Women behind Marley

Women behind Marley

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor ---
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

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WOMEN Rising, the second instalment in the mini-documentary series, was released on Bob Marley's YouTube channel yesterday.

Part of the reggae legend's 75th anniversary birthday celebrations, the documentary covers the I-Three, Marley's harmony trio; the messages and meaning of songs, including No Woman Nuh Cry; and interviews with activists, academics, and Marley family members.

Comprising Marley's wife, Rita, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt, the I-Three was formed in 1974 after original Wailers — Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer — had left the group due to differences.

The new outfit was named Bob Marley and The Wailers.

Music industry insider Maxine Stowe believes I-Three gave up promising careers to work with Marley, who was on the verge of international stardom.

“They were three solid career people, with Judy and Marcia having solid solo careers. They made the sacrifice to defer their solo careers to be his background singers,” Stowe told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Stowe has more than four decades of experience, having worked with established record companies including Sony International, Island Records, and Motown.

Women Rising was released on the final day of International Women's Month.

Griffiths, who hails from Upper Oxford Street in Hannah Town, West Kingston, was a rising star at the time the I-Three formed. She had several hit songs at Studio One during the 1960s and partnered with Bob Andy on a remake of Nina Simone's Young Gifted And Black in 1971, which climbed the British charts.

Rita Marley (nee Anderson) was part of The Soulettes, a group which had several recordings including Time for Everything, Turn Turn Turn, and A Deh Pon Dem.

Mowatt, a dancer, had a minor hit in the early 1970s with the ballad I'm Alone.

Marley, who died in 1981 at age 36, first called on their harmonies for his 1974 album, Natty Dread.

The I-Three can be heard on seven of his studio albums for Island Records.


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