- Today 19 October in 1944, reggae musician Peter Tosh was born.
- Tosh commenced his solo recording career in 1976 with Legalize It
- No Nuclear War album, released in the year of his death, won the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album
Born on October 19th 1944 in 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.
Activism Through Music
Peter Tosh stood as an unapologetic advocate of what Marcus Garvey called “African Redemption” from extraordinarily dynamic performances, to musical expressions and of course an outspoken humanitarian/activist.
His outspoken call to “legalize it!” made him a target of police brutality in his day.
He was truly a man with a vision, and an advanced one at that. In countless interviews, speeches and songs, he argued that the herb “can build up your failing economy” and he hoped for the day when “there’ll be no more illegal humiliation and no more police interrogation.”
Tosh’s rallying cry may have seemed like a fantasy in the Jamaica of the 1970’s, but it continues to inspire and drive the legalization movement to this day, as the freedom to smoke as one wishes becomes a reality in more places.
Tosh’s Celebrated Albums
A core member of The Wailers with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, Tosh wrote many of the Wailers’ hit songs such as “Get Up, Stand Up”, “400 Years”, and “No Sympathy”.
Wanted Dread and Alive, Legalise It, Mama Africa and Equal Rights contain some of Tosh’s most potent work with his No Nuclear War album, released in the year of his death, winning the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album
Tosh Solo Career
Tosh commenced his solo recording career in 1976 with Legalize It (CBS Records) its title track calling for the decriminalization of the “healing herb” was banned in Jamaica.
At Kingston’s historic One Love Peace Concert in 1978 where Bob Marley dramatically joined together the hands of the Island’s warring political leaders – Michael Manley and Edward Seaga – Tosh brazenly lit a marijuana spliff onstage then chastised both men for the government’s continual persecution of healing herb users.