Bob Marley Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1945 - 1981 *** Full Name: Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley *** Occupation: Jamaican Reggae Singer, Songwriter, Musician and Guitarist *** Date of Birth: Bob Marley was born on February 6th 1945 *** Place of Birth: Bob Marley was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica *** Family background: His father was Norval Sinclair Marley and his mother was Cedella Booker. His father was a British-born White Jamaican born in Sussex, England with possible family ties to Syrian Jewish origins. He did not see his father very often although his father provided financial support for him and his mother. When he was ten years old his father died of a heart attack aged seventy years *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Jamaica *** Education: Bob Marley attended Stepney Primary and Junior High School ***
Bob Marley Fact 1: Bob Marley was born on February 6th 1945 and during the 20th century period in history when so many wonderful and terrible events shaped a New World. World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War but also such marvels as advances in medicine, technology, travel, the expansion of car travel and air travel and a massive change within the industry of entertainment.
Bob Marley Fact 2: Bob began playing music in school with his friend Neville Livingston.
Bob Marley Fact 3: At the age of twelve, two years after his father died, he moved with his mother to Trenchtown in Kingston where his mother and Neville’s father began a relationship and together they had a daughter called Pearl. As the two boys were now housemates their musical endeavors increased.
Bob Marley Fact 4: Once settled in Kingston he also began singing in a vocal group with Bunny Wailer, Beverley Kelso, Junior Braithwaite and Peter Tosh. They also became friendly with Joe Higgs who partnered with Roy Wilson and they had a successful vocal act. Joe helped Marley with his vocals as Marley’s group concentrated more on being a vocal harmony group with no instruments at that time.
Bob Marley Fact 5: However it was Joe who while teaching Marley vocals also began to teach him how play the guitar.
Bob Marley Fact 6: This teaching would lead to great things for Bob in the future.
Bob Marley Fact 7: Bob recorded four songs in February of 1962, “Judge Not”, “One Cup of Coffee”, “Do you Still Love Me?” and “Terror” produced by Leslie Kong at the Federal Studio.
Bob Marley Fact 8: The following year a group was put together with Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite, Peter Tosh, Cherry Smith and Beverley Kelso and called themselves The Teenagers. The name would go on to change several times, from The Wailing Rudeboys to The Wailing Wailers and finally The Wailers.
Bob Marley Fact 9: In February 1964 they released the single “Simmer Down” on the Coxsone label and the record became a number one single selling around seventy thousand copies.
Bob Marley Fact 10: Regularly recording for Studio One, other established musicians, Ernest Raglin, Jackie Mitto and Roland Alphonso would join the Wailers although by 1966 Smith, Kelso and Braithwaite had left the group leaving just Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Marley.
Bob Marley Fact 11: He also married in 1966, Rita Anderson who was also a singer and moved near to where his mother lived in Wilmington, Deleware in America. At that time he was working in DuPont as a lab assistant and on an assembly line at the Chrysler plant.
Bob Marley Fact 12: Although Marley had been raised in the Catholic religion away from his mother’s influence he became interested in the Rastafari beliefs.
Bob Marley Fact 13: By the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with his wife, Bob, Peter and Bunny re-recorded some of their old tracks with JAD Records in London and Kingston with the hopes of commercializing The Wailers.
Bob Marley Fact 14: While visiting the Bronx they met up with Jimmy Norman, a songwriter who had written for Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Nash.
Bob Marley Fact 15: CBS Records in London signed a contract with Marley in 1972 and Bob started a UK tour together with Johnny Nash.
Bob Marley Fact 16: While in London Marley had been introduced to Chris Blackwell who would later gift Marley with his Kingston home and company headquarters which Marley would later use as his home.
Bob Marley Fact 17: Following his safe return from the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, Bob Marley was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was also presented with a 45 day international goodwill tour. Four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honour the crew of Apollo 11.
Bob Marley Fact 18: The band would find themselves fired while on tour opening seventeen shows for the U.S. Sly and Family Stone. They found themselves fired because they were doing better than the act they were opening for. Bob Marley Fact 19: By 1974 The Wailers broke up but the exact reason was unclear. Even though the group broke up, Marley would carry on using the name Bob Marley & The Wailers.
Bob Marley Fact 20: In December 1976 unidentified gunmen shot and wounded Marley, his wife and his manager, Don Taylor in Marley’s home. All involved made full recoveries. The assault was thought to be as a result of a free concert Marley was giving to ease tension between two opposing political groups.
Bob Marley Fact 21: After the incident he spent a month in Nassau in the Bahamas before relocating to England. He released Exodus and Kaya, Exodus stayed in the album chart in British album charts for fifty six consecutive weeks. The album included four his singles including “Exodus”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Jamming” and “One Love”
Bob Marley Fact 22: By July 1977 a malignant melanoma was discovered under the toe nail on Marley’s foot. He had the nail and nail bed removed but doctors had recommended having the toe amputated but he refused for religious reasons. It would be too little too late, the cancer had spread and he would eventually return home to Jamaica.
Bob Marley Fact 23: Bob Marley died on May 11th 1981 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami as a result of the spread of the cancer, he was thirty six years old. He had been travelling to Jamaica when he needed immediate care in Miami. His body was laid to rest in a chapel near his birthplace.
Influence & Legacy: His music is legendary and of his eleven children nearly all of them followed in their father’s footsteps into the music industry, primarily reggae, writing as well as singing.