Tribute to Bob Marley

Singer songwriter and-all round Reggae Legend Bob Marley was born 6 February 1945 in Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish. He attended Stepney Primary and Junior High School which serves the catchment area of Saint Ann.In 1955, when Bob Marley was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack at the age of 70.

He achieved international fame through a series of crossover reggae albums .Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee Scratch Perry. After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, marley pursued a solo career which culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977 which established his worldwide reputation. He was a committed Rastafarian who infused his music with a profound sense of spiritualityRobert Marley 

Marley and Neville Livingston (later known as Bunny Wailer) had been childhood friends in Nine Mile. They had started to play music together while at Stepney Primary and Junior High School.Marley left Nine Mile with his mother when he was 12 and moved to Trenchtown, Kingston. Cedella Booker and Thadeus Livingston (Bunny Wailer’s father) had a daughter together whom they named Pearl, who was a younger sister to both Bob and Bunny. Now that Marley and Livingston were living together in the same house in Trenchtown, their musical explorations deepened to include the latest R&B from American radio stations whose broadcasts reached Jamaica, and the new Ska music.The move to Trenchtown was proving to be fortuitous, and Marley soon found himself in a vocal group with Bunny Livingston, Peter Tosh, Beverley Kelso and Junior Braithwaite. Joe Higgs, who was part of the successful vocal act Higgs & Wilson, resided on 3rd St., and his singing partner Roy Wilson had been raised by the grandmother of Junior Braithwaite. Higgs and Wilson would rehearse at the back of the houses between 2nd and 3rd Streets, and it wasn’t long before Marley (now residing on 2nd St), Junior Braithwaite and the others were congregating around this successful duo. Marley and the others didn’t play any instruments at this time, and were more interested in being a vocal harmony group. Higgs was glad to help them develop their vocal harmonies, although more importantly, he had started to teach Marley how to play guitar — thereby creating the bedrock that would later allow Marley to construct some of the biggest-selling reggae songs in the history of the genre.

In February 1962, Marley recorded four songs, “Judge Not”, “One Cup of Coffee”, “Do You Still Love Me?” and “Terror”, at Federal Studio for local music producer Leslie Kong. Three of the songs were released on Beverley’s with “One Cup of Coffee” being released under the pseudonym Bobby Martell. In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith were called The Teenagers. They later changed the name to The Wailing Rudeboys, then to The Wailing Wailers, at which point they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally to The Wailers. Their single “Simmer Down” for the Coxsone label became a Jamaican #1 in February 1964 selling an estimated 70,000 copies.The Wailers, now regularly recording for Studio One, found themselves working with established Jamaican musicians such as Ernest Ranglin (arranger “It Hurts To Be Alone”),the keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and saxophonist Roland Alphonso. By 1966, Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had left The Wailers, leaving the core trio of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh.In 1966, Marley married Rita Anderson, and moved near his mother’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware in the United States for a short time, during which he worked as a DuPont lab assistant and on the assembly line at a Chrysler plant, under the alias Donald Marley.

Though raised as a Catholic, Marley became interested in Rastafarian beliefs in the 1960s, when away from his mother’ influence.After returning to Jamaica Marley formally converted to Rastafari and began to grow dreadlocks. The Rastafarian proscription against cutting hair is based on the biblical Samson who as a Nazarite was expected to make certain religious vows After a financial disagreement with Dodd, Marley and his band teamed up with Lee “Scratch” Perry and his studio band, The Upsetters. Although the alliance lasted less than a year, they recorded what many consider The Wailers’ finest work. Marley and Perry split after a dispute regarding the assignment of recording rights, but they would remain friends and work together again.

Between 1968 and 1972, Bob and Rita Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer re-cut some old tracks with JAD Records in Kingston and London in an attempt to commercialise The Wailers’ sound. Bunny later asserted that these songs “should never be released on an album … they were just demos for record companies to listen to”. In 1968, Bob and Rita visited songwriter Jimmy Norman at his apartment in the Bronx. Norman had written the extended lyrics for Kai Winding’s “Time Is on My Side” (covered by the Rolling Stones) and had also written for Johnny Nash and Jimi Hendrix.A three-day jam session with Norman and others, including Norman’s co-writer Al Pyfrom, resulted in a 24-minute tape of Marley performing several of his own and Norman-Pyfrom’s compositions. This tape is, according to Reggae archivist Roger Steffens, rare in that it was influenced by pop rather than reggae, as part of an effort to break Marley into the American charts. According to an article in The New York Times, Marley experimented on the tape with different sounds, adopting a doo-wop style on “Stay With Me” and “the slow love song style of 1960’s artists” on “Splish for My Splash”.An artist yet to establish himself outside his native Jamaica, Marley lived in Ridgmount Gardens,Bloomsbury, during 1972.

