Best known as the music behind front man Bob Marley, the band has brought sounds of Rasta, reggae and ska to countries around the world. The Wailers will be performing at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno this Saturday.
Marley and friend Neville O’Reily “Bunny” Livingston had been working on their vocals in the streets of Kingston, Jamaica since the early 1960s, even making a few recordings. They formed The Wailing Wailers and released their first single in 1963, but the nucleus of the group formed 1969, according to www.wailers.com, when Marley, Bunny and Peter Tosh recruited established studio musicians the Barrett brothers: bassist Aston “Family Man” and drummer Carly. In 1974 the album “Natty Dread” was released and propelled the band to international fame with songs like the timeless “No Woman No Cry.”
Just after the release of “Natty Dread,” Wailer and Tosh left to form their own musical project and after Marley died of cancer in 1981, Family Man assumed the position as front man of the group. Family Man, whose nickname is derived from the fact that he has 52 children, is sometimes credited, sometimes takes credit for many of the bass lines and songs that made Marley famous. British newspaper The Guardian reported in May 2006 that Family Man had just lost his third lawsuit to claim $113 million in royalties he thought was due to him and Carly, who was murdered in 1987, from Wailers songs.
The Wailers have played with acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana. Rolling Stone magazine cited Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, The Drifters (led by Ben E. King), The Moonglows and The Tams as musical influences for Bob Marley and the Wailers. The current incarnation of The Wailers has nine members.
According to the band’s Web site, the group raises money for its “I Went Hungry” campaign, which is an effort to eradicate hunger worldwide. The group has partnered with the World Food Program, a humanitarian agency, in an effort to solve the food crisis in Ethiopia. To date, 97,095 children have been fed as a result of donations made to the I Went Hungry campaign.
The show begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. Tickets can be purchased at www.grandsierraresort.com or by calling (800) 648-3568.