The Wailers keep trodding
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
On their numerous tours, The Wailers have performed to millions of people worldwide.
The band's nucleus formed in 1969 when Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh recruited the Barrett brothers - bassist Aston 'Family Man' and drummer Carlton - to play on Trench Town Rock and Lively Up Yourself. When Wailer and Tosh left the band in the early 1970s, the outfit became Bob Marley and The Wailers.
Carlton died in 1987, leaving his brother as the main musician carrying The Wailers' mantle.
The history of The Wailers during Bob Marley's lifetime is well storied. Having sold over 250 million albums worldwide and performed for an estimated 24 million people across the globe, including groundbreaking performances in Africa and the Far East, they continue to be one of the most sought-after reggae bands.
In 2010, reggae artiste Koolant became lead singer of The Wailers, who have performed with international acts such as Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Sting. They have also collaborated with rapper Eve, Kenny Chesney, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.
Last year, The Wailers embarked on the worldwide Legend Tour 2014, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Legend, the best-selling reggae album of all time.
Their re-release of the landmark set made the top five of the Billboard Top 200 charts. The Wailers incorporated the album in its entirety in their live set.
In November last year, the band participated in One Love, marking the 35th anniversary of Bob Marley and the Wailers' debut at the Apollo Theatre, New York City.
In two sold-out performances, the band shared the stage with Third World, Maxi Priest, Bob's son Ky-Mani and surprise guest, Lauryn Hill. The historic event commemorated a four-night run in October 1979, when the band played two shows a night.
Also touring is The Original Wailers, led by guitarist Al Anderson. He worked on two of Marley's albums, Natty Dread and Kaya. Anderson later toured with Bob Marley and The Wailers alongside Junior Marvin on guitar and the Barrett brothers on drums and bass.
Original member, Bunny Wailer, has also been touring. In 2014, along with his Solomonic Reggaestra, he performed in Ireland for the first time and also did major festivals such as Reggae Sun Ska in Bordeaux, France, and Reggae Geel in Belgium. It was his first European tour in four years.
The Original Wailers have several upcoming tour appearances in New Zealand and Florida, while The Wailers are booked till June on their US tour.