ska, rocksteady, reggae (1963-1972)

1963 ŠThe Wailers News

  • The Wailing Wailers' first release for Sir Coxsone's Studio One label is "Simmer Down"

  • Junior Braithwaite, the bands original lead singer, leaves the band for Chicago
    -Bob becomes lead vocalist
  • Kingston, Jamaica - First time Bob leads the group on stage

1964 ŠThe Wailers News

  • The Wailing Wailers perform at several dances with the Downbeat Sound System around Jamaica

  • Group performs at the "Vere John's Opportunity Hour," a talent show which toured Jamaica

  • December 25 - Ward Theatre - Kingston, Jamaica
    -Riot breaks out
  • Late December - Palace Theatre - Kingston, Jamaica
    -Power outtage occurs causing a riot
    -Backed by the Skatalites

1966 ŠThe Wailers News

  • By this time, The Wailers' songs began to incorporate their new-found Rastafarian faith

  • February 10 - Robert Nesta Marley and Alvarita "Rita" Constantia Anderson are married
    -"Put It On" is played throughout the ceremony
  • February 11 - Bob Marley leaves for Delaware, USA at only 21 years old
    -Wailers reform with Constantine "Dream Vision" Walker (Rita's cousin), taking Bob's place

  • April 21 - Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, arrives in Jamaica
    -Gives Jamaicans first chance to see His Imperial Majesty

  • State Theatre - Kingston, Jamaica
    -Bunny, Peter, and Vision Walker open up for visiting American R&B artists such as former Drifter Ben E. King

  • August - Rita Marley flies to Delaware to visit Bob
    -For the first time, Rita meets Bob's mother Cedella Booker

1967 ŠThe Wailers News

  • The Wailers form their very own Wail 'N' Soul 'M label
    -The Wailers release such songs as "Bend Down Low," "Mellow Mood," and "Thank You Lord," among many other hits on this label

  • Bob and the Wailers also sign a non-exclusive contract, as songwriters and artists, with Danny Sims' Cayman Music and JAD Records (Johnny Nash, Arthur Jenkins, and Danny Sims)
    -The Wailers ended this contract in 1972, having recorded over 80 songs for Sims and JAD Records

  • Late In The Year - Bunny is arrested for posession of ganja (he was carrying none at the time)
    -He serves 1 year and 2 months in jail-first at the General Penitentiary and then cutting sugarcane at the Richmond Prison Farm
    -The Wailers all served time in jail during 1968: Bob serves 2 days in jail for a traffic offense, and Peter is jailed shortly for participating in an anti-Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with producer Prince Buster

1969 ŠThe Wailers News

  • When Bunny is released from prison, the Wailers approach producer Leslie Kong to record, while still under contract to JAD Records
    -Bob had started his career with Kong in 1962, with songs like "Judge Not," "Terror," "One Cup Of Coffee," and "Do You Still Love Me"
    -They record such hits as "Cheer Up" and "Do It Twice"

  • April 21 - On this day each year, beginning in 1968, Bob sits in on Rastafarian Gronulation ceremonies, in celebration of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica

  • Bob again goes to Delaware to visit his mother.
    -Bob is accompanied by Rita, and their four children: Cedella, Sharon, David (Ziggy), and little Stephen

  • October - While still in America, Bob worries about recieving his call-up papers for the Vietnam War and decides to take family and return to Jamaica

  • When Bob and family return from America, the Wailers reform and hook up with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, and his band The Upsetters
    -The Upsetters consisted of the Barrett brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man", Alva Lewis, and Glen Adams
    -This is arguably the Wailers' and Lee Perry's best material, and they record such hits as "Trenchtown Rock," "Duppy Conqueror," "Small Axe", among many others during their recording stretch
    -The Wailers and Lee Perry had actually met during their Studio One days (1963-1966), where The Wailers sung back-up on several Perry songs such as "Pussy Galore" and "Man To Man"

1970 ŠThe Wailers News

  • Lee Perry releases 2 LP's of Wailers' material: "Soul Rebel" and "Soul Revolution"
  • Sombrero Night Club - Kingston, JA
  • Negril, JA
    -The Wailers were promoting their new "Soul Revolution" LP
    -This was the very first time the Wailers played live with what would later be the bandmembers on their Island albums, "Catch A Fire" and "Burnin'"
    -Bob, Bunny, Peter, the Barrett brothers (Carlton and Aston), and Earl "Wya" Lindo
  • Skateland (a skating rink) - Kingston, JA
    -Performing with same line-up as above

1971 ŠThe Wailers News

  • Former Wailers' producer Leslie Kong seeing the rise in popularity of the Wailers, releases the LP, "The Best Of The Wailers".
    -An angry Bunny corners Kong in the studio and rumours to say, "It cannot be de best of de Wailers, 'cause our best is yet ta come. If yuh do dis t'ing I prophesize dat it is yuh who will die"
    -Several weeks later, Kong, who was now a millionaire, was dead from a heart attack, at age 38

  • Bob Marley's friend, Alan "Skill" Cole (a Jamaican soccer superstar) helps set up Tuff Gong Records with Bob, Bunny and Peter
    -Equal share of the label is split between Bob, Bunny, and Peter

  • Wailers get #1 hit in Jamaica with "Trenchtown Rock," as their first release on their own Tuff Gong label

  • Bob is asked to go to Stockholm, Sweden to write songs for a Johnny Nash movie entitled, "Take A Giant Step"
    -The movie is never released and Marley is very miserable
    -According to reports, Bob lives poorly, while Nash lives the high-life in the city

  • Danny Sims flies Bob, Bunny, Peter and the Barrett brothers to London as a backing band for Johnny Nash
    -They were scheduled for a complete tour, but ended up playing only one show, on the outskirts of London

  • Bob, Bunny, Peter, and the Barrett brothers are hauled to a London jail under suspicion of smuggling marijuana into the country
    -In actuality, they had recieved a package of Jamaican Daily Gleaner newspapers from Jamaica, and wrapped inside the newspapers was the marijuana
    -The Wailers' hired cook, a relative of Jamaican producer Bunny Lee, living at the London house where the band was staying, takes the blame for the marijuana
    -No charges are filed against The Wailers, who had feared that they would be deported back to Jamaica because of this incident

  • Bob plays guitar in a backing group for Nash on roughly 400 shows in English secondary schools