Happy Birthday Peter Tosh – Remembering The Legacy

By:  John Masouri

The legacy of Peter Tosh; his beliefs and fierce stance for equal rights and justice continues to be heard through his classic recordings.  Born on October 19th1944 in Westmoreland in the midst of a hurricane, Winston Hubert McIntosh, aka Peter Tosh, was destined to be a force in Reggae.

After leaving for Kingston as a teenager he, Bob Marley and Bunny Livingston founded the Wailers with whom he enjoyed considerable success throughout the ska, rocksteady and early reggae eras, most notably for Studio One and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Tosh was the first Wailer to sing about Rastafari, and his own hits included The ToughestMaga Dog and Stepping Razor. As part of the group that signed to Island Records for the Catch A Fire and Burnin’ albums he also co-wrote Get Up Stand Up with Marley, which is now hailed as one of popular music’s greatest protest songs, along with post-Wailers’ solo hits like Legalise ItEqual Rights and Apartheid, which consolidated his status as Jamaica’s most outspoken and controversial figurehead.



His incendiary performance at 1978’s One Love Peace Concert resulted in him signing to the Rolling Stones’ label and being badly beaten by Kingston police, although the Bush Doctor’s fearless calls for human rights, equality, African liberation, nuclear disarmament and the legalisation of marijuana would continue unabated until September 1987, when he was brutally murdered by gunmen at his Kingston home.

More than thirty years later, Peter Tosh is revered as an international reggae superstar, with a Jamaican Order of Merit to his name, and also a Museum in New Kingston commemorating his remarkable life and achievements.    

Visit The Museum


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