Bob Marley rocked Penn Hall today in 1979 - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

As the free newspaper Caribbe′ wrote at the time, “When a concert audience gets to its feet before the performers have played even one note, you know something special is happening.”

It was November 7th, 1979. Bob Marley took to the stage with The Wailers at Penn Hall in Philadelphia. The show was put on by Penn’s Black Music Association, and a review in Caribbe’ talked of audience members standing on their seats, screaming to guitar solos from Jr. Marvin, vocal harmonies by the I-Threes and of course the charismatic Marley himself. “Even as Philadelphia’s Mayor-elect [William J. Green III] promised to bring people together, the Wailers brought together young and old, black and white in dancing, cheering unity.”

But this wasn’t the only time Marley popped up in Philly that year. 6 months earlier, on June 9th, he was joined by Steve Wonder in an impromptu jam session at the Sheraton Hotel, also organized by the Black Music Association. The duo performed a rendition of “Get Up, Stand Up” with The Wailers, which had the crowd literally, jumping on up on chairs and tables, reported by The Salinas Journal at the time.

Were you at either show? Leave your memories in the comments.


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