Five Black Facts: Bobby Nesta Marley’s “Exodus”

– 1 –

Nesta Robert Marley was born February 6, 1945 at his grandfather’s farm in Nine Mile, a village inSaint Anne’s Parish, Jamaica.

He was the only child of Cedella Booker, an African-Jamaican, and Norval Marley, an European-Jamaican plantation overseer.

His family moved to Trenchtown in Kingston, Jamaica when he was 12 where he organized a band of vocal harmonies, “The Teenagers,”  with Neville Livingston, Peter Tosh, Beverley Kelso, and Junior Braithwaithe.

Joe Higgs of musical act, Higgs & Wilson, helped the group develop their harmony and taught Bobby how to play guitar.

– 2 –

In 1963, The Wailers changed their name and were discovered by Coxsone Dodd.

Their first single, “Simmer Down,” topped several lists in February 1964 with over 70k copies sold.

Bobby and The Wailers returned to Jamaica in 1972 to record their first album, “Catch A Fire,” released in April 1973, which sold 14k units.

“Catch A Fire” was the first album recorded by a reggae band in a state-of-the-art recording studio and packaged as a rock album.

– 3 –
In 1966, Bob married Rita Anderson and moved to the states to work and support his family.

Bob officially converted to Rastafarian, returned to Jamaica with his family, and started loc’ing his hair.

By 1974, Bob Marley and the original members of The Wailers split to pursue solo careers.

Bob Marley’s commercial success surged after the 1975 release of “No Woman, No Cry” with new members of The Wailers.

He exploded in America with the 1976 release of “Rastaman Vibration” which made the Top 50 Billboard Soul Chart.

– 4 –
Bob and Rita’s home in Kingston, now the Bob Marley Museum, on Hope Road was known as his neutral zone.

Bob was a man of utopian ideals hoping his home would become a safe house for youth in political war zones and surrounded by street violence.

Bob Marley loved his people and believed the Rastafarian were struggling to be free and could use some direction.

On December 3, 1976, an assassination attempt on the Marleys’ happened at Hope Road on the eve of his “Smile Jamaica” concert, a free event to ease the tensions of people in Jamaica.

– 5 –
Bob Marley was exiled from Jamaica to London following the assassination where he recorded “Exodus.”

Exodus is the 9th studio album recorded by Bob Marley and the Wailers released in June 1977.

Arguably one of Bobby’s best works, it was certified gold in America and catapulted him into international stardom.

Bobby’s style of reggae was very distinguished at that time and believed his music could bring people out of oppression.

Despite political tensions, Rastafarian collectives were very impressed and supportive of “Exodus” as the proper response to the co-opt of “Smile Jamaica” by political factions.

One thought on “Five Black Facts: Bobby Nesta Marley’s “Exodus”

  1. The 5 facts regarding Bob Marley is interesting. I never fancied Bob Marley’s music and message until much after his death. Actually, my daughter was more “into” or interested in Bob Marley’s genre of music than I. Not until years after his death did I become interested in the music after visiting the Island of the Bahamas. The fact finding article is more than I’ve ever known or wanted to know about this musician now a historical figure. Thanks for sharing.

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