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Soulful Sundays: Rita Marley

Screen shot 2012-05-06 at 12.12.25 AM

Before Rita Marley became known internationally as the wife of reggae superstar, Bob Marley, and a member of his backup group, the I Threes, she was a singer with the girl group, the Soulettes. They began recording with legendary producer, Clement Dodd, in 1964. It was Dodd who suggested that Bob become their mentor and manager. And during this time, Rita and Bob fell in love.

She released her first single, Pied Piper, in 1967, a year after she married Bob and approximately 7 years after they met.

Soulful Sundays: Rita Marley Photo courtesy of Michael Chambers Photography

Soulful Sundays: Rita Marley Photo courtesy of Michael Chambers Photography

Between having children — she had three with Bob — and being a backup singer with the I Threes from 1974 to 1981, Rita probably did not have time to record another solo album as the next one is dated 1980. Following Bob’s death, she recorded more than 10 albums, the most recent in 2006, which saw limited success.

As the widow of the reggae superstar, Rita has worked tirelessly to preserve Bob’s memory. Following his death, she turned Bob’s home on Hope Road in Kingston into a museum and established a foundation which bears the late singer’s name.

In addition to her efforts to keep the Marley name alive, in 2000, Rita created her own foundation, which works to alleviate hunger and poverty among youths and the elderly in developing countries.

Rita, who was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1946 makes her home in Ghana, where she is known as Nana Rita.

Please give a listen to One Draw.

Photo of Rita Marley courtesy of Michael Chambers Photography. You can see more of Michael’s work on Facebook at Michael Chambers Photography.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple
Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

Travel Photo Thursday: Jamaican Orchids

Jamaican Orchid

I don’t have a green thumb but I love flowers, especially orchids. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to love me. Each time I buy one, I think it will be different, it will last more than a few months.  Each time, I’ve been wrong.

Now that I’m in Jamaica, where orchids are plenty and grow wild, I’m tempted but I’m gun shy. So for now, I’m satisfied to take photos of the ones I see.

Jamaican orchid

Jamaican orchid

Over 30,000 species of orchids can be found worldwide. Approximately 230 are found in Jamaica. Of that number, about 70 are endemic to the island.

The main threat to Jamaican orchids is from the destruction of their habitats caused by land clearing for housing, hotel and agricultural development, bauxite and/or limestone mining, harvesting of forest products for timber, fuel wood, fish pots, yam sticks and fence posts.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

The second greatest threat to the species is believed to be collection by orchid enthusiasts for local and international trade. The government has enacted legislation to protect their habitats and regulate the orchid trade. Sanctuaries have also been established to relocate orchids that are found in areas under threat.

These orchids are from the gardens of friends and family.

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

Jamaican Orchid

This one is known locally as Poor Man’s Orchid. It sure looks like it could be.

Poor Man's Orchid

Poor Man's Orchid

This is my submission to this week’s Budget Travelers Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday series. Be sure to check out other photo and story entries on their website!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Speaking of today’s observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a friend, I was reminded of the time before there was an actual holiday.

It took approximately 18 years from the campaign for a federal holiday began after King was assassinated in 1968 to the signing into law by President Reagan in 1983 to the first observation in 1986. During that time, countless people lobbied and worked tirelessly for the day.

Take a look at this clip from the documentary, The Making of a Holiday.

Sometime in the 1980s, I attended a Stevie Wonder concert where he got the crowd all fired up about the efforts that had been underway. He ended the show with a rousing sing-along to the Happy Birthday song (lyrics below). I remember that my friends and I left the concert singing the song and on the drive back to Canada, discussing ways we could get involved.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

My friend reminded of the people, like herself, who before the day became an official holiday took the day off and made silent prayers that they’d have a job when they returned to work the following day. I was living in the States by then and was lucky enough to be working with a company that gave us the day off long before it became a recognized holiday.

There was a feeling of elation that year of the first observance. I remember the discussions. Everyone I knew wanted the day to live up to the ideal that Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced and espoused – that of service to others. We knew without an emphasis on service, it would be easy for the day to become just another shopping day. In fact, earlier today, I heard a commercial on television that went something like this: Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. We at (name of company) also have a dream…I couldn’t believe it.

After some resistance, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is now observed in all 50 states.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Happy Birthday, Dr. King (January 15th). Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Happy Birthday”

You know it doesn’t make much sense

There ought to be a law against

Anyone who takes offense

At a day in your celebration

Cause we all know in our minds

That there ought to be a time

That we can set aside

To show just how much we love you

And I’m sure you would agree

It couldn’t fit more perfectly

Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

I just never understood

How a man who died for good

Could not have a day that would

Be set aside for his recognition

Because it should never be

Just because some cannot see

The dream as clear as he

that they should make it become an illusion

And we all know everything

That he stood for time will bring

For in peace our hearts will sing

Thanks to Martin Luther King

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

 

Why has there never been a holiday

Where peace is celebrated

all throughout the world

 

The time is overdue

For people like me and you

Who know the way to truth

Is love and unity to all God’s children

It should be a great event

And the whole day should be spent

In full remembrance

Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people

So let us all begin

We know that love can win

Let it out don’t hold it in

Sing it loud as you can

 

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Ooh yeah

Happy birthday…

 

We know the key to unify all people

Is in the dream that you had so long ago

That lives in all of the hearts of people

That believe in unity

We’ll make the dream become a reality

I know we will

Because our hearts tell us so