By Roland Stewart | Mar 4 2022

Robert Nesta Marley is still revered 40 years after his death. His impact on reggae and just creating peace-loving and political music transcends language, race, sex, and religion. While we know the great musician he was when he was living, there are still some things that you may be unaware of. Here are 5 things you may not have known about Bob Marley.

He Fell in Love With His Wife While They Worked Together As Musicians

He met his future wife, Rita Marley, in the mid-60s while working with the Wailers. Rita and some friends auditioned to be part of the Soulette. Eventually, Rita started falling for Bob even with his shy demeanor. No matter how much they worked in the studio, Bob would send her letters through Bunny Livingston. They were married in the Anderson family home when Bob was 21 and Rita was 19. Bob didn’t let his mother know of the marriage until later. They had 3 kids together and Bob even adopted Rita’s daughter, Sharon, who she had from another marriage.

He Created His First Record at 16

Bob was a musical prodigy from a young age. Desmond Dekker worked with Bob since they were apprentice welders. He encouraged Bob to record a song and knew that he had major talent. Bob wrote and recorded a song called “Judge Not” in 1962, which talked about his experience being poor and biracial. People were drawn to Marley’s early talent. Marley showed a lot of gratitude and respect to Dekker for giving him the opportunity.

Marley and The Wailers Were Initially Paid 3 Pounds a Week

Even with the early success they had, they were paid a pittance. Coxsone Dodd, one of the biggest producers in Jamaican music history, helped Marley and the Wailers develop their sound. However, they parted ways due to the meager pay. Apparently, Dodd took most of the pay even with the group having massive sales. While Jamaica only had eyes for the group at the time, they became a worldwide sensation once they signed to Island Records.

Lee “Scratch” Perry Influenced Marley Big Time

The legendary producer and founder of Island Records was a Rastafari as well. Marley not only admired his style, but he loved his spiritual connection. He wanted to work with Perry to help him break into England and American markets. Additionally, he encouraged him to adopt a Rastafari lifestyle.

Assassination Attempt On Him At Hope Road

While Marley wanted to do a free concert for the people of Jamaica at the height of the conflict between the Jamaican Labour Party and the People’s National Party, others had ulterior motives. While taking a break during rehearsal, two gunmen showed up and shot up his home. Marley was grazed on the chest and had a bullet lodged in his arm. The bullet stayed in his arm because doctors told him moving it could risk him losing control of his fingers. Some people thought he was being used as a political pawn, but really he was playing for peace. Even after the incident, Marley and The Wailers played to a crowd of 80,000 people from both sides in a neutral zone.


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