Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley, OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim, blending mostly reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions. Starting out in 1963 with the group The Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry.
After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career upon his relocation to England that culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977, which established his worldwide reputation and produced his status as one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, with sales of more than 75 million records. Exodus stayed on the British album charts for fifty-six consecutive weeks. It included four UK hit singles: “Exodus”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Jamming”, and “One Love“. In 1978 he released the album Kaya, which included the hit singles “Is This Love” and “Satisfy My Soul”.
Diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma in 1977, Marley died on 11 May 1981 in Miami at age 36. He was a committed Rastafari who infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is considered one of the most influential musicians of all time and credited with popularising reggae music around the world, as well as serving as a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity. Marley has also evolved into a global symbol, which has been endlessly merchandised through a variety of mediums.
Neville O’Riley Livingston OM OJ (10 April 1947 – 2 March 2021), known professionally as Bunny Wailer, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and percussionist. He was an original member of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. A three-time Grammy Award winner, he is considered one of the longtime standard-bearers of reggae music. He was also known as Jah B, Bunny O’Riley, and Bunny Livingston.
Peter Tosh, OM (born Winston Hubert McIntosh; 19 October1944 – 11 September 1987) was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, he was one of the core members of the band The Wailers (1963–1974), after which he established himself as a successful solo artist and a promoter of Rastafari. He was baptized by Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He was murdered in 1987 during a home invasion.
Carlton “Carly” Barrett (17 December 1950 – 17 April 1987) was an influential reggae drummer and percussion player. His musical development in the early years was with his brother Aston “Family Man” Barrett as a member of Lee “Scratch” Perry‘s “house band” The Upsetters. The brothers joined Bob Marley and The Wailers around 1970. He wrote the well known Bob Marley song “War” and with his brother Aston co-wrote “Talkin’ Blues”. Carlton Barrett is featured on all the albums recorded by the Wailers. Barrett popularised the one drop rhythm, a percussive drumming style created by Winston Grennan. With Carly’s beats and his brother Aston’s bass, the Wailer rhythm section planted the seeds of today’s international reggae. Barrett was murdered outside his home in Jamaica on 17 April 1987.
Alvin “Seeco” Patterson (born Francisco Aloysius Willie, 30 December 1930 – 1 November 2021) was a Cuban-born Jamaican percussionist. He was a member of The Wailers
The I Three, commonly called “I Threes“, previously known as the Soulletes, were a Jamaican Girl group/reggae singing group that was formed in 1974 to support Bob Marley & the Wailers, after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer — the original Wailer backing vocalists — left the band.
The three members were Marley’s wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths. Their name is intended as a spin on the Rastafarian “I and I” concept of the Godhead within each person.
Earl Wilberforce “Wya” Lindo (7 January 1953 – 4 September 2017), sometimes referred to as Wya, was a Jamaican reggae musician. He was a member of Bob Marley and the Wailers and collaborated with numerous reggae artists including Burning Spear.
While attending Excelsior High School in Jamaica, he played with Barry Biggs, Mikey “Boo” Richards, and Ernest Wilson in the Astronauts, and later played organ in the band Now Generation, and with Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, and the Meters. Aston “Familyman” Barrett heard Lindo and recommended him to play for a Saturday afternoon television program Where It’s At on JBC. Lindo also spent his early days working at Coxsone Dodd‘s Studio One, where he played on innumerable recordings.
In 1973, he was invited to join The Wailers on a US tour, going on to play on Burnin’. He left the Wailers in 1974 to join Taj Mahal‘s band.
Lindo can be heard on an album credited to the Impact All-Stars. Released in 1975, the album is a collection of dub tracks recorded at Randy’s Studio 17. On his return to Jamaica he played on recordings by Big Youth, Culture, I Roy, and Al Brown, and had some success with solo singles “No Soul Today” and “Who Done It”. In 1978 he rejoined the Wailers, playing on Babylon by Bus, Survival, and Uprising.
After Marley’s death, Lindo was a member of The Wailers Band.
Lindo died in a London hospital on 4 September 2017, aged 64, shortly after being admitted with abdominal pain. Among the tributes paid, Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, described him as “an exceptionally gifted musician who played a pivotal role alongside Bob Marley and the Wailers in the global success of Jamaica’s reggae music.”
Tyrone Downie (20 May 1956 – 5 November 2022) was a Jamaican keyboardist and pianist best known for his involvement as a member of Bob Marley and The Wailers.
He studied at Kingston College and joined The Wailers in the mid-1970s, making his recording debut with the band on Rastaman Vibration, having previously been a member of the Impact All Stars. He also played with The Abyssinians, Beenie Man, Black Uhuru, Buju Banton, Peter Tosh, Junior Reid, Tom Tom Club, Ian Dury, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Sly & Robbie. He resided in France and was a member of the touring band of Youssou N’Dour, whose album Remember he produced.
In 1983, Grace Jones released the single “My Jamaican Guy“. Unbeknown to Downie, he (though in a relationship and not romantically linked to Jones) was the subject of the song.
Downie released the solo album Organ-D in 2001.
Downie played keyboards on the album ‘Maroon Songs: Born Free, Live Free, Ever Free’ with Earl Chinna Smith‘s InnadeYard Binghistra Movement, released on August 17, 2022.
Downie died in Kingston on 5 November 2022, at the age of 66.
Nathaniel Ian Wynter (30 September 1954 – 30 March 2022), also known as Natty Wailer, was a Jamaican-born musician and Rastafarian, best known for his work with Bob Marley and the Wailers, Aston Barrett and King Tubby. He is credited on recordings as Natty Wailer, Ian Winter, Ian Wynter, or Brother Ian.
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