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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Bob Marley

Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley was born on February 6, 1945, at Rhoden Hall in St. Ann, Jamaica.

As a child, he lived at Nine Miles in St. Ann, but moved to Kingston with his mother while still in his early teens.
They lived in the Trench Town area and he attended several primary schools. Bob was sent to learn welding at the age of fifteen but gave this up for music, which he dearly loved.

In 1964 Bob teamed up with Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer) and Winston McIntosh (Peter Tosh) to form the "Wailing Wailers".

The group experienced many difficulties and membership changes, but eventually settled and called themselves the "Wailers". They formed Tuff Gong Label in 1970, which marked a turning point in their career. Soon the Wailers' reputation had spread outside Jamaica.

After the breakdown of the group in 1974, Bob formed his own group "Bob Marley and the Wailers". His success was Phenomenal and he was acknowledged internationally as the world's best reggae music exponent.
At the peak of his career, and with many hits to his credit, Bob succumbed to cancer and died on May 11, 1981. Shortly before his death, the government of Jamaica awarded him the Order of Merit in recognition of his contribution to Jamaican music.

Two statues have been executed in honour of Bob Marley. One by Christopher Gonzales, located at the National Gallery of Jamaica and the other by Alvin Marriot, which stands in Celebrity Park close to the National Stadium.
Bob Marley's musical legacy was left in good hands. His widow Rita, a reggae singer in her own right, and their children, "The Melody Makers", continued to build on their rich inheritance to the benefit of Jamaica.

Bob Marley's birthday is being celebrated globally.In Imphal, India, there will be staging of the 13th Annual Bob Marley Tribute, held for 12 years in Shillong, and for the first time in Imphal with music by Roots Reggae Band featuring guest artistes Daniel Boko from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh; Rewben Mashangva from Ukhrul, Manipur; PhuNingDing from Karbi Anglong, Assam; Dymsal from Shillong, Meghalaya; X-Cannibals from Imphal, Manipur and Jerry from Aizawl, Mizoram.

In Kenya, from February 6-8, there will be Bob Marley Day Street Walk and shows. The street walk will join children from Nairobi, Mombasa , Kisumu, Meru and Nyeri who have been affected by the crisis of election in the country. Events include First Word of Jah (Prayer), a fun day and a concert
On Friday February 8, Mexico will host a Tribute to the Reggae Legends (formerly Bob Marley Day) Celebration in El Foro, Tijuana, while Slovenia will have a Reggae Vibes Earthday Celebration of Honourable Robert Nesta Marley in Tovarna Rog, Ljubljana, today

For more global celebrations check the Jamaican Observer.

The Jamaican Gleaner did a tribute to Bob by interviewing several people who knew Bob well.
Lorana Wainwright, a neighbor, was quoted as saying, " I used to climb up in a tree and look over and I was fascinated with the family. Not only did Bob bring a sense of peace with his music but has made Global awareness of Reggae and Rastafarian.
He would of been 63 today. There is much controversy as to whether or not he should of had the surgery that could of saved his life. However, Bob knew he would be more accepted in death than in life. He prophesied his death years beforehand, so he was ready. Rest in Peace Bob.

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