BOB MARLEY SOLO, 1962
Robert Nesta Marley better known as Bob Marley was born February 6th 1945 and passed May 11th 1981.
Asked during an interview, when he started singing, Bob Marley answered jokingly “Started without crying.” So Bob Marley´s singing career started in 1945.
As his mother tells, young Bob Marley started to sing a song called “Don´t Touch My Tomato”. This common mento song young Bob sang with improvised percussion using sticks. This should have happened somewhen in the early or mid Fifties.
Bunny Wailer tells when he first met Bob he heard him singing a self-written song called “Fancy Curls”. This happened in the mid or late 50ies. Bunny Wailer recorded that song in 1995.
Bob Marley went into a studio around 1959 guesting and started to be connected to the music business.
Bob Marley made a first attempt as a solo singer in 1962 before recording with The Wailers.
As it was common at that time and also during the 60s and 70s in Jamaica he sold the rights to the producer and received some money from the producer in return. Because sales of the two singles very few Bob Marley received a total of 20 Pound Sterling from Leslie Kong for these recordings.
Produced by Leslie Kong he recorded at Federal Studios these four songs of which three are released and one is lost:
Written by Bob Marley with support by Joe Higgs.
Lead vocals by Bob Marley.
When Bob sings “Judge not for you judge yourself!” he is obviously influenced by a bible passage, Matthew 7:1-2:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (King James Version)
Bob just had decided to quit his job as a welder when his eye was injured by an accident. He took this as a sign that it is the wrong way to go. When he read this passage in the bible he seemed to have understood it as a chance. Nobody would have a right to judge him because he is from a poor background or because he is from a small third world country. When nobody has a right to judge him because of that, then he has the same chance as everybody.
It also sounds a bit like a call: “You big guys, wearing expensive clothes, you singers and producers, don´t think I am only small and poor and nobody. I am now a singer, too.”
For Bob Marley it was a first success to have a song recorded and released.
For the producer it was just one more single release without relevant success.
As part of a cooperation between Clement Dodd and Chris Blackwell the single was also released in UK on Island Records.
Again without success, but later Chris Blackwell would remember of this release, when he met Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1972.
Indeed the world would hear more from Bob Marley, but before this some patience was needed.
Backing by Beverley´s All Stars featuring Lloyd Brevett on bass, Jerome “Jah Jerry” Hines on guitar, Roland Alphonso on tenor sax (playing the fine solo), who later would be leading members of The Skatalites, and Arkland “Drumbago” Parks on drums.
Featuring a penny whistle by an unknown player, an instrument typical for mento, not used in ska or reggae.
Mento is the earliest jamaican music that was played mainly in rural Jamaica from the 20ies until the 60ies of the 20th century. Its influences survived when during the urbanization the life and so the music became faster and was then known as ska.
Ska is the name of the riff played by the brass section on the off beat of a shuffle rhythm. At first in the late 50ies ska was an instrumental music, but in the early 60ies vocals were added and then were fully integrated.
This track and “Do You Still Love Me” were recorded at the first recording session of Bob Marley circa February 1962.
First Jamaican 7-inch release: Beverley´s LM 027, 1962, a-side: Judge Not! (credit: Robert Marley) (Matrix: Federal FLK 2338) / b-side: Do You Still Love Me. This is the very first Bob Marley 7-inch. It was released without success.
First UK 7-inch release: Island WI 088, 1963, a-side: Judge Not (credit: Robert Marley) (2,26) / Do You Still Love Me. The title is changed here “Judge Not” without “!”.
UK CD release: Scandal Ska (Various Artists Compilation), Mango MLPS 9844, released 14th August 1989.
UK CD release: Songs Of Freedom, Island, 1992 (2,26)
Bunny Wailer re-recorded the song for his “Hall Of Fame” 2-CD in 1995.
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