Bob Marley (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) | My Favorite Live Videos

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Today, February 6th, 2013, is Bob Marley’s birthday. Taken from his Wikipeidia:

Nesta Robert Marley OM (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer-songwriter who achieved international fame through a series of crossover reggae albums. Starting out in 1963 with the group the Wailers, he forged a distinctive songwriting and vocal style that would later resonate with audiences worldwide. The Wailers would go on to release some of the earliest reggae records with producer Lee Scratch Perry. After the Wailers disbanded in 1974, Marley pursued a solo career which culminated in the release of the album Exodus in 1977 which established his worldwide reputation. He was a committed Rastafarian who infused his music with a profound sense of spirituality.”

There is a lot of music out there, but there was something about Bob’s music that evoked a mystic sentiment. It can be a rainy day, or you could be snowed in, but as soon as you press play on one of his records, I guarantee your spirits will be lifted … with or without “herbal” supplements.

The first Bob Marley CD I owned was “Legend”. I purchased it at a used CD store in college town during my sophomore year with the money I had earned the previous weekend serving beers at a frat party.  I had just started dating a girl around the time of the purchase and as I placed the disc into my Discman to listen on the walk back to my apartment, I remember hearing the simple love song “Is This Love”. It felt like Bob was feeling what I was feeling, and at that moment I felt a connection to his words and music … a connection that is often hard to come by these day. Though the relationship with the girl ran its course after graduation, I remember one of the first songs I played in order to cope with the loss was “No Woman No Cry” off the same CD. At that moment, no other song, except perhaps Brian McKnight’s “One Last Cry”, helped me to deal with the heartache. I came full circle with Bob, and I am certainly glad he was there for me.

Bob Marley is one of the most important musical, and social, figures in music history. I have compiled a few of the videos I found online that I enjoyed. I hope you enjoy each of them and fall in love with his music like I did.

If you have the spare time, this full live concert is a great view and a good collection of his amazing music:

1.Positive Vibration 1:20
2.Wake Up and Live 6:30
3.I Shot the Sheriff 11:45
4.Ambush in the Night 16:20
5.Concrete Jungle 20:10
6.Running Away 25:10
7.Crazy Baldhead 28:40
8.Them Belly Full 33:20
9.Heathen 36:42
10.Ride Natty Ride 41:15
11.Africa Unite 45:25
12.One Drop 49:55
13.Exodus 54:00
14.So Much Things to Say 1:00:10
15.Zimbabwe 1:03:40
16.Jamming 1:07:45
17.Is This Love 1:12:45
18.Kinky Reggae 1:16:00
19.Stir It Up 1:19:35
20.Get Up Stand Up 1:23:15

In Memoriam | Lena Horne | 1917-2010

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On May 9, 2010, Lena Mary Calhoun Horne, professionally known as Lena Horne, passed away.  A talented actress, engaged social activist, and sublime vocalist, Lena Horne was one of the first female jazz vocalists that I fell in love with.

I got introduced to Jazz music in middle school at the same time I delved into musical theater.  There was a musical called “Show Boat” (a heavy musical that dealt with integration and interracial romance) that I was researching at the local library, and I remember finding a version of my favorite song from the musical on a jazz sampler.  The song was “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and it was performed by Lena Horne.  There is a lot of history and trivia out there, and rather than write it all out here, I suggest you click on this IMBD link to read more.

Heaven.  Her voice was expressed so much emotion and expression that my heart melted, and she’s been a constant staple of my jazz collection and playlist rotation ever since.

Today, I remember a voice that I fell in love with.  With her passing back in 2010, a little bit of my heart broke. A classic beauty, sublime talent and divine individual doesn’t come around that often.  I’m just glad a bit of her soul is still with us in recordings and video.  Below are some of my favorite Lena Horne performances.

R.I.P., Lena. My “Lady” of jazz.