Tag: peter tosh

The passing of Bunny Wailer

The passing of Bunny Wailer Featured

It’s with deepest sadness to learn of the passing of one of my most favourite artists, the patriarch and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer.

I mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments.

The legend, whose real name was Neville O’Riley Livingston, had been the last surviving member of The Wailers, following Bob Marley’s death from cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh’s murder during a robbery in 1987.

Bunny Wailer played a key role in the development and popularising of reggae music across the world.

Wailer literally grew up with Marley from early childhood: Marley’s mother and Wailer’s father joined households in Kingston, and had a daughter together.

In 1963, Wailer and Marley formed The Wailing Wailers with their friend Peter Tosh. Singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith joined the group, but departed within a period of months to a few years.

By 1974 both Wailer and Tosh had departed from The Wailers, in part because the music industry seemed intently focused on making Marley a solo star. Wailer’s subsequent hits included the songs “Cool Runnings” and “Ballroom Floor,” as well as his 1976 album, Blackheart Man.

Wailer won three Grammys in the early 1990s; in 2017, he was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Merit, one of his country’s highest honours.May his soul rest in eternal peace!

Fred M’membe

The Wailers, reunited at last!

The Wailers, reunited at last! Featured

Bunny Wailer, 73, reggae pioneer and last surviving member of the Wailers, has died.

The Wailers, which included superstars Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, were Jamaica’s Beatles. They made ska and reggae music known to the world.

They were famous not only for their beats and melody, but for their lyrics. They made music that talked about the ordinary person, the poor, Blacks, and about discontent, personal and social change, rebellion, revolution.

Wailer and others started the band when they were still teenagers. Youth, indeed, is an age of creativity and revolutionary daring.

An author says Tosh was the group’s militant member; Marley, the poetic revolutionary humanist; and Wailer, the spiritual mystic.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” Powerful words brought together in a lovely but haunting melody. Truly, we have to free our minds so we can free ourselves.

All members of the Wailers have died, but their music won’t die. They will live forever in the hearts of the oppressed and fighting peoples of Africa and the world.

Kyle Haselsteiner

Socialist Youth League

Deputy General Secretary