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Bob Marley Essay, Research Paper

Marley, Bob (1945-1981), Jamaican singer, guitarist, and

songwriter, a pioneer of Jamaican reggae music.

Considered one of the greatest artists of the genre, he was

the first Jamaican reggae performer to achieve significant

international stardom.

Robert Nesta Marley was born on February,6 1945 in

Rhoden Hall, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica, but soon after

Marley was born the family moved to Kingston and settled

in Trench Town(so named because it was built over a ditch that drained the

sewage of old Kingston). Barley into his teens Bob and his Mother came to

Trench Town .His friends were other street youths, also impatient with their

place in Jamaican society. Soon after getting together with his street friends

Neville O’Riley he began to take his first hesitant musical steps .When he

formed his first harmony group, the Rudeboys, in 1961. The group later became

known as the Wailers. The Wailers included vocalists Bunny Livingston and

Peter Tosh, both of whom later embarked on successful solo careers. The

group’s early recordings were in a style called ska, a hybrid of New Orleans

rhythm and blues and Jamaican mento.. Mento was the first of the reggae

styles. (The term reggae is commonly used as a collective designation for a

number of successive forms of Jamaican pop music ska, rock steady,

poppa-top, and reggae.) By the late 1960s, influences from United States

rhythm and blues, Jamaican folk rhythm. Bob Marley emerged as a rising talent

in the Jamaican genre. In 1967 Bob Marley converted from Christianity to

Rastafarianism, a religion that has had influence with reggae music. The Rastafarian

movement of this period believed Haile Selassie I king of Ethiopia as the living god,

praised the spiritual effects of marijuana and endorsed black racial superiority. Marley’s

music contains elements of spiritualism and mysticism. Some songs call for personal

freedom through revolution, while others embrace carefree attitudes toward life or

convey stories of love. Marley and the Wailers recorded Catch a Fire (1972), Burnin’

(1973), Natty Dread (1975), and Live (1975), among other albums. During the 1970s,

amid great political and economic turmoil in Jamaica, Marley cultivated a rebel image.

He was increasingly becoming a political figure, he survived a 1976

assassination attempt at his home in Jamaica. After that Bob Marley went to Europe and

enjoyed a new degree of success in England, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Other albums that furthered his success were Rastaman Vibrations (1976),Exodus

(1976), Babylon By Bus(1978) , Kaya(1978),and Uprising(1980). Reissues of his

earlier work were also very popular at the time .

During his lifetime Marley’s music influenced the movement towards black political

independence. A movement popular in African and South American nations .His music

for many still symbolizes the hopes of the downtrodden for a better life outside urban

slums. His style ,the clarity, conviction and sincerity of Marley’s performances, and his

unique, melodic style of song writing, have influenced many. Marley will always be

remembered and his sprit will never be forgotten.

Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981.The music world had lost one of its true and potent

activists. A man who went from the ghettos of Trench Town to the top of the world to

spread his message everywhere.


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