Bob Marley & the Wailers

For marketing purposes, Bob Marley, the Wailers, and Bob Marley & the Wailers have become interchangeable names, used indiscriminately to refer to recordings actually made by separate entities. So, it is worth recalling the distinctions that existed at the times these entities performed and recorded. The Wailers, formed in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1963, was a vocal group consisting of Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, Bunny Livingston, Bob Marley, Peter McIntosh, and Cherry Smith; they were called variously the Teenagers, the Wailing Rudeboys, the Wailing Wailers, and finally the Wailers. Braithwaite, Kelso, and Smith had departed by 1966, leaving the trio of Livingston, Marley, and McIntosh. By the early '70s, they had begun playing musical instruments and added a rhythm section consisting of brothers Aston "Family Man" Barrett (bass) and Carlton (Carlie) Barrett (drums). After recording extensively in Jamaica, this unit was signed to Great Britain's Island Records, which issued its label debut, Catch a Fire, in April 1973, followed by Burnin' in November. These albums attracted critical attention but did not chart at first.