I invite you to read a feature I just wrote for our friends at www.bobmarley.com. The feature is the second in a year-long series to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Bob Marley’s birthday.
OCTOBER 1973. The Wailers are on a whirlwind US tour to promote their new Burnin’ album, which was released by Island Records on October 19, 1973. Filling in for Bunny Wailer – who decided not to participate in the US tour following a grueling UK tour several months prior – was Joe Higgs. Considered by many to be the godfather of reggae, Higgs had rehearsed The Wailers in his Trench Town home for years, honing and shaping their vocal skills, eventually transforming the youths into a formidable vocal trio.
In order to broaden their audience they signed on to open 17 dates for Sly and the Family Stone, who were hot off their new single “If You Want Me to Stay” from their June 1973 album, Fresh. However, they only opened four shows for Sly, who dropped them from the tour after a gig in Las Vegas, leaving the band stranded without many options.