In the story Marley And Me, John and Jenny Grogan are a new married couple. Jenny becomes depressed that she can’t even keep her plants alive. This made her decide that they should get a dog in order for her to prepare for their future baby. After listening to the soothing reggae music of Bob Marley, they both simultaneously came up with the name Marley for their new puppy. Bob Marley was the connection between the two couples. They heard his music on the car radio as they drove down Biscayne Boulevard; they heard it as they soaked their first conch fitters. They fell in love with South Florida and with each other, and in the background it always seemed Bob Marley. “We fell in love with his music for it was, but also for what it defined, which was that moment in our lives when we ceased being two and became one.” Bob Marley was the ‘soundtrack’ to their new and exotic life together. Bob Marley, known as the king of reggae, was born on February 6th, 1945 in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. His mom was a teenage Jamaican native, and dad was a 50-year-old white navel captain.
His parents got married in 1944, which is a year before Bob was born. Norval Marley barely got to see his son Bob since his family did not accept marriage. A couple years after, Bob Marley was sent to a private school to get away from the gangs that were running wild. One of his first and greatest songs “Simmer Down” was based on how Bob was also known as a rude boy, and would fight back if ever pushed. Bob Marley is widely known for helping Jamaican music come out there worldwide. He has been a great influence in the lives of many present artists, poets, and actors. His songs were based and influenced by the social issues of his homeland because as a child he experienced poverty and violence. When he moved to the private school he was encouraged to play the guitar by one of his new best friends. What truly influenced him were the local performers down in Trench Town. Some of the people he grew up listening to in the trenches of Jamaica are, the legendary Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Elvis Presley. At first, his career started by him trying to sing just the way his favorite singers sang.
Marley’s career started when he was introduced to the Island records because of Leslie Kong who admired Marley’s’ vocals. Bob Marley put his first record on February of 1962; the song was called “Judge Not” which consisted of loud, scratchy, and fast paced sounds. Music back then consisted of those sounds and definitely was something to dance to. When his song first came out it was only a local hit, but his international fame grew by the years. His friends created the group The Wailers, which were signed to the Maroon records. During the 1969’s, the Wailers first tape was recorded, they were sent to England and released on Trojan records, it was Bob Marley and the Wailers first album. The album was only released in Jamaica and England, and the album sold very well. In the early seventies, Bob Marley and the Wailers were already pretty popular throughout the Caribbean region too.
This album would be the new standard of what reggae music would be like, and was thought to be the new music sound that would sweep the world. Bob is also known for his most world famous song, No Woman No Cry. 1976 Rasta man Vibrations was released and the album cracked the American charts. At this point it seemed like Marley was unstoppable. It seemed like nothing could tear him down, but eventually something did and everything went crumbling for Marley. In December of 1976, a murder try took place at Marley’s house. It was a gang of “sorts” who tried to take Bob Marley down for reasons. Why they wanted to do such thing? That is still unclear till this day. Marley was shot, but did not die since it was not a deadly wound. After that incident, Bob Marley released an even bigger album than Rastaman Vibration came out called, Exodus. Exodus was so popular is stayed on the European charts for 56 weeks!
This of course made everything all right for Marley. In 1978 the chart topper Kaya came out. The band saw success once again, and the next year Survival was released, this album was a pro-Africa album, and had songs relating to Africa’s issues at the time. Time however was running out for Bob Marley. In 1980, an other album of Bob Marleys’ was released, Uprising, which was an instant hit. In 1980 a tour with Stevie Wonder was being planned for him and it was going to be the biggest event of his career. Unfortunately, he had a little soccer injury earlier. It was such a simple injury, but it turned into some form of Cancer. The injury refused to heal and instead quickly worsened, the entire nail came off and doctors recommended amputation. It spread throughout his entire body and Bob knew he looked unwell. His last concert was in Pittsburgh on Sept. 23, 1980, at the Stanley Theater. He experienced many different treatments to keep him alive longer.
In September of 1980, Marley almost fainted onstage while performing in New York. Marley was diagnosed with a brain tumor (which was the result of the untreated cancer in his toe). Marley was given less than a month to live; the doctors confirmed that he had cancer in the brain, lung, and stomach. Eight months later, Marley passed away at the age of 36, May 11th, 1981. His music lives on through the music of different artists. Bob Marley is not only one of the greatest musicians; he is also one of the greatest men in the history of the world. Through his music, he not only touched the life of his fellow people, he has also influenced their lifestyles, and feelings of people worldwide. He has so many powerful messages through his music. He is dead, but his music is not.
Courtney from Study Moose
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