Robert Nesta Marley (1945-1981) - The National Library of Jamaica

Robert Nesta Marley (1945-1981)

Bob Marley was born in St. Ann on February 6, 1945.  His father, Norval St. Clair Marley, was a white Naval Officer.  Marley’s mother’s name was Cedella Malcolm Marley.

Bob Marley’s move to Kingston was a milestone in his life.    During Bob’s eighteen months in Kingston he was introduced to music.  This was an introduction that would have profound effect on the rest of his life, the Jamaican community, and the world.

His music Career

The music of Bob Marley and The Wailers was filled with images of Third World strife alive with symbols and sayings derived from Jamaican and African traditions.  Later their music began to concern itself with social issues on the island, whether it was denouncing police harassment as in “Rebel Music” or in “Them Belly Full” about poverty and hunger.

The first song attributed to Bob Marley was “Judge Not” produced by Leslie Kong, when Bob was a teenager.  It was soon followed by “Terror” and “One Cup of Coffee”. In 1962 the Wailers were formed with Neville O’Riley Livingston, popularly known as “Bunny Wailer”, Winston Hubbert McIntosh, also known “Peter Tosh”, Bob Marley, Rita Anderson-Marley and Beverly Kelso.  In 1963 the Wailers big break came with their first single “Simmer Down” which stayed on the charts at number one for two months.  It was quickly followed by the release of “Rude Boy” and “Jail House”.

In late 1974, a new group was formed with Bob performing as lead singer with the I-Threes – Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths as back up singers.  From 1976 onwards, Bob Marley and the Wailers drew large crowds to their concerts.  They have toured extensively throughout countries such as the United States of America and Canada, the continent of Europe, Trinidad, Japan, Hawaii, Australia and most memorable of all Zimbabwe, Africa.

Bob Marley has left a legacy to the world, in the creation of Reggae Music.  Jamaica has become known worldwide because of the popularity of the man and his music.