In 1972, Bob Marley signed with CBS Records in London and embarked on a UK tour with American soul singer Johnny Nash.While in London the Wailers asked their road manager Brent Clarke to introduce them to Chris Blackwell who had licensed some of their Coxsone releases for his Island Records. The Wailers intended to discuss the royalties associated with these releases instead the meeting resulted in the offer of an advance of £4,000 to record an album. since Jimmy Cliff, Island’s top reggae star, had recently left the label, Blackwell was primed for a replacement. In Marley, Blackwell recognized the elements needed to snare the rock audience: “I was dealing with rock music, which was really rebel music. I felt that would really be the way to break Jamaican music. But you needed someone who could be that image. When Bob walked in he really was that image.” the Wailers returned to Jamaica to record at Harry J’s in Kingston which resulted in the album Catch a Fire.  Primarily recorded on an eight-track Catch a Fire marked the first time a reggae band had access to a state-of-the-art studio and were accorded the same care as their rock ‘n’ roll peers.Blackwell desired to create “more of a drifting, hypnotic-type feel than a reggae rhythm”,and restructured Marley’s mixes and arrangements. Marley travelled to London to supervise Blackwell’s overdubbing of the album which included tempering the mix from the bass-heavy sound of Jamaican music and omitting two tracks.

The Wailers’ first album for Island, Catch a Fire, was released worldwide in April 1973, packaged like a rock record with a uniqueZippo lighter lift-top. Initially selling 14,000 units, it didn’t make Marley a star, but received a positive critical reception. It was followed later that year by the album Burnin’ which included the song “I Shot the Sheriff”. Eric Clapton was given the album by his guitarist George Terry in the hope that he would enjoy it.Clapton was suitably impressed and chose to record a cover version of “I Shot the Sheriff” which became his first US hit since “Layla” two years earlier and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 14 September 1974.Many Jamaicans were not keen on the new reggae sound on Catch a Fire, but the Trenchtown style of Burninfound fans across both reggae and rock audiences.During this period, Blackwell gifted his Kingston residence and company headquarters at 56 Hope Road (then known as Island House) to Marley. Housing Tuff Gong Studios, the property became not only Marley’s office, but also his home.The Wailers were scheduled to open seventeen shows in the US for Sly and the Family Stone. After four shows, the band was fired because they were more popular than the acts they were opening for. the Wailers broke up in 1974 with each of the three main members pursuing solo careers. The reason for the breakup is shrouded in conjecture; some believe that there were disagreements amongst Bunny, Peter, and Bob concerning performances, while others claim that Bunny and Peter simply preferred solo work.

Despite the break-up, Marley continued recording as “Bob Marley & The Wailers”. His new backing band included brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Andersonon lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion. The “I Threes”, consisting of Judy Mowatt,Marcia Griffiths, and Marley’s wife, Rita, provided backing vocals. In 1975, Marley had his international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica, “No Woman, No Cry”, from the Natty Dread album. this was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, Rastaman Vibration (1976), which reached the Top 50 of the Billboard Soul Charts. On 3 December 1976, two days before “Smile Jamaica”, a free concert organised by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley’s home. Taylor and Marley’s wife sustained serious injuries, but later made full recoveries. Bob Marley received minor wounds in the chest and arm.The attempt on his life was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley. Nonetheless, the concert proceeded, and an injured Marley performed as scheduled, two days after the attempt. When asked why, Marley responded, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?” The members of the group Zap Pow played as Bob Marley’s backup band before a festival crowd of 80,000 while members of The Wailers were still missing or in hiding.Marley left Jamaica at the end of 1976, and after a month-long “recovery and writing” sojourn at the site of Chris Blackwell’s Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, arrived in England, where he spent two years in self-imposed exile.

Whilst in England, he recorded the albums Exodus and KayaExodus stayed on the British album charts for fifty-six consecutive weeks. It included four UK hit singles: “Exodus”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Jamming”, and “One Love” (a rendition of Curtis Mayfield’s hit, “People Get Ready”). During his time in London, he was arrested and received a conviction forpossession of a small quantity of cannabis.In 1978, Marley returned to Jamaica and performed at another political concert, the One Love Peace Concert, again in an effort to calm warring parties. Near the end of the performance, by Marley’s request, Michael Manley (leader of then-ruling People’s National Party) and his political rival Edward Seaga(leader of the opposing Jamaica Labour Party), joined each other on stage and shook hands.Under the name Bob Marley and the Wailers eleven albums were released, four live albums and seven studio albums. The releases included Babylon by Bus, a double live album with thirteen tracks, were released in 1978 and received critical acclaim. This album, and specifically the final track “Jamming” with the audience in a frenzy, captured the intensity of Marley’s live performances.

