History Before becoming an independent state in 1962, Jamaica’s music industry consisted mainly of American Covers. As the music in the United States lost its soulful and blues roots , Ja m aican artists lost interest.
Laurel Aitken Wilfred “Jakie” Edwards Alton Ellis Joe Higgs Derrick Morgan Owen Gray Stranger Cole Eric “Monty” Morris The Blues Busters Toots & The Maytals Delroy Wilson Jimmy Cliff The Wailers Desmond Dekker Jackie Opel Justin Hinds and the Dominoes The Skatalites
The Skatalites By far, the most influential ska band in Jamaica, the Skatalites were a pioneer of the upbeat style of playing, and were the most successful early recording band. They were lead by Count Ossie, and featured one of the most highly regarded trombonists at the time; Don Drummond.
STYLE Contrary to the faster and more cheerful beats of ska, rock steady slowed down the tempo, added some electric bass, and got rid of the horns. Lyrics were less about happy-go-lucky topics, such as lollipops, and more concerning Rastafarianism and storytelling.
Jimmy Cliff Among the most commercially successful and influential artists in Jamaican music. An avid protester of the Vietnam war, and power abuse, Jimmy wrote songs such as “Vietnam”, which Bob Dylan called “the greatest protest song I’ve ever heard.” He has been a Christian, a Rasta, and a Muslim.
Reggae music crawls into your bloodstream like some vampire amoeba from the psychic rapid of upper Niger consciousness. “ ”
DO THE REGGAY The word “reggae” was never used to describe this type of music until 1967 when Toots & the Maytals wrote “Do the Reggay”. It has been thought to have come from the Latin regin , meaning king, and could be referring to Emperor Haile Selassie, but according to Toots Hibbert, it was simply a word that described their type of music.
Toots & The Maytals One of the most revolutionary reggae groups ever assembled, and a pioneer of lingo and style. Responsible for songs like “Do the Reggay” and “ 54-46 (That’s my Number” which has been hailed as the greatest reggae composition ever.
BUNNY WAILER He was a vocalist, songwriter, and percussionist for The Wailers. He is a three- Time Grammy Winner (1990, 1994, and 1996).
So on the earth will tilt on its axis and begin to dance to the reggae beat to the accompaniment of earthquake. And who can resist the dance of the earthquake, mon? ~Peter Tosh
PETER TOSH Known for his biting sarcasm and dark sunglasses, Peter Tosh was often intimidating to those who had never met him. Peter was famous for his wit and clever re-arrangements of commonly used words. Peter was shot in and killed in his home on September 11, 1987. Mystic Man Bush Doctor
Robert Nesta Marley was born at 2:30 on February 6, 1945 to Norval Marley and Cedella Malcolm. From the age of three, Robert was reported by authorities to have psychic powers, and read villagers hands with surprisingly true results.
By 1962, Bob was recording with his life-long friend Bunny Livingston, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, and was tutored by by the famous Joe Higgs. In 1964, the Wailers were born, and consisted only of Bob, Bunny, and Peter.
In 1966, Bob left the Wailers to sweep the floors of a hotel in Maryland. When he returned, Halie Selassie I had arrived in Jamaica, and he converted to Rastafarianism.
In 1968, The Wailers are signed to an American label, and begin to spread their music worldwide.
In 1978, Bob is asked to play at the “One Love Peace Concert”, where he is able to persuade Prime Minister Manley and Edward Seaga to shake hands. For this heroic and peaceful gesture, Bob is awarded the Peace Medal from the United Nations.
In September of 1980, Bob Marley collapses while jogging in Central Park, and is told by doctors that the cancer in his foot has spread throughout his lungs and brain. He is told that he has only weeks to live.
Bob Marley died on May 11, 1981 in Miami Florida. His final words were “money can’t buy life” to his son Ziggy.
After his death, Jamaican parliament went into a 10 day recession. On May 21, Jamaica held a state funeral, and hosted the biggest crowd in Caribbean history.
Robert Nest Marley was buried in Nine Miles, St. Ann. This site is now the Bob Marley Museum.
Reggae music lives on through acts like the Marley sons, Burning Spear, and Third World…. … but nothing will ever compare to the raw emotion and innovation emitting from Jamaica circa. 1967.