Marley is born at Nine Miles, St. Ann's, Jamaica. Son of Norval Sinclair Marley,
a fifty-something Liverpool-born captain in the British Army, and the teenage
Cedalla Booker. This birthdate is believed to be the correct although no birth
certificate has ever been found.
having left school at 14, and trained as a welder, is concentrating on music.
He records two singles, 'Judge Not (Unless you Judge Yourself)' and 'One Cup
of Coffee' at a local studio by Leslie Kong , owner of the Beverley's label.
the Wailing Rudeboys (later becoming The Wailin' Wailers) with Trenchtown pals,
peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston; they are joined by Junior Braithwaite and female
vocalists Beverly Kelso and Cherry Green. The group undergoes extensive tuition
with vocalists Joe Higgs and drummer Alvin 'Secco' Patterson, and records some
70-80 tracks for the Studio One label with Coxsone Dodd.
The Wailers's first single, 'Simmer Down',
reaches Number 1 in Jamaica's JBC Radio Chart. the group begin to release a series
of singles that feature regularly in the Jamaica charts.
Marries Rita (Alpharita) Anderson, The next day he leaves his new
bride and their first child to head to Wilmington, Delaware, USA, where he joins
Marley returns to Jamaica with
some savings, setting up a record store in Kingston with Rita. Rita has converted
to Rastafarianism, changing her name to Ganette Mander (meaning 'Paradise'), following
the visit to Jamaica of Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia.
with Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston, releasing singles on the Beverly's label.
they cut a local hit, 'Bend Down Low', at Studio One and created their own label,
Wail'M'Soul'M-but the venture is a commercial failure. Marley hooks up with American
artist Johnny Nash (who in 1972 storms the UK charts with Marley's
('Stir It Up') and Danny Sims, Nash's manager, signs Marley to Nash's JAD label.
has begun exploring Rastafarianism. Meets Mortimo Planno of the Divine Theocratic
Temple of Rastafari in Kingston. Beginning of Rastafarian influence on Marley's
music. Bob, Bunny, Peter, and Rita record on Johnny Nash's JAD label produced
by Arthur Jenkins.
with the rest of the Wailers, Marley fully embraces Rastafarianism. They link
up with top local producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry on their newly formed Tuff Gong
label. Perry brings in the Barret brothers, Aston and Carlton, as the Wailers's
rhythm section: they will become an integral part of the group's sound.
Debut Wailers album "Soul Rebel" released.
After a difficult, though creative period, The
Wailers, finding themselves alone in London and effectively left to their own
devices by Johnny Nash and Danny Sims, sign with Island Records's boss Chris Blackwell.
Their debut release on Island is 'Catch AFire'-heavily
promoted bythe label. A UK tour, including key dates at the Speakeasy in London,
attracts rock critics and other Island stars-the band's Uk profile is further
raised by appearances on BBC Radio One and BBC TV's Old Grey Whistle Test.
Wailers appear at Max's Kansas City Club in New York (the centre of American new
wave activity a year or so later), supporting Bruce Springsteen.
Second Island album "Burnin" released.
Clapton reaches Number 1 in the US singles charts with his cover version of Marley's
'I Shot The Sheriff', taken from Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard'.
"Natty Dread" released. A significant difference o this album is
that the group is now called Bob Marley and The Wailers. Tosh and Livingston
have gone solo, possibly upset that Marley is now being heavily promoted as the
frontman. Marley adds The I-Threes (female singers wife Rita, Judy Mowatt and
Marcia Griffiths). Additional musicians on the album include Al Anderson (guitar)
and Bernard 'Touter' Harvey (keyboards).
The new Wailers play
two classic dates at the Lyceum London, immortalised later that year on the album
"Live!" from which a liver version of 'No Woman No Cry' is also released. The
band has been enhanced by Junior Marvin (guitar), Tyrone Downie (keyboards, replacing
Harvey) and Alvin 'Secco' Patterson on percussion, Marley's original rhythm tutor
from the early sixties.
The Wailers play the
Roxy, Los Angeles-a concert later listed in Rolling Stone's 1987 feature Live!
Twenty concerts that changed rock'n'roll. "Rastaman Vibrations" released.
Marley And the Wailers headline a festival in Wales-20,000 people are expected,
but because of heavy rain only 2,000 turn up. Most shelter inside terraces so
the group ends up playing to only around 100 people in the field.
Gunmen break in to
Marley's home in Kingston during the Jamaican general election campaign. present
are Marley, Rita, their manager Don Taylor, other friends and five children. All
the adults are shot and wounded-Marley is shot in his upper body and arm, Rita
receives a head wound, friend Lewis Griffith is seriously wounded as is Don Taylor,
but all survive. Marley hides out in Jamaica's Blue Mountains after release from
hospital. Four days later he performs at the 'Smile Jamaica' festival, although
he is unable to play guitar due to his wounds. Rita sings, with her head in bandages.
The couple then take a break of eighteen months away from Jamaica.
The Wailers are based
in London, on and off, for three months while working on their next album, during
which time Marley and Aston Barret are arrested and fined for possession of herb.
is released-it reaches Number 8 in the UK album charts, later hitting Number 20
in the States.
In Miami, a cancerous
growth is diagnosed on one of Marley's toes-the press is informed that it is a
foot injury received while playing soccer.
The album "Kaya" is
recorded in England: the single 'Is This Love' reaches the UK Top Ten.
Bob Marley And The
Wailers play the One Love Peace concert at Kingston's National Arena-an attempt
to link Jamaica's feuding political parties; Marley symbolically joins hands of
bitter rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga.
Marley makes first,
short trip to Rastafarianism's spiritual homeland Ethiopia. The second Wailers
live album "Babylon By Bus" is released.
The Wailers are the
first reggae act to play at Harlem's famous Apollo Theater, in front of a backdrop
featuring an Ethiopian flag, a portrait of Haile Selassie, and a collage of Marcus
Garvey and other black freedom fighters.
Marley performs at
Zimbabwe's Independence Day celebrations, before undertaking a major European
tour, which includes a headlining appearance at the 'Summer Garden Party' at the
Crystal Palace Bowl.
The single "Could You
Be Loved", taken from the album "Uprising", reaches UK Number 5.
During dates at Madison
Square Garden, New York, supporting the Commodores, Marley collapses while jogging.
Cancer is detected.
is baptized at Kingston's Ethiopian Orthodox Church, marking his conversion to
Christian Rastafarianism: he takes the name Berhane Selassie. The following month
he flies to the Bavarian clinic of Dr. Josef Issels.
Marley dies at
Miami's Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, days after arriving. He is buried on 21 May
after lying in state at the National Arena, Kingston.
A re-release of 'No
Woman, No Cry' charts in the UK.
A tribute to Marley
in Montego Bay, Jamaica, forms part of the Fourth International Reggae Sunsplash
Festival, including an appearance by the Melody Makers-four of Marley's children.
"Legend" compilation is released: it spends 12 weeks in total at Number 1 in the
UK album charts, and also becomes a permanent fixture in the US album charts.
Marley Museum opens in Kingston on the site of his home, headquarters of Tuff
6 February is declared a national
holiday in Jamaica.
Posthumous induction of Bob Marley to the Rock
And Roll Hall of Fame. The induction speech is given by U2 singer Bono.
This information was provided by Modern Icons: Bob Marley