Bands: The Wailers
Bunny Wailer died aged seventy-three in Andrews Memorial Hospital in Saint Andrew Parish, Kingston ?, Jamaica on 2nd March 2021. He died of complications from a stroke he had the previous year.
Bunny Wailer was born Neville O'Riley Livingston on in Kingston, Jamaica and he spent his earliest years in the village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish. It was there that he first met Bob Marley, and the two young boys befriended each other quickly. Both Neville and bob came from single-parent families with Neville being brought up by his father and Bob by his mother.
Bunny Wailer had originally gone to audition for Leslie Kong at Beverley's Records in 1962, around the same time Bob Marley was cutting "Judge Not". Bunny Wailer had intended to sing his first composition, "Pass It On", which at the time was more ska-oriented, however, he was late getting out of school and missed his audition. A few months later, in 1963, he formed "The Wailers" with Bob Marley and friend Peter Tosh, and other short-term members Junior Braithwaite and Beverley Kelso. Bunny Wailer tended to sing lead vocals less often than Bob Marley and Tosh in the early years but when Bob left Jamaica in 1966 for Delaware in the US, and was briefly replaced by Constantine Walker, Bunny began to record and sing lead vocals on some of his own compositions, such as "Who Feels It Knows It", "I Stand Predominant", and "Sunday Morning". Bunny Wailer's style of music was influenced by gospel music and the soul singer Curtis Mayfield and In 1967, he recorded "This Train", based on a gospel standard.
As The Wailers regularly changed producers in the late 1960s, Bunny continued to contribute songs to the group's repertoire and he sang lead on such songs as "Dreamland", a cover of El Tempos' "My Dream Island", which soon became his signature song. In 1971, The Wailers recorded Bunny Wailer's song "Pass It On", which he claimed he wrote in 1962. He also sang lead vocals on "Reincarnated Souls", the B-side of The Wailers first Island single of the new era, and on two tracks on The Wailers last trio LP, "Burnin'": "Pass it On" and "Hallelujah Time". By now he was recording singles in his own right, cutting "Searching For Love", "Life Line", "Trod On", "Arab Oil Weapon", and "Pass It On" for his own record label.
Bunny toured with The Wailers in England and the United States, but soon became reluctant to leave Jamaica. Moreover, attention was increasingly getting focused on Bob Marley and Bunny subsequently left The Wailers in 1973 when he adopted the name "Bunny" in pursuit of a solo career.Before leaving The Wailers, Bunny Wailer had become more focused on his spiritual faith and he identified with the Rastafari movement.
After leaving The Wailers, Bunny Wailer experimented with disco on his album 'Hook Line & Sinker' He also had success recording in the typically apolitical, more pop, dancehall style.
In August 2012, it was announced that Bunny Wailer would receive Jamaica's fifth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica. In 2016, he played a month-long 'Blackheart Man' tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his 1976 album. In October 2017, he was awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican government, the nation's fourth-highest honour. In November 2019, Bunny Wailer received a Pinnacle Award in New York from the Coalition to Preserve Reggae.
music: Bunny Wailer - Rock 'N' Groove [Full Album]