The Wailers News
January 1st, 1999 * the latest and greatest every month

this month's features:

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"1999:  FORWARD EVER" - 
1999 1998 was a pretty big year for Wailers related releases, including the massive Complete Wailers sets, but 1999 looks to be even better. Hopefully it will see the release of Bunny Wailer's much anticipated "Standing Ovation" set, Heartbeat Records' collection of early Wailers' spirituals, the English version of the Complete Wailers Part 3 (the French version is the only one out now), and much more.

 We're happy to share all the Wailers news we find with Wailers fans like us around the world. We're planning many new things for this site in the upcoming new year, starting with this very news page, which has a new look to it. We've added an index at the top of this page to make it easier to jump to all of this month's features. We hope everyone has a great 1999!

VIBE Love Songs In the giant February issue of VIBE magazine, there is a special feature for the 99 best love songs of all time. Coming in at number 48 was Bob Marley & The Wailers' 1977 soother "Waiting In Vain", from their "Exodus" album. Some of the criteria that VIBE judged on included "Does this song express intense love or desire?", "Do we love it enough to play it...over and over and over and over again?", and "Does it make life better?"

 If you haven't picked up this issue of VIBE for yourself, here's what the article had to say, "'I don't wanna wait in vain for your love' poses the fundamental lover's question as a forceful statement (slightly softened by Junior Marvin's dream-like guitar solo). What dawta could ask for more?"

 Soul and R&B dominated the listing with Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" getting the top bidding as being the best love song of all time. Other songs that made the list were Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness", Al Green's "Let's Stay Together", The Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", and Sam Cooke's "Cupid". The only other reggae song on the list was Buju Banton's "Love Sponge" at number 52.

 At the left is the short section on Bob Marley that appears in the magazine. It's quite an accomplishment when reggae makes a best love song of all time list, because to some reggae music can only be seen as expressing political messages.

Bunny Wailer In other magazine news, the latest issue of The Beat (with Sally Nyolo on the cover), features an incredible segment regarding Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. In Roger Steffens' "Ras Rojah's Reggae Ramblings" column, he says that he got to play the unreleased and infamous Bob Marley "Bedroom Tapes" to Bunny Wailer, while Jah B was on a trip to Steffens' archives in Los Angeles. It was the first time that Bunny had ever heard the material on the tape, and Steffens writes that Bunny, "hummed bass parts, then beat out a rhythm on his legs, and finally began to sing harmony."

 What does this all mean? Well, Steffens also writes in his article that Bunny said that it was possible for another Wailers' reunion, with Vision Walker and Junior Braithwaite, reworking some of the raw songs on the "Bedroom Tapes". From reading the article, it sounds like it would be similar to the much underrated "Never Ending Wailers" album, released in 1994. The possiblilties sound incredible and Wailers fans can only wait with anticipation!

 If you haven't picked up the Beat magazine for yourself, definitely go out and do so, and you can read the entire story.

 Even though Bob Marley's 54th birthday is over a month away, the celebrations are beginning to take shape to celebrate his birth. There are many large festivals taking place around the globe all throughout the month of February, one of which is "Wake Up and Live", the 6th Annual Bob Marley Caribbean Festival held at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida on February 13th. At this festival the entire Marley family is scheduled to appear, including Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Julian and Damian Marley, Bob's mother Cedella Marley Booker, and Lauryn Hill. The admission to this festival is only 4 cans of food and $10! You can find more information at the official "Wake Up and Live" festival page.

Bob Marley Celebrations Two big Bob Marley celebrations are happening next month in California, including the "18th Annual Ragga Muffins Festival/Bob Marley Day Celebration" in Long Beach on February 13th and 14th, which is scheduled to feature Alpha Blondy, Gregory Isaacs, Israel Vibration, Beenie Man, among other acts. The other is the "18th Annual Bob Marley Day Festival" on February 15th in San Diego, and is scheduled to feature artists such as Alpha Blondy, Israel Vibration, Pato Banton, and Don Carlos, among others. These California dates come from Russell Gerlach of Reggae Nucleus Magazine (many thanks!), and the details are still being finalized. For more information visit Ticketmaster Online, where you can also purchase tickets online.

 There's also the annual Reggae Sunsplash in Montego Bay, Jamaica, touted as Bob Marley Week, held from January 31st through February 7th. One of the weeks highlights takes place on February 6th (Bob Marley's birthday) and features the Marleys, including Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Damian and Julian Marley, and the I-Threes.

 These are only a few of the many celebrations that are happening in the next few months, and for more of them, drop down to the bottom of this page. If you know of any other celebrations happening anywhere in the world, that we don't have listed, please e-mail us and let us know!

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"WailersNet" - 
  • Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers have set up a new organization entitled Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment (URGE), in an effort to collect necessities for needy people around the world. The official site for the organization is found at (, where you can find more information about their cause and how you can help.

     Many people speak out for the need to give back to their communities, and the Melody Makers are actually following through, trying to help the downtrodden everywhere, and ensuring a better world for tomorrow people.

  • Andru BranchIf you haven't heard of Andru Branch already, he recently released his debut album "What If I Told You" on TABOU.1 Records, which featured Wailers Band members Aston "Family Man" Barrett, Tyrone Downie, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Alvin "Seeco" Patterson and is co-produced by "Carrot" Jarrett. The great website of db Hawkes, aka Audio Ned, features several pictures from Andru Branch's recording session with the Wailers Band, in Jamaica.

     You can also hear a live concert featuring Andru Branch from his CD release party in July of 1998 in Canada at the site as well. Listen for a great instrumental version of Bunny Wailer's "Armagedon" and covers of Bob Marley's first single "Judge Not", The Wailers' "Walk The Proud Land" and Peter Tosh's "Buk In-hamm Palace", as part of the over 70 minute concert that you can listen to. You can also hear live concerts from other artists such as Leroy Sibbles, John Holt, U Roy, and many more, all for free!

    Damian Marley
  • Since reggae videos are hardly, if ever, aired on music television stations these days, the internet seems the most likely place for watching some of them. has a short selection of reggae videos for you to watch on your very own computer for free, including Damian Marley's "Searching", Julian & Damian Marley's version of "Exodus" from the Marley Magic concert video and Julian Marley's "Loving Clear". The only problem is that you need the NetShow player (which is free to download) but very hard to set-up, as we couldn't watch the videos ourselves. If you can get the videos to work, let us know how they are.

     Another great online music video site, which has a nice list of reggae videos to view for free, is The videos require the Vivo plugin, which is also free, and include Burning Spear, Michael Rose, Beres Hammond, and more.

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    - new release #1-
     As you may have noticed, since our first reporting of it in July 1998, the Wailers Band "Live At Maritime Hall" CD has not come out yet. However, Maritime Hall says that the new release date is sometime in January of this year. The CD will feature the Wailers Band's live concert originally recorded on April 24, 1998. For more information, visit the Maritime Hall website.

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    Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers

    The Wailers Band

    Damian and Julian Marley

    The I-Threes

    Various Bob Marley 54th Birthday Tributes

    Bob Marley Festival (Click here to see the official webpage!)

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