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The History Of Bob Marley Essay, Research Paper

Bob Marley lived by his beliefs and was considered a prophet by many. Marley

preached his message of equality, anti racism, and freedom from oppression on every

continent during his nineteen year career. His great lyrics and reggae beat sent a powerful

message in the turbulent 60?s and 70?s.

During his career, Bob Marley released more than 25 albums and hundreds of

singles. Bob Marley captured audiences with a new type of music: a blend of African

beats, American rhythm-and-blues, and soul, known as reggae. Marley was responsible

for bringing this new music from the Caribbean Island of Jamaica to international


Though he stood only 5-foot four inches in height, Marley was larger than life.

Rolling Stone magazine in 1975, claimed ?Marley Mania? was sweeping America. The

Original Marley and the Wailers played with 1970?s superstars such as Stevie Wonder and

Sly and the Family Stone. Artists such as Eric Clapton and Johnny Nash recorded some of

Marley?s compositions. His music influenced Paul Simon?s Mother and Child reunion

album. On stage, Bob?s energetic movement and expression mesmerized audiences

everywhere. Off-stage, Marley was mysterious and spiritual. By some, he was considered

a Rastafarian prophet.

Robert Nesta Marley was the child of a young black Jamaican girl from the

countryside, and a much older, white, British military man. After the 50-year-old captain

named Norval Sinclair Marley impregnated the young Cedella Malcom, they wed and he

made a quick departure for Kingston. ?Ciddy? didn?t see him again until a few months

before his death in 1955. Bob was born on the 6th of February in 1945 in Ninemiles, St.

Ann Parish, Jamaica. Two prominent men in Bob?s life were Marcus Gravey and his

grandfather and surrogate father, Omeriah Malcom. The large Malcom family cultivated

the land on their large homestead and ran several of the family-owned businesses.

Bob was kidnapped and taken to Kingston by his father. He was taken away from

his mother for an entire year. Several years later Ciddy Moved with Bob to Kingston.

They lived in one of the most dangerous places known as Trenchtown where he met

Bunny Livingston. The apartment complex was built by the Government as emergency

shelters. That inspired him later to write a song called ?Concrete Jungle? which compared

the living conditions and poverty in the slum to the shackles of slavery.

Two days before Bob Marley was schelded to play the ?Smile Jamaica? Concert

six men entered where Marley was staying and shot grazing his stomach and elbow. They

also shot his manager five times in the groin area. He started the concert with a bang,

when he started with the song ?War?. The concert took place on December 5th 1976.

During the May 1977 tour of Europe. Bob was playing soccer with the ?Wailers?. And

some French Journalist when he injured his foot. And did not heal and Bob reluctantly

went to a doctor a month later in England. The doctor told him he had cancer and part of

his toe. would have to be amputated. due to his beliefs Bob refused and decided to rest. In

September 20th during 1980 during one of the New York concerts Bob nearly blacked

out. The following morning he went to go for a run with Skilly Cole, in Central Park, a

former manager and , in central park and Bob collapsed and was carried back to the hotel.

within days, Marley was told he had a brain tumor and suffered a stroke in the park. He

underwent radiation therapy losing all his hair. His dreads were collected and woven into a

wig. The wig was placed on his head when he was burned on the 21st of May in the year

of 1981.

When Bob Marley died, at the young age of 36, some believed that the age of

reggae music was over. Bur, they failed to notice that he had become a legend, and a

legend?s influence never dies.( Bob Marley by Margret E Ward. Mrckany musicians have

turned to Marley?s music time and time again for inspiration.

It was kind of ironic that during 1992, the Jamaican Tourism Board used a cover

version of Bob Marley?s ?One Love? as it?s theme song. Television commercials for

Jamaica stressed the beautiful lush green of the land and the ?peace, beauty and harmony

of the people who stand side by side, regardless of color. What was being advertised as

the perfect Jamaica is all Bob Marley ever wanted.


Ward, Margret E. Bob Marley. Long Meadow Press, 1993.

Gary Santiago

Bob Marley

the effect he had on the world

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