You Say It's Your Birthday: Ziggy Marley

Today is the 29th birthday of David "Ziggy" Marley, the eldest son of

reggae stars Bob and Rita Marley. Ziggy has spent his entire career

filling the void left by his father's death in 1981, playing smooth and

sometimes political reggae with a large band. Ziggy was taught how to play

guitar and drums by his father at a very early age and was sitting in on

Bob Marley and the Wailers sessions by the age of 10. His father recorded

"Children Playing In The Streets" in 1979 with Ziggy, sister Cedella,

brother Stephen and half-sister Sharon all appearing on the track -- a group

that would soon be dubbed the Melody Makers. The group played family

events for a few years, making a world debut of sorts at their father's

funeral.

The group was signed by EMI a few years later but 1985's Play The Game

Right and 1986's Hey World drew little attention from the

listening public. The group finally broke through when it moved to Virgin

in 1988 and released Conscious Party, an album which contained the

hit "Tomorrow People" and earned the group their first Grammy. Ziggy Marley

and the Melody Makers have been touring constantly and releasing a steady

string of albums ever since, though their output in the '90s hasn't reached

the success levels of Conscious Party. The band switched to Elektra

in 1994, releasing Free Like We Want 2 B in 1995 and Fallen Is

Babylon in 1996.

Other birthdays: Gary Puckett, 55; James Seals (Seals & Crofts), 56 and

James Tucker (Turtles), 51.