Saturday, November 27, 2010

Roots Reggae Bob Marley and Johnny Nash

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.

One Love

Roots Rock Reggae

  Johnny Nash

    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 Jamaicas 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 didnt listen closely, youd miss it. Members of Marleys band, the Wailers, served as backup musicians on a series of moderate reggae hits Nash made in Jamaica a remake of Sam Cookes 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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

President Obama

                  Barack Obama born in Hawaii August 4, 1961.
    His mother was from Kansas and father from Kenya. Barack's parents  divorced, and after his mother remarried, he lived in Indonesia for a time before returning to Hawaii to live with his grandparents. He later moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983. 
      He was called Barry throughout his childhood, he was born, Barack Hussein Obama II. Hussein was their middle name as Barack Obama Sr.s father had adopted Islam but originally they were Christians.
      Barack Obama has admitted that he struggled through his initial childhood years to find answers about his multicultural, multi racial heritage.  In his own words he says that he had a middle class upbringing. During his teenage years, he even used cocaine, marijuana and alcohol to deal with his internal conflicts, something which he regretted later.

Obama Latest Speech

     While in U.S. Senate Foreign relations Committee, Barack visited Iraq to witness the war. He also traveled to Russia and Africa. Right through his career he has spoken about his opposition to the Iraq war.
 True to the values of empathy and service that his mother instilled in him, Barack put law school on hold after college and moved to Chicago, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group that was dedicated to improving living conditions in poor neighborhoods. For example, helping poor people work with service agencies to get their plumbing and heating fixed and to find jobs for unemployed. It was here that he realized it would take changes in our laws and politics to truly improve the lives of the people in these impoverished neighborhoods. 

 Dinner with Ghandi

  Obama declared his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination in February 2007 .A large number of candidates filed for nominations as presidential candidates it came down to two in the contest Senator Hillary Clinton and Obama. In August 2008, Barack Obama accepted the nomination and he was in race against the republican nominee John McCain. On November 4, 2008, Obama won the presidential election by a big margin. He delivered his victory speech at Chicago's Grant Park in front of thousands of supporters. There were, not only nationwide but, worldwide celebrations on his victory even in his fathers home country, Kenya.

Victory Speech Chicago 

Obama's Books and Music Preferences

                                            According to FaceBook
    Favorite musicians are Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Johann Sebastian Bach (cello suites), and The Fugees.
     Favorite Movies Godfather 1 & 2, Lawrence of Arabia and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    Favorite Books  Song of Solomon , Moby Dick,Shakespeare's Tragedies.

     Barack the author of Dreams of my Father a memoir of his youth and early career and The Audacity of Hope  published in October 2006. The book has remained at or near the top of the New York Times Best Seller list since its publication.

Barack Obama Quotes
  Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day.

The Obama Family