Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rita Marley - One Draw

       Rita Marley Reggae Queen

Perhaps best known as the widow of reggae legend Bob Marley and often called the "Queen of Reggae," Rita Marley has spent time and energy as the guardian of his estate and musical legacy, and, more important, as the keeper of the flame of his ideas. But her role in the history of Jamaican music has not been limited to her family relationship with Bob Marley. In the mostly male-dominated field of reggae, she was a solo act of note before she ever joined with her husband musically, and she emerged as a successful artist on her own after his death. Moreover, as part of Bob Marley's backing trio of female vocalists, the iThrees, Rita Marley was an important contributor to the music that made her husband famous worldwide.

Rita Marley was born Alpharita Constantia Anderson in Cuba in 1947. Growing up poor, she was raised in the Trenchtown neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica, that spawned the careers of many of the musicians who created a rhythmically complex, spiritually inclined new music called reggae. Three of those musicians, who had formed a trio called the Wailers, often passed by the metal shack where Rita Anderson was living with her aunt and small child. The Wailers consisted of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer; they were among the first acts to record at the influential studio of producer Coxsone Dodd. Bob Marley, already a standout talent, made a special impact. "I remember how I would scream to hear his songs on the radio," Rita Marley told Interview.

No comments: