Monday, April 03, 2006

BEFORE THE LEGEND: The Rise of Bob Marley

Bob Marley was a superstar, a musical prophet who brought the unique sounds of reggae, of Jamaica, to the entire globe—to hear his music was to experience the heartbeat, the very breath of a people. His musical style helped to obscure the color line in the music industry at a time when music was often classified within the strict confines of race. BEFORE THE LEGEND: The Rise of Bob Marley (Amistad/HarperCollins; ISBN: 0-06-053991-7; May 2006; $21.95), by acclaimed journalist Christopher John Farley goes beyond the myth to reveal Marley’s private side drawing on interviews from those closest to Marley and information that has not been previously published.

Farley takes the reader on a journey from Bob Marley’s birth in the impoverished town of Nine Miles to his early days as a struggling, talented, determined, and spiritually gifted artist, to the making of his debut album Catch a Fire. BEFORE THE LEGEND features new interviews with bandmate Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley's close family members, including his wife Rita, his mother Cedella, and his children. The book also contains the first-ever published interviews with some of Marley's "white" family members and uncovers fresh information about the reggae great's family history, including the revelation that Marley's father, believed to be white, was actually a person of color. In this first major biography of Bob Marley in more than 20 years, we see Marley as never before: in music, in love, in life, and finally on his wild ride to worldwide acceptance and adoration.

Christopher John Farley, an editor at The Wall Street Journal, is a former Time magazine senior editor and chief music critic who has interviewed a host of major recording stars over his award-winning career, including Bob Dylan, U2, REM, Aretha Franklin, Jay-Z, Joni Mitchell, Lauryn Hill, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, Ziggy Marley, Shakira, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Norah Jones, Mary J. Blige and many others. He is the author of several music books, including the national bestseller Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. He is the co-author, along with Peter Guralnick and Robert Santelli, of Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues.

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