In a world which still tries to force the evil and false philosophy of white supremacy down the throat of the people, they would have us believe that Bob Marley is bigger than Reggae because of his white father. The truth is, while Bob Marley gained international fame and fortune from reggae music, he pales in comparison to some of the real geniuses of Reggae music.
Today we look at Bob Andy.
There is Bob Dylan, there is Bob Marley and there is Bob Andy. What do these three Bobs have in common? They are all great songwriters. When it comes to Jamaican songwriters though, with the exception of Sizzla, Bob Andy stands above the rest.
Bob Andy is considered reggae’s first serious songwriter and for very good reasons. In the 1960s, when top ska and rocksteady acts were into covering their American counterparts like The Tams and The Impressions, Andy came into his own.
I’ve Got to Go Back Home, his first big hit, is a horn-hooked classic considered a rallying cry for repatriation to Africa.
That opened the floodgates. At producer Clement Dodd’s Studio One, Andy wrote and sang songs that are rated among the best in reggae. They include Too Experienced, Unchained and Really Together (with Marcia Griffiths).
With militant Jamaican youth demanding social change in the early 1970s, Andy was one of the writers who summed up the times with songs like the provocative Check It Out and Fire Burning.
Andy was born Keith Anderson in 1944. A founding member of harmony group The Paragons, he started his career in the early 1960s; but he left before they became hitmakers at producer Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label.
Andy showed a different side to his talent by playing the lead role in the 1978 movie, Children of Babylon. But musically, he was largely lost to fans in the 1980s.
A decade later, he was back in demand when Griffiths covered Fire Burning at the height of a massive rocksteady revival.
Bob Andy, now 73, continues to record and perform. In 2006, he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for his contribution to the country’s music.
So why is Bob Andy not talked about by Jamaicans the way Bob Marley is? Because neither his mother nor father were white so they never got the stamp of approval from white people. Unfortunately, most Black people (especially in Jamaica) only value what white people tell them is valuable.