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That Marley Sound

Bob Marley was popular and well-known for his reggae style of music. His last concert was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City where he shared the bill with the popular funk band The Commodores. Just days after this most successful concert he collapsed in Central Park while jogging.

The diagnosis was tragic. A cancerous growth had started on an old soccer injury on his big toe. By this time cancer had already spread to his brain, liver, and lungs. This talented musician died eight months later on May 11, 1981, in Miami, Florida. He was only 36 years old.

Bob Marley came from St. Ann Parish in Jamaica. He became interested in music and in Trench Town, a rough West Kingston ghetto he and two friends Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh started to make music. At this time transistor radios were already available and they could listen to the sound of American music especially a mix of New Orleans style rhythm and blues.

The three friends became The Wailers and started performing just as reggae became the main sound of music in Jamaica. In the early 1970s, they became popular through Island Records. Their first two albums were Catch a Fire in 1972 and Burnin’ in 1973.

Tosh and Wailer left the group and Bob Marley took center stage himself. He came out with many albums among them Exodus in 1977. The album included the songs “Jamming”, “Waiting in Vain”, and “One Love/People Get Ready”. The album Kava in 1978 featured “Is This Love” and “Sun Is Shining” and Uprising in 1980 featured “Could You Be Loved” and “Redemption Song”.

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