Reggae descended from Jamaica's mento dance music and influenced by American R and B.It took root in Jamaica, then expanded to Europe, the United States, Africa and South America. Reggae has many mixes which include ska rocksteady dub dancehall and ragga.Bob Marley's was branded as roots reggae.
Although religious themes are common in mainstream Reggae,the lyrics of Roots Reggae are predominantly in praise of Jah (God). Other song themes include poverty, resistance to oppression, African unity, black nationalism, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, criticism of the political and socio-economics , and the ideals of the Rastafari lifestyle.
The colors associated with Reggae as well as the Rastafarian movement are the colors of the Ethiopian flag red, gold and green, with a fourth color, black, sometimes added. Each color has its own significant meaning, and together they represent the Rastafari way of life. Red is for the blood of all living things, gold is for the sun and Jah's light that shines on people,green represents the Earth, and black for the African people.
1960 Oh Carolina,by Rastafarian elder Count Ossie,is cut at Prince Buster's first-ever recording session at radio station RJR's studios.It is referred to as the
First Reggae song Oh Carolina
Bob Marley and Johnny Nash
Bob Marley was born in a small village in Jamaica on February 6, 1945. At birth he was named Nesta Robert Marley but an official later swapped his first and middle names.
When Marley was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack in 1955. Throughout his youth, Marley was a victim of racial prejudice because of his mixed heritage and he suffered from a racial identity crisis throughout his life.
1963, Bob Marley formed a ska and rocksteady group with Livingston, McIntosh( Peter Tosh), Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith named The Teenagers. The group later settled on the name The Wailers. However, by 1966, The Wailers were left with just Marley, Livingston and McIntosh
Many of Bob Marley's and Peter Tosh's songs are recognised as roots reggae. Songs like I Shot the Sheriff, No Woman No Cry, Exodus, Could You Be Loved, Redemption Song and One Love.
Bob Marley died on May 11, 1981.Marley's body was taken to his birthplace at Nine Mile, on the north of the island, where it now rests in a mausoleum. Bob Marley was 36-years-old.
Roots Rock Reggae
Born in Houston, Texas on August 19 1940. He began to have small hits in the late fifties and in 1959 had his first experience with Jamaica, filming parts of Take A Giant Step there, when he was 19. The movie is a conventional coming of age story about Afro-American teen trying to find his way in a white-man's world.
He then used his production skills and was in some demand as a songwriter, penning the hit “What Kind of Love Is This” for Joey Dee in 1962 and at this time he started his own record label Jad.His songwriting skills were heavily influenced by Sam Cooke and the following is a number 104 hit for Nash in 1962.
Some of Your Lovin Johnny Nash
He made a return trip to Jamaica in 1968 to promote his music. He heard in Jamaica’s laid back rhythms labeled rocksteady at the time, not yet reggae, a new foundation for his vocals and decided to record there. Nash sought out the pioneering Byron Lee at Kingston studios in 1968 and recorded Hold Me Tight .The song, which Nash wrote himself, hit the top five in both the United States and England.
Nash became friends with future reggae stars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. They introduced Nash to marijuana. “It was very new to me,” Nash said But I was in Rome, and that was the order of the day.” Nash recalled the spiritual Marley fondly. “Bob was a fun guy,” he had the uncanny ability to deal with a lyric and use a double entendre. It was just so innocent. If you didn’t listen closely, you’d miss it.” Members of Marley’s band, the Wailers, served as backup musicians on a series of moderate reggae hits Nash made in Jamaica a remake of Sam Cooke’s Cupid hit the top ten in Britain in 1969, and in 1971 the catchy Marley-penned “Stir It Up” which put Nash back in the charts in the United States.A year later I Can See Clearly Now was worldwide massive hit.
He recorded several more Marley compositions after this and scored a number one hit in England in 1975 with Tears on My Pillow.
Hold Me Tight
Stir It Up Bob Marley
I Can See Clearly Now