Bob Marley died 30 years ago today in Miami at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, now University of Miami Hospital. I didn’t know this before today, and I wish I’d had more time to put together a post commemorating the great man’s life and all-too-early death from cancer at the age of 36. Miami tends to have Marley on the brain more than most cities because much of his surviving family lives here, because of the annual Marley Fest, and, well, because Miami loves its marijuana. But on this occasion let’s look through the cloud of smoke and pay deep homage to a man who, perhaps more than any other musician in the 20th century, epitomized an entire genre. (At least in pop culture, reggae rose and fell with Tuff Gong.)
To that end, here’s a track I’ve always loved. Feel free to suggest others as a comment and I’ll embed them in the post throughout the rest of today. As anyone who ever spent an evening on the back porch listening to him knows very well, Marley recorded more than enough beautiful music to fill a single day.
“It won’t be too long, whether I’m right or wrong . . .” via Robby Campbell
“My heart says ‘Follow through’ . . .” via Brett
“Smile with the rising sun . . .” via William
“Won’t you help to sing . . .” via Verdantsky
For a more in-depth commemoration of Bob Marley’s life and death, read this piece by Courtland Milloy from May 12, 1981, the day after he died.