Bob Marley and the Wailers were a Jamaican reggae band created by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The band formed when self-taught musician Hubert Winston McIntosh (Peter Tosh) met Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer), and Robert Nesta Marley (Bob Marley) in 1963 and taught them how to play guitar, keyboards, and percussion. By late 1963 Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith had joined The Wailers. After Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left the band in 1974, Bob Marley began touring with new band members. His newbacking band included brothers Carlton and Aston "Family Man" Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl "Wya" Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on percussion. The "I Threes", consisting of Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, and Marley's wife, Rita, provided backing vocals.
The lineup was known variously as The Teenagers, The Wailing Rudeboys, The Wailing Wailers and finally The Wailers. By 1966 Braithwaite, Kelso and Smith had left the band, which then consisted of the trio Livingston, Marley and Tosh (Neville Livingston being the birth name of Bunny Wailer).
Some of The Wailers most notable songs were recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry and his studio band The Upsetters. During the early 1970s The Upsetters members Aston "Family Man" Barrett and his brother Carlton (Carlie) Barrett, formed the Wailers Band, providing instrumental backing for The Wailers.
The Wailers disbanded in 1974 due to Tosh and Livingston's refusal to tour. Bob Marley formed Bob Marley and the Wailers with himself as guitarist, songwriter and main singer, the Wailers Band as the backing band, and the I Threes as backup vocalists. The Wailers Band included the brothers Carlton Barrett and "Family Man" Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson playing lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl "Wya" Lindo playing keyboard, and Alvin "Seeco" Patterson playing percussion. The I Threes consisted of Bob Marley's wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths.
Livingston believed that producer Chris Blackwell, whom he called "Chris Whiteworst", was responsible for the bad relationship between the band members, as he thought Blackwell released their albums under "Bob Marley and the Wailers" instead of "the Wailers" since 1969, which tested their friendship. Perry released two compilation albums for Trojan Records in 1974, Rasta Revolution and African Herbsman, which contained songs from Soul Rebels and Soul Revolution, respectively, and he was the copyright holder of several songs from these albums. These changes caused a major dispute between Marley and Perry, when the former saw the albums, six months after their publication, in the Half Way Road in England.
Bob Marley and the Wailers, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer all enjoyed considerable success as reggae music continued to gain popularity during the 1970s and 1980s. Several of the group's members have died subsequent to Marley's death in 1981: Carlton Barrett and Tosh in 1987, Braithwaite in 1999, and Smith in 2008. Bunny Wailer and Beverley Kelso are the only surviving members of the group's original line-up.