Buffalo Soldier: The Story of the Miraculous Bob Marley

Staff Writer: Hannah Johnson 

Robert Nesta Marley, born February 6, 1945, was a Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician, and guitarist who gained international fame and stardom due to his chill, reggae sounds and soothing vocals. blending mostly reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions. 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. Little did they know, they would soon be on their way to worldwide fame and leave a soft spot in the hearts of many. “In my opinion, I really don’t care for his music that much, but he seemed like such a cool dude. Someone you could sit back and chill with“.- Christopher White, junior at Woodstock Highschool


Marley, jammingon stage, looking serious while he sings.


After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career upon his relocation to England that culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977, which established his worldwide reputation and elevated his status as one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, with sales of more than 75 million records. In 1978, he released the album Kaya, which included the hit singles “Is This Love” and “Satisfy My Soul”. The greatest hits album, Legend, was released in 1984, three years after Marley died. It subsequently became the best-selling reggae album of all time. “You know, whenever I’m having a stressful day or if I am just sad, I’ll listen to “Three Little Birds”, and everything seems alright for a moment“.- Curtis Kramer, sophomore at Woodstock Highschool

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


Painting of the artist done in Jamaica to comemorate the singer.


Bob Marley was a member for some years of the Rastafari movement, whose culture was a key element in the development of reggae. Bob Marley became an ardent proponent of Rastafari, taking their music out of the socially deprived areas of Jamaica and onto the international music scene.  

Though raised as a Catholic, Marley became interested in Rastafari beliefs in the 1960s, when away from his mother’s influence. After returning to Jamaica, Marley formally converted to Rastafari and began to grow dreadlocks. The Rastafari proscription against cutting hair is based on the biblical Samson, who as a Nazirite, was expected to make certain religious vows, including the ritual treatment of his hair as described in Chapter Six of the Book of Numbers: “All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” 


Bob Marley’s home where he lived almost all his life.


Unfortunately, the man whose sweet smile and beautiful music brought light and happiness to this dark dull world, had to pass. Diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma in 1977, Marley died on 11 May 1981 in Miami at age 36. He was a committed Rastafari who infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is credited with popularizing reggae music around the world and served as a symbol of Jamaican culture and identity. Marley has also evolved into a global symbol and inspired numerous items of merchandise. “I don’t think he should’ve died but always seems that that’s how life goes”.-Summer Samster, Ola Highschool.

All Pictures are from Tyler Jewah**

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