Monday, February 6, 2012

The OTHER Big Holiday in February

Do you know what it is? In Croatia, it's, surprisingly, very widely celebrated! It's Bob Marley's Birthday! February 6th, 1945 was the day this reggae poet was born. During this snowed in weekend, I read his biography by Calvin Craig Miller. Not only was Marley a singer/songwriter, musician, husband, father, and political activist, he was also a supremely religious being. He is credited for helping to spread the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience.

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” -Bob Marley

Marley’s music was heavily influenced by the social issues of his homeland, Jamaica, and he is considered to have given voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of his country.

I found his biography very interesting, especially reading about his views on his children and many girlfriends he had (although he was married). I love reggae music and there's nothing better to me then relaxing to some of Marley's tunes. It's amazing to listen behind the music and see how heavily influenced he was in enforcing peace among the Jamaican people. I love the way he described when he first recorded music (with his good friends Bunny and Peter, who made up the original Wailers) and it was played through the loudspeakers of a car driving around, or from a shop's windows. His music literally stopped gang violence because a sense of peace and calm came over the people in the streets when they heard his melodies.

I absolutely loved seeing and being reminded of how big it was back in the 1970's to have great album artwork for the large vinyl records. I love the clever cover art for the Wailers' first major label release for "Catch a Fire" (which had hits like "Stir it Up," "Rock it Baby," and "Stop that Train" on it)

The first 20,000 copies of the original 1973 vinyl release, designed by graphical artists Rod Dyer and Bob Weiner, were encased in a sleeve depicting a Zippo lighter. The sleeve functioned like a real Zippo lighter case, opening at a side hinge to reveal the record within.

So, Happy Birthday to Mr. Nesta Robert Marley! Thanks to him and the Wailers for so much great music and positive inspiration around the world. Leaving me with this great motto (which I definitely have been applying to our wedding planning):

"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

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