Founding Father of Reggae

by Richard Brookhiser

I recently saw Marley, the documentary about reggae star Bob Marley (1945–81). It was long and rather staid, but it had interesting interviews and footage and some nice beauty shots of Jamaica, which takes a good picture. All the reviews criticized it for not playing any one song through, but that was the right decision: A complete track would have stopped the movie dead.

I was struck by certain resemblances between the musician and another West Indian who made good: Both were illegitimate sons of abandoning fathers; both grew up on the wrong side of the tracks; both conquered their chosen worlds; both were driven, charming and willful; both replicated the sexual irresponsibility of their fathers; both died at least in part thanks to their own characters.

Here they are:


The Corner

The one and only.