Survival, a defiant and politically charged album, was released in 1979. Tracks such as “Zimbabwe”, “Africa Unite”, “Wake Up and Live”, and “Survival” reflected Marley’s support for the struggles of Africans. His appearance at the Amandla Festival in Boston in July 1979 showed his strong opposition to South African apartheid, which he already had shown in his song “War” in 1976. In early 1980, he was invited to perform at the 17 April celebration ofZimbabwe’s Independence Day. Uprising (1980) was Bob Marley’s final studio album, and is one of his most religious productions; it includes “Redemption Song” and “Forever Loving Jah”.Confrontation, released posthumously in 1983, contained unreleased material recorded during Marley’s lifetime, including the hit “Buffalo Soldier” and new mixes of singles previously only available in Jamaica.

In July 1977, Marley was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe. Contrary to urban legend, this lesion was not primarily caused by an injury during a football match that year, but was instead a symptom of the already-existing cancer. Marley turned down his doctors’ advice to have his toe amputated, citing his religious beliefs. Despite his illness, he continued touring and was in the process of scheduling a world tour in 1980. The album Uprising was released in May 1980 (produced by Chris Blackwell), on which “Redemption Song” is, in particular, considered to be about Marley coming to terms with his mortality. The band completed a major tour of Europe, where it played its biggest concert to 100,000 people in Milan. After the tour Marley went to America, where he performed two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of the Uprising Tour. Bob Marley appeared at the Stanley Theater (now called The Benedum Center For The Performing Arts) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 23 September 1980; it would be his last concert.

shortly afterwards, Marley’s health deteriorated and he became very ill; the cancer had spread throughout his body. The rest of the tour was cancelled and Marley sought treatment at the Bavarian clinic of Josef Issels, where he received a controversial type of cancer therapy (Issels treatment) partly based on avoidance of certain foods, drinks, and other substances. After fighting the cancer without success for eight months Marley boarded a plane for his home in Jamaica. While flying home from Germany to Jamaica, Marley’s vital functions worsened. After landing in Miami, Florida, he was taken to the hospital for immediate medical attention. Bob Marley died on 11 May 1981 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami (now University of Miami Hospital); he was 36 years old. The spread of melanoma to his lungs and brain caused his death. His final words to his sonZiggy were “Money can’t buy life.” Marley received a state funeral in Jamaica on 21 May 1981, which combined elements ofEthiopian Orthodoxy and Rastafari tradition. e was buried in a chapel near his birthplace with his red Gibson Les Paul(some accounts say it was a Fender Stratocaster).

Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys)

Carl Wilson, Musician with the Beach Boys sadly passed away on 6th February 1998. Born 1946 He was on of the founding member of the beach Boys along with his cousins , Brian and Dennis Wilson, and their friend Al Jardine. Wilson, along with the other founding Beach Boy members, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

From an early age The Wilson family home was a musical one, and  the Wilson family often sang at get-togethers. Brian and his brothers Carl and Dennis Wilson along with Mike Love and Al Jardine first gelled as a music group in the summer of 1961, initially named the Pendletones. Brian Wilson also began to experiment with recording songs after receiving a Wollensak tape recorder on his 16th birthday, which lead to the Formation of The Beach Boys, and After being encourageded by Dennis to write a song about the local water sports craze, Brian and Mike Love together created what would become the first single for the band, “Surfin’”.

Brian Wilson was mainly the lead singer,, of the Beach Boys. Some of the Beach Boys’ biggest hits,  include “Surfin’ Safari”, “Surfin’ USA“, “Shut Down”, “Little Deuce Coupe“, “Be True to Your School”, “Little Saint Nick”, “Fun, Fun, Fun“, “I Get Around”, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”, “Little Honda”, “Dance, Dance, Dance” and “California Girls“. Love also wrote or co-wrote lyrics to many of the Beach Boys songs, mostly with the themes of surfing, cars or love, but also memorable ballads such as “The Warmth of the Sun”. Recently the remaining members of the Beach Boys also released an abum “That’s Why God Made the Radio” in 2012 to celebrate their 50th anniversary and embarked on a worldwide tour.

Waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French

imagethis week The Telegraph has partnered with WHSmith to offer readers the novel waiting for Wednesday by Nicci French,  which is the third in the Frieda Klein series and has been newly released in paperback, so being an avid reader I would like to read it. Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, who are married and live in Suffolk. Over eight million Nicci French books have been sold worldwide and there are fourteen other internationally bestselling novels Including Blue Monday, Tuesday’s Gone, Thursday’s children, Secret Smile, Losing you, Catch me when I fall and The Memory Game. Readers can claim the book for just £2.99 (RRP £7.99) between Thursday, February 6, 2014 and Wednesday, February 12, 2014, or bring in one of the printed vouchers published in the paper on Thursday, February 6, or Saturday, February 8.

