IN 1962, 60 YEARS AGO, A HISTORIC JAMAICAN PRODUCER CALLED, RECORDED BOB MARLEY’S FIRST SINGLE UNDER THE TITLE “JUDGE NOT”.
BOB MARLEY’S FIRST SINGLE
Having moved to the Trench Town area of Kingston a few years earlier, Bob Marley was beginning to play guitar and sing his first songs. The idea to record this track is said to have come from his friend Desmond Dekker, who had recently recorded a song at Federal Studios. In fact, Dekker took him to Beverly Records to record “Judge Not.” It was actually one of four songs Marley recorded in the sessions, along with “One Cup of Coffee,” “Do You Still Love Me?” and “Terror”.
This first single was produced by Leslie Kong in February 1962, around the seventeenth birthday of the King of Reggae. Obviously, it was developed on a Ska rhythm, since Reggae was not even born yet. In “Judge Not”, we can already see Bob Marley’s interest in morality and he laid the groundwork for his later meditations on the human spirit.
Although it was not very successful, even in the Jamaican recording industry, it was the foundation for Bob Marley to later become the musical legend we know today. Still, Marley had achieved his goal: he had shown his partner Bunny Livingston that it was not impossible to make a record.
A year later, in 1963, Bob and Bunny became friends with Peter Tosh. The three decided to form a vocal group called The Teenagers. Behind this formation, we could also find Joe Higgs, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith. Indeed, from that seed sprang the ubiquitous The Wailers, who in 1966 released “Simmer Down.” This anthem was their first big hit in Jamaica and contained a strong socially conscious message aimed at curbing violence.
Bob Marley’s first single