THE WAILERS, Bob Marley's band of brothers who rose to international fame with him during the 1970s, are the subject of a new book by American writer and reggae historian John Masouri.
That book, Wailing Blues: The Story of Bob Marley's Wailers, was released in March. It is the latest tome based on reggae's most famous performer, but it is his band that stands front and centre this time.
The Wailers after Bob
Masouri looks at the Wailers in the aftermath of Marley's death from cancer in 1981. There is the death of drummer Carlton Barrett, the band's fight to stay relevant with the loss of key members and the legal battles waged by bass player Aston 'Family Man' Barrett against the Marley estate.
Journalist Ed Bumgardner, writing in the Winston-Salem Journal recently, said while Masouri's book is sympathetic especially to Family Man, it does not put Marley or his bandmates in a positive light.
"Marley died a rich man without a will. Deals in Jamaica were traditionally done on a handshake, and Marley's dealings with his band, in particular the Barretts, whom he considered partners, were done that way. The Barretts were under the mistaken assumption that they were contractual partners - something that ultimately left Family Man homeless and both brothers penniless," wrote Bum Gardener in his story on the book.
Carlton Barrett was murdered at his Kingston home in 1987. His wife and her lover were implicated in his death but escaped the murder charge; they were sentenced to seven years in prison.
Family Man lost a multimillion-dollar battle against the Marleys and Island Records in a the British High Court in May 2006.
The Barretts first recorded with Marley in the late 1960s for producer Lee 'Scratch' Perry; they became part of the Wailers line-up in the early 1970s when the group signed with Island Records.
Family Man, now 61, still leads the Wailers on tour. He is the only remaining member of the classic line-up.
Masouri has written extensively on reggae for various publications, including Echoes in the United Kingdom. He has also contributed to the British Broadcasting Corporation's documentary The Story of Jamaican Music and Blood and Fire.