Travelnoire celebrates Bob Marley’s 78th birthday

Jamaican Reggae singer Bob Marley
Jamaican Reggae singer Bob Marley performs on stage during a concert in Bourget, Paris, on July 3, 1980.
Associated Press

Jamaica has produced many prominent figures, from Usain Bolt to Grace Jones, from Marcus Garvey to Shaggy. But most would agree that Bob Marley, who would have turned 78 on Feb. 6, is in a class by himself, according to

The digital media company said that Marley’s music “fuses island flavor with social and political commentary,” stating that “I Shot The Sheriff”, “Redemption Song” and “Exodus” are three examples.

“In the same vein is ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, with one memorable lyric, ‘you can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,’” it added. “This rings as true now as it did then.”

Travelnoire said Marley would have continued to create chart-topping music were it not for his untimely death in 1981.

It said Jamaica has gone on to produce “fantastic artists in the Reggae and Dancehall genres,” with all of them likely drew from Marley’s blueprint.”

Travelnoire noted that there are many tributes to Marley in Jamaica today, including murals and statues.

“His former home was converted into a museum, which is a Jamaican Heritage Site,” it said.

According to the museum’s website, “the property also features a well-equipped 80-seat theater, a photographic gallery, a record shop, and a gift shop filled with a wide array of Bob Marley memorabilia.”

Marley was born in St. Ann’s Parish in Jamaica on Feb. 6, 1945.

According to Biography, “he was the son of a Black teenage mother and a much older, later absent white father.”

In spite of the poverty of his formative years, Marley found refuge in music, Travelnoire said.

It said that, in 1963, Marley, alongside fellow Jamaicans O’Riley “Bunny” Livingston (Bunny Wailer) and Peter McIntosh (he later changed his surname to “Tosh”) started the Wailers.

“Each brought a distinct flavor to the band, and members rotated over the years,” Travelnoire said. “They enjoyed great success in Jamaica and overseas, but life took the trio in different directions eventually.

“Following the disbandment of The Wailers, Marley went on to release his solo material under the band’s name,” All About Jazz wrote.

In 1976, Marley and his wife Rita narrowly escaped a murder attempt, which was political in nature, Travelnoire said.

“Political tensions heightened in Jamaica due to the approaching elections between the CIA-backed Jamaican Labor Party and the People’s National Party,” Travelnoire quoted Far Out Magazine as saying.

Both parties sought Marley’s support, but he and his wife “decided to remain neutral during the 1976 elections,” it added.

Shaken by the experience, Marley relocated to London, where he recorded Exodus, Travelnoire said.

“Released as a single, ‘Exodus’ was a hit in Britain, as were ‘Waiting in Vain’ and ‘Jamming’,” Biography said. “The entire album stayed on the UK charts for more than a year.

“Today, Exodus is considered to be one of the best albums ever made,” it added.

Travelnoire said “Buffalo Soldier,” written by Marley toward the end of his life, was released in 1983.

“It was well received, as were a number of other, posthumous hits,” it said.

In 1978, at the One Love concert in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, Travelnoire said “Bob Marley convinced two important men to shake hands before thousands of spectators.

“Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga did exactly that, to thunderous applause,” it said. “It was a testament to Marley’s star power.

“The next time you’re visiting one of Jamaica’s beach bars or clubs, you’re sure to hear Marley’s recognizable voice at some point in the evening” Travelnoire added. “It’s almost impossible to have an authentic Jamaican experience without it.”