Bunny Wailer on the mend

Observer senior writer

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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JUST over one month since suffering a mild stroke, reggae great Bunny Wailer is undergoing therapy and recuperating, according to his manager Maxine Stowe.

Wailer, 71, suffered the stroke on October 11 at his Kingston home. Stowe told the Jamaica Observer that the singer/songwriter had just returned from his farm in Portland when she noticed he had “some communication problems”.

He was taken to his private doctor where it was discovered his right side was affected and his speech impaired.

Stowe disclosed that Wailer is doing therapy five times a week and improving.

“It didn't affect anything major except his speech. The muscles on his right side are a bit affected, but he's responding to therapy,” she said.

Though he was forced to cancel the last two shows of his United States tour in 2016, Stowe pointed out that Wailer has been in excellent health. At the tail of that tour two years ago, he was admitted to hospital in Florida for a bout of influenza.

Born Neville Livingston, Wailer is the sole survivor of the three most famous members of The Wailers, a harmony group formed in Trench Town during the early 1960s. Along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, he recorded a number of cutting-edge songs like Small Axe, Duppy Conqueror, Mr Brown, and Get Up Stand Up which impressed record companies in the US and United Kingdom.

After recording two albums for Island Records, Wailer and Tosh left the group in 1973. Marley died from cancer at age 36 in 1981, while Tosh was murdered at his home in 1987 at age 42.

Because Marley and Tosh died intestate, Stowe stressed that Wailer has meticulously taken charge of his affairs.

“In terms of his catalogue, publishing and museum, everything is structured. All is in place,” she said.

The Bunny Wailer catalogue includes classic albums such as Blackheart Man and Rock N Groove. He has won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album three times.

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