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Sunday, October 2, 2011


                         Bob Marley History
Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley being born on 6th February 1945 in the a small village known as Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.
His father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was born in 1895 and was a white Jamaican of English descent. His own parents originated from Sussex. Norval Marley was a Marine officer and captain as well as being a plantation overseer when he fell in love with and married Cedella Booker. She was a black Jamaican woman who was then just 18 years old. Although Norval Marley provided financial support for his beloved wife and son, he seldom saw them due to his being often away on naval trips.
The young Bob Marley was only 10 years old when his father died of a heart attack at the age of 60 in 1955.
As a youth, Bob Marley suffered much racial prejudice due to his mixed racial origins. He often faced questions about his own racial identity throughout his short life.
He was once quoted as saying:
"I don't have prejudice against myself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white."
Young Robert (Bob) Marley and his mother were forced to move to the slums of Kingston's Trenchtown after Norval's death. This was a very tough neighbourhood and Bob marley was forced to learn self-defense becauee of his being the target of bullying, mainly due to his racial makeup as well as his small stature of only 5'4". As he grew older, he earned himself a reputation for his physical strength which earned him the nickname "Tuff Gong".
Bob Marley made friends with Neville "Bunny" Livingston (who was later known as Bunny Wailer). They soon started playing music together as a natural progression of their friendship. Bob Marley left school at 14 to work as an apprentice at a local welder's workshop. In his free time Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston made music with another friend, Joe Higgs who was a local singer as well as being a devout Rastafari. Joe Higgs is regarded by many as being Bob Marley's mentor. It was at one of their frequent jam sessions with Higgs and Livingston that Bob Marley met Peter McIntosh (who was better known as Peter Tosh) who had similar musical ambitions.
In 1962 Bob Marley recorded and released his first two singles. "Judge Not" and "One Cup of Coffee" were produced by Leslie Kong, a local music producer. Both songs were released on the Beverley's label under the pseudonym of Bobby Martell. Unfortunately, they attracted almost no media attention and were complete flops.

Bob Marley's funeral, 21 May 1981: a day of Jamaican history

Richard Williams was at Bob Marley's funeral 30 years ago in Jamaica. He recalls an extraordinary carnival of music, prayer and full Rasta pageantry
Bob Marley in 1975, two years before he was diagnosed with the malignant melanoma that would lead to his death in May 1981. Photograph: Jonathan Player/ Rex Features
They buried Bob Marley on 21 May 1981 at Nine Mile, the village where, 36 years earlier, he had been born. His heavy bronze coffin was carried to the top of the highest hill in the village and placed in a temporary mausoleum painted in the colours of red, green and gold. Alongside Marley's embalmed corpse, the casket contained his red Gibson Les Paul guitar, a Bible opened at Psalm 23, and a stalk of ganja placed there by his widow, Rita, at the end of the funeral ceremony earlier in the day.
On the night of his death, on 11 May, I had gone to the Island Records studios in an old church in Notting Hill, west London, where Aswad had been cutting tracks in the very basement studio where Bob had completed Catch A Fire, his breakthrough album, nine years earlier. But it was long after midnight, and the musicians had gone home after watching the tributes to the dead man hurriedly assembled by the British TV networks. The only people left were a caretaker and one of Aswad's roadcrew, both Jamaicans.
"A sad day," I said, unable to think of anything more profound or perceptive.
They raised their eyes, and the roadie paused in the middle of rolling his spliff.
"Jah give," he replied, "and Jah take away."
That was the mood in Kingston when Marley's body arrived on a flight from Miami a few days later. There was no reason to grieve, the Rastas told anyone who expressed sorrow. Death meant nothing. Bob hadn't gone anywhere. He was still among us.
The announcement of the country's national budget was postponed by several days to accommodate Marley's state funeral. Invitations had to be sent out, the mausoleum had to be constructed, and security had to be organised at the National Arena, where the main ceremony would be held. And the prime minister, Edward Seaga, had to prepare his eulogy.

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