Bob Marley and the Wailers, The New York Phonograph, October 1975

Here is a rare piece about Bob Marley and the Wailers by Mitch Cohen which was published in the October 1975 issue of WNEW’s free paper THE NEW YORK PHONOGRAPH.  The group amazed the NYC music scene with a legendary performance on the Central Park Stage earlier in June of the same year.

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The Schaefer Music Festival was a music festival held in summer between 1968 and 1976 at the Wollman Skating Rink in New York City’s Central Park. The festival began in 1966 as the Rheingold Central Park Music Festival, the series was sponsored by F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company, brewer of Schaefer Beer.

Club owner and musician Hilly Kristal, owner of the famed CBGBs co-founded the series with producer and concert promoter Ron Delsener. Inexpensive tickets, which started at $1 in 1967 and rose to only $3 by 1976 contributed to the event’s popularity. The shows were very popular and usually sold out.  Hundreds would spend the entire day on line for a concert.  While the capacity of the Wollman Rink was usually limited to about 6,000 to 7,000 people, it is reported that Bob Marley’s performance in 1975 attracted about 15,000 people.

Bob Marley and the Wailers, on tour promoting the Natty Dread album, played the opening summer show of the festival on a hot and muggy June 18, 1975.  The show is notable because  it is one of the few live performances featuring the only white member of The Wailers, harmonica player Lee Jaffe.  Jaffe plays harmonica on “Rebel Music (3 O’clock Road Block)” and “Talkin’ Blues”. 

In response to Marley’s performance, NYC Mayor Abraham D. Beame offered Marley the key to the city.  This ornamental key is presented to esteemed visitors, residents, or others the city wishes to honor. Evoking medieval walled cities whose gates were guarded during the day and locked at night, the key symbolizes the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will as a trusted friend of city residents.

The show audio was captured by an audience member and is presented here for your listening enjoyment.  The audio files are shared in lossless format (FLAC).

Please click here for a copy of the Schaefer Music Festival Program.


1. Presentation of NYC Welcoming Letter*
2. Bob’s Intro
3. Trenchtown Rock
4. Slave Driver
5. Burnin & Lootin
6. Concrete Jungle
7. Kinky Reggae**
8. Midnight Ravers
9. Lively Up Yourself
10. No Woman No Cry***
11. Rebel Music**
12. Them Belly Full
13. Natty Dread
14. I Shot the Sheriff**
15. Talkin Blues
16. Get Up Stand Up*









3 thoughts on “Bob Marley and the Wailers, The New York Phonograph, October 1975

  1. there was a video cameraman filming that day, i have a short dubbed clip like 10-15 seconds long but unable to find anymore, i did try to find more it but was told no more was filmed but was never able to speak to the person who filmed it to get a definitive answer but find it hard to believe they only shot 15 seconds!, i think someone is sitting on the video, maybe someone know more about the video….

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