Words by Jesse Serwer—
Continuing on with our journey into some of Bob Marley’s best rare grooves, in celebration of his 67th birthday today, we’re going all the way back to the very beginning of the Wailers, when they were the ska vocal trio known as the Wailing Wailers. Motown Records was as much of an influence on a young Bob, Peter and Bunny as it was on all other Jamaican musicians during this era, but simply replacing the Motown backbeat with some bluebeat was too easy for these future legends. Backed by the Soul Brothers Orchestra at Studio One, they turned Junior Walker and the All-Stars’ Motown hit “Shotgun” into “Ska Jerk,” adding the flavor of one of the period’s most popular dances. Heartbreak Records included the rare Studio One side on its 1991 compilations One Love (At Studio One), a collection of Wailers songs recorded between 1963 and 1966, and Original Club Ska: Best of Studio One.