competition, nobody managed to this day — reports

Reggae is not just a genre of music. It’s a whole culture, a way of life, a religion that originated in Jamaica. But thanks to the Bob Marley culture reggae popularized in other countries.

The birthday of king of reggae, February 6, we talked about how the world has glorified Marley, making him a real cultural hero.

How it all began?

And if many think that Marley was the father of reggae, then they are deeply mistaken. He just popularized it to the masses. And the style originated in Jamaica in the late 60-ies of the last century and represented a version of the mixing of two styles — ska and Rocksteady. The first band to release a single in this genre, was considered the group Toots and the Maytals. And this event occurred in 1968.

The Jamaican Diaspora brought this style to America and Europe. In the same year, the popular British band the Beatles recorded the song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, which also has been traced to Jamaican rhythm.

Reggae, thoroughly accustomed to the UK and is especially fond of local skinheads. But do not confuse modern skinheads are associated with racism, with the English skinheads of the 60-ies, which was not so far right at the time. Besides, the British skinheads were mostly black, so among them were held in high esteem «black music».

Outside of the Jamaican styles ska and reggae was considered to be music subcultures. It was not until that moment until the famous guitarist and singer Eric Clapton did not record the song «I Shot The Sheriff», which became their own version of the song Bob Marley and the Wailers, which he had heard given to him on the album Burnin’ in 1973. This composition shone first place in the American charts of 1974. It was a real breakthrough, a hit! The combination of melancholy with hints of tragedy has made this song very popular at that time. And then the people had a desire to know the name of the author of this masterpiece.

Childhood and adolescence

By this time Bob Marley was already a recognizable actor, but only at home. Boy Bob was born in a rather poor family, and since childhood, fond of singing. True to play music at first had homemade instruments.

Since childhood, Bob has left a mark. The fact that his father was white. For this he was teased by not only the boys in the yard and at school, but also a great-grandmother who never missed a chance to be nicknamed little Marley “the German boy”. In 50 years the family moved to the Trench — the poorest district of the Jamaican capital. There is a guy also waiting for ridicule.

The only outlet for Marley was the meeting with Mortimer Planen, who was considered the guru of Rastafarians. He became the spiritual mentor and inspiration for the future of the singer. Taking the faith, the future artist grew his hair, braided them in dreadlocks, which was considered one of the attributes grow suspicious and hostile to the faith at the time. Her followers are called Rastas, which in other words meant outsiders. But as for Marley to be an outcast you have already entered into a habit, so this faith only brought him close to the same as he people that have supported him.

From Rasta is your God named Jah. Rasta smoke marijuana, which is considered among them a sacred plant, is able to bring man to God. Now this move is no surprise, but in the 60s Rasta perceived as a sectarian advocating Smoking pot.

First steps in music

The only salvation for Bob was music. When Marley worked in a team of welders, he met Desmond Dekker who in his spare time also studied music and wrote songs. Marley followed his example, and so was born the first single «Judge Not». 16-year-old song of his called not to judge people harshly.

Together with Bunny weyler (Neville) musician-Amateur met the third young man, whose name was Winston McIntosh (after he took the stage nick Peter Tosh). The three of them formed the band The Wailers. All three were on equal footing in the group, but it is Marley wrote most of the songs for the band, and execution of the main vocals, too, belonged to him. Peter Tosh knew how to play musical instruments. After playing the guitar learned and Marley. But that reluctance to concede from two other comrades Marley in the group had a negative impact on the existence of the trio.

In 1963 came the first single, «Simmer Down», which was known as real hits in their native Kingston. This song was an appeal to the youth groups of the city to temper its enthusiasm, having stopped robberies, fights and murder.

And despite the fact that their first album under the name the Wailing Wailers (1965) was snapped up Marley and colleagues are barely making ends meet, because all the money from sales took away the producer with whom to argue, it was simply dangerous to life.

The desire to improve their financial situation, Marley decided to go to work in the United States: by the time he had married Rita Anderson and had to feed his family. After moving to Denver, Marley took a job as a cleaner at the hotel and even had time to moonlight as a chauffeur in the factory Chrysler. Feeling as if in a cage, Marley decided to return to his native Jamaica, where at least he was penniless, but free and with his family.

I go to live in London…

Life and then took a musician with different people. So in the late 1960s Marley meets Lee «Scratch» Perry — local producer-innovator, who advised Marley to move away from the ska style and pay attention to the style of reggae. The musician liked the idea. So soon Bob began working with reggae producer Leslie Kong and composer Jimmy Norman. His wife Rita acted as co-author and singer.

In the life of Bob Murli and his group began a new round. They moved to London 70 years. Fate brought them together with Chris Blackwell, the head of the record company Island Records. Blackwell immediately saw in Marley unprecedented potential:

«I’m doing mostly rock music, an important aspect which has always been rebellion, the image of a rebel. And I realized that the way Jamaicans I need something like that. But I have not met anyone who could embody this rebellious image until I saw Marley. He appeared, and I realized that I had found what I was looking for.»

So in the Union with Blackwell, the group released two albums in one year: Catch A Fire and Burnin’.

The Collapse Of The Wailers

Considering Blackwell selfish man, in 1974, Bunny weyler and Peter Tosh decided to leave the band. Marley on the other hand, believed that methods of doing music business with Blackwell working. The musician remained nothing how to find other singers in the band and Jamaican reggae took a new turn. It was more graceful music, but all with the same inherent Jamaican drive.

In 1975 he released a new hit «No Woman No Cry». Now Marley appeared on stage differently. Though he was small, puny, but during the concerts on the stage turned into a real lion.

His songs were still full of deep meaning. He did not depart from the justice, equality, war, peace, love, and faith in God.

In 1976 he released a new album of Bob Marley’s Rastaman Vibration, which quickly became a bestseller in America. Such unprecedented success of the contractor was the cause of the attempt on his life on 3 December 1976. Marley escaped with minor injuries, his wife Rita were shot in the head, but she survived.

The attack, which occurred two days before the planned concert forced Marley to retire. Not scared of the musician, even the possibility of re-assassination.

In 1978 in London to Marley came messengers from Jamaica, who asked the musician to return home and save the country from the prevailing political conflict, which has already turn into a bloodbath. Marley agreed and played the concert of reconciliation at the end of which the two opposing leaders even shook hands. Music Marley performed a miracle.


In 1977, Marley heard a terrible diagnosis — melanoma on the big toe. Education proved to be malignant, but the amputation of a finger, the musician refused. All that was decided Marley, is an operation to remove a portion of skin and nail. The disease progressed.

In 1978 Bob Marley was again organized an attack. During a concert in Zimbabwe in the concert hall was tear gas. But all went well.

Not only in September 1980. The disease finally caught up with the artist. During a morning jog Marley fainted. Diagnosis: multiple metastases throughout the body. But this did not prevent the gauze in two days to give his very last concert, after which he went to the hospital, where eight months of unsuccessfully treated. Then Marley decided to fly to live out their last days at home to Jamaica. But this was not to happen. His life ended on may 11 36 year life in a hospital in Miami. The last words he said to his son were:

«Life can’t buy money.»

May 21, the body of the singer was transported to Jamaica, where he was buried solemnly in one of the local chapels.

It often happens that after the death of the interest in famous people is only increasing, however, as a rule, lasts not for long. But not in the case of Bob Marley. His songs are still in many mouths. Some of them can be considered an anthem of freedom, good mood and happiness. Marley still remains the most famous performer of reggae at all times.