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Robert Nesta Marley, born on February 6, 1945, defined reggae music as we know it today. His father, Captain Norval Marley, was a 50-year-old white quartermaster of the British West Indian Regiment. His mother, Cedella Booker, was an eighteen-year-old black girl from Jamaica. Although Bob didn't see much of his father, he provided regular financial support. Bob grew up in the rural surroundings of St. Ann, Jamaica. Inspired by artists such as Ray Charles, Fats Domino, and Curtis Mayfield, he quit school and moved to Kingston when he was barely a teen. Bob spent all of his free time perfecting his vocal abilities with his good friend Bunny.
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In 1962, Bob auditioned for Leslie Kong, a local music entrepreneur. Kong was so impressed with his vocal talents, she signed Bob on the spot. His first recording was "Judge Not" followed by "Terror" and "One Cup of Coffee". Although these songs received little to no airplay, it didn't discourage him. He linked up with his good friends Bunny and Peter McIntosh to form "The Wailing Wailers". The group was soon introduced to a record producer in Kingston and released their first single, "Simmer Down," during November of 1963. By January 1964, it was number one on Jamaican charts, and stayed there for nearly two months. Over the next few years, The Wailing Wailers recorded some thirty songs that established them in the music business. However, three of the back-up singers quit, and the group was falling apart fast. Bob mother had moved to Delaware and saved money for him to live with her. Before he left, Bob met and fell in love with Rita Anderson. They married on February 10, 1966 and moved to Delaware together.
By October 1966 Bob and Rita had moved back to Jamaica so he could further pursue his dream in music. In 1967, his music started reflecting his beliefs in Rastafarianism. Not long after, he re-joined with Bunny and Peter to form "The Wailers". The Wailers teamed up with Lee Perry to produce such songs as "Soul Rebel," "400 Years," and "Small Axe," all of which are considered classics and are said to have defined the future direction of reggae