‘Easy Skanking ’78’ fetes Bob Marley’s 78th in Reggae Month

Reggae singer Bob Marley
Reggae singer Bob Marley performs in this 1980 handout photo.
Associated Press/Island Records/ File

This year Bob Marley’s “Easy Skanking 78” concert with the Wailers at the Boston Music Hall in Massachusetts on June 8, 1978 themes numerous tributes to the legend for his 78th birthday anniversary.

Had he survived the melanoma that ravaged his body, Robert Nesta Marley would have celebrated his 78th birthday anniversary on Feb. 5.

Unfortunately, on May 11, 1981 at age 36 the avowed first Third World superstar succumbed to the deadly cancer in Miami, Florida.

Since then his family and fans have annually regaled the legacy of the trailblazing Rastafarian who emerged from a ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica to be crowned the world renowned king of reggae.

His concert was first released as a CD/DVD on the Island Records/Tuff Gong label by the Marley family who gifted a 13-track reprise of “Jamming,” “The Heathen,” “War,” “Them Belly Full,” “Lively Up Yourself,” “Slave Driver,” “Burnin’ and Lootin’,” I Shot The Sheriff, “Get Up Stand Up,” “Exodus,” “Rebel Music,” “No Woman No Cry,” and the title track “Easy Skanking.”

The compilation provided lively nostalgic soundtrack for Marley’s 70th birthday celebration.

The keepsake collection will provide a playlist marking 2023 fetes slated for Melbourne, Australia, Budapest, Hungary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Salt Lake City, Utah, Newtown and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Boston, Massachusetts, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Denver, Colorado, Chicago, Illinois, Honolulu, Hawaii, Kingston, Jamaica and as well as towns, villages and cities throughout the US.

Here at Sony Hall in Manhattan, the 26th annual tribute concert slates performances by the CCB Reggae All Stars. The configuration has loyally headlined birthday celebration of the avowed trailblazing Jamaican musician.

Fans of the genre rely on the live birthday bash which offer a treat of the discography of hits that herald the monarch and also acknowledge Jamaica’s commitment to the homegrown music.

Since 2008, the island/nation has designated Marley’s birth month, Reggae Month.

Distinctive with concerts, forums, fashion shows, karaoke contests, soccer competitions, theatrical productions, book publications, festivals and a plethora of commemorative events named for the reggae musician, island wide activities will pay tributes to his legacy.

At the Bob Marley Museum located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston where he lived tours provide an open house treat to tourists and visitors. Alluring attractions on walls offer a snapshot of archival newspaper clippings with international reviews of his recordings, travels and performances.

In addition, Culture Yard in Trench Town promise tourists a glimpse into Marley’s life before he achieved superstar fame.

SiriusXM Satelite Radio programming promise a livestream concert set that will be repeated on the Tuff Gong channel throughout the month to honor the king.

A special anniversary broadcast will integrate music from the memorable New England concert with renditions from dancehall artists Beenie Man, Patra, Lady G, Khalia and Mortimer.

While musical events dominate celebrations in Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, visitors to Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida are guaranteed a reggae-filled experience by stopping into the restaurant which replicates the storied home Marley made music.

There, artifacts, photos and video clips celebrate the life of the individual who globalized the island-birthed genre.

In celebration of the 78th birthday anniversary, a live band, a deejay along with a menu stacked with cuisine referenced by Marley’s hit songs comprise exclusive food and beverage.

Regardless the destination, reggae fans reside, here, there and everywhere all are hoping for “Easy Skanking” this Reggae Month.

By the way, a definition of ‘skanking” — “a rhythmic dance to reggae music performed by bending forward and extending hands while bending the knees.”

Another describes the ska-era term – “taking a series of rhythmic steps and movements in time to music.”

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