The novel starts when an ordinary housewife named Ruth Lennox, beloved mother of three, is found by her daughter in a pool of her own blood. Meanwhile Psychotherapist Frieda Klein finds she has an unusually personal connection with DCI Karlsson’s latest case. She is no longer working with him in an official capacity, but when her niece befriends Ruth Lennox’s son, Ted, she finds herself in the awkward position of confidante to both Karlsson and Ted. When it emerges that Ruth was leading a secret life, her family closes ranks and Karlsson finds he needs Frieda’s help more than ever before. But Frieda is distracted. Having survived an attack on her life, she is struggling to stay in control and when a patient’s chance remark rings an alarm bell, she finds herself chasing down a path that seems to lead to a serial killer who has long escaped detection, however Frieda knows from previous experience that every step closer to a killer is one more step into a darkness from which there may be no return . . .

Ooh Rock me Amadeus

The late great Austrian Rock Musician and Rapper Falco sadly passed away on 6th February 1998. Born 19 February in 1957, he had several international hits: “Der Kommissar“, “Rock Me Amadeus”, “Vienna Calling“,”Jeanny”, “The Sound of Musik”, “Coming Home (Jeanny Part 2)” and posthumously, “Out of the Dark”, and with his distinctive guteral delivery of the song lyrics Falco became the first and only artist to date whose principal language was German to score a number-one hit in the United States with “Rock Me Amadeus”. His estate claims he has sold 20 million albums and 15 million singles to date,(I bought one of them) which makes him the best selling Austrian singer of all time.

Tribute to Gustav Klimt

599px-Gustav_Klimt_016Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt sadly passed away 6th February 1918.  Born July 14, 1862, in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary. Despite living in poverty he displayed artistic talent from an early age. While attending the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule),  he studied architectural painting until 1883. He revered the foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart and readily accepted the principles of a conservative training and  his early work may be classified as academic. He went on to become  one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement

In 1888, Klimt received the Golden order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater in Vienna. He also became an honorary member of the University of Munich and the University of Vienna. He also became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 where he remained until 1908. The group’s goals were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign artists’ works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase members’ work.The group declared no manifesto and did not set out to encourage any particular style—Naturalists, Realists, and Symbolists all coexisted. The government supported their efforts and gave them a lease on public land to erect an exhibition hall. The group’s symbol was Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of just causes, wisdom, and the arts—and Klimt painted his radical version in 1898.  Klimt is also noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects, his primary subject being the female body

In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna. Not completed until the turn of the century, his three paintings, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, were criticized for their radical themes and material and caused a public outcry from all quarters—political, aesthetic, and religious. As a result, they were not displayed on the ceiling of the Great Hall. as a result This was the last public commission accepted by the artist for some time. In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental, polychromed sculpture by Max Klinger. Meant for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it did not go on display until 1986. The face on the Beethoven portrait resembled the composer and Vienna Court Opera director Gustav Mahler.

Klimt’s ‘Golden Phase’ was marked by positive critical reaction and success. Many of his paintings from this period used gold leaf; the prominent use of gold can first be traced back to Pallas Athene (1898) and Judith I (1901), although the works most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) and The Kiss (1907–1908). Klimt travelled little but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. In 1904, he collaborated with other artists on the lavish Palais Stoclet, the home of a wealthy Belgian industrialist, which was one of the grandest monuments of the Art Nouveau age. Klimt’s contributions to the dining room, including both Fulfillment and Expectation, were some of his finest decorative work, and as he publicly stated, “probably the ultimate stage of my development of ornament. Between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he designed.

In 1911 his painting Death and Life received first prize in the world exhibitions in Rome. In 1915 his mother Anna died. Klimt died three years later in Vienna on February 6, 1918, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the influenza epidemic of that year and was buried at the Hietzinger Cemetery in Hietzing, Vienna. Numerous paintings were left unfinished.  However those he did finish before his untimely demise have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In November 2003, Klimt’s Landhaus am Attersee sold for $29,128,000, and plenty of  other examples of his work have also  fetched vast sums of money at auction.

Anniversary of the accession ofHer Majesty QueenElizabeth II

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February 6th  marks the Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becoming the first queen regnant of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms since Queen Victoria upon the untimely demise of her father, George VI. The traditional 41-gun and 62-gun Royal Salute to mark accession day also took place at noon at Hyde Park Corner and at the Tower of London by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery the Honourable Artillery Company as is tradition on accession day. A Royal Salute is normally 21 guns, but this is increased to 41 if fired from a Royal Residence and 62 rounds are fired from the Tower of London on Royal anniversaries.

On her accession Queen Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. From 1956 to 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and some realms became republics. At present, in addition to the first four aforementioned countries, Elizabeth is Queen of Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Her reign of more than 60 years is currently the second longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria has reigned longer at 63 years.