Bob Marley was born on February 6th in 1945. Today would have been his 70th birthday…

And throughout 2015, in honor of his 70th birthday, Bob Marley’s fans are going to have the opportunity to listen to some heretofore unreleased and rare material. Starting February 17th, Tuff Gong International, in partnership with Caroline, will offer the first of the previously unavailable recordings as well as deluxe editions of Marley’s best known works. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to sneak an early listen to the first commemorative release, Bob Marley & The Wailers- Easy Skanking in Boston ’78.

Bob Marley died May 11, 1981 in Miami, Florida after a bout with metastatic skin cancer that eventually spread to his lungs and brain. He was just 36 years old at the time of his death. Despite the brevity of his life, Bob Marley made an indelible and unquestionable mark on reggae music. His music is still much beloved by generations of people around the world and has influenced and inspired countless creative people. Indeed, Bob Marley, who’s sold more than 20 million records, is considered an “ambassador” of reggae music.

I didn’t discover Bob Marley & The Wailers until 1990, when I was a college freshman. I had a roommate for one week who liked his music and played it constantly. That roommate and I ended up being totally incompatible, but I did take away a sincere appreciation for Bob Marley and the Wailers from the otherwise unpleasant but mercifully brief experience of living with her. After I moved out of our room, I went out and bought his eponymous greatest hits album, Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers. I’ve enjoyed Bob Marley’s music in the almost 25 years since! I guess I have that failed roommate experience to thank for that, though I feel pretty certain that I would have become a fan anyway. Bob Marley’s music is everywhere and it’s infectious!

I will take the weekend to give Easy Skanking in Boston ’78 a thorough review from start to finish. In a later post, I’ll offer my thoughts about this exciting new release. Until then, please have a look at this video, which offers more information about this upcoming release in honor of Bob Marley’s 70th birthday.