Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jamaican Honour for Marley Home

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - The house where Bob Marley once lived has been designated a protected national heritage site by the Jamaican government.

An official ceremony to mark the designation took place Tuesday at the home, now a museum that showcases the recording studio Marley built as well as memorabilia that once belonged to the reggae superstar.

"This ensures that for future generations nothing will be changed without the consent of the National Heritage Trust. It will always look as it did when Bob was here," Jacqueline Lynch-Stewart, manager at the museum, said Wednesday.

A plaque marking the occasion was unveiled by Marley's daughter Stephanie and government officials. It bears the words, "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain," taken from the singer's hit song Trenchtown Rock.

Marley, who died in 1981 at age 36, is widely credited with introducing reggae music to an international audience in the 1970s.

He was born in rural St. Ann parish, but spent much of his formative years in the Kingston ghetto of Trench Town. He moved to the upscale house once owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell in the early 1970s.

Marley rarely lived in the wooden house after he was shot there during rehearsals for a concert in December 1976.

Lynch-Stewart says 20,000 people annually visit the museum, which opened in May 1986.

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