Julian “Junior” Marvin was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to London as a child, where his family and the UK theater community nurtured his love for acting and music. He appeared in The Beatles’ film Help, followed by a number of successful appearances on British television. Junior was also a member of the London cast of the musical Hair and can be heard on the original London cast recording.
After playing in various London-based bands, including Blue Ace Unit, Herbie Goins & The Night-Timers, White Rabbit and Salt & Pepper, Junior continued his musical apprenticeship in America, playing with such Blues and R&B legends as T-Bone Walker, Billy Preston and Ike & Tina Turner. He quickly earned a reputation as an innovative and expressive blues/rock guitarist.
Junior followed up with his own rock band, Hanson, who was quickly signed to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Manticore label by famed Atlantic Records executive Mario “The Big M” Medious. This was followed by the Hanson album Magic Dragon. Finding himself an in-demand session guitarist, particularly for artists on the Island Records label, Junior contributed to albums by Traffic, Fairport Convention, Reebop Kwaku Baah, Toots & The Maytals, Stomu Yamashta, Remi Kabaka, Eddie Quansah, Rico Rodriguez, and Steve Winwood.
On February 14, 1977, Junior was invited to join both Stevie Wonder’s band and Bob Marley & The Wailers band. His parents and musician friends helped him decide to accept Bob Marley’s invitation because they were both Jamaicans. The rest is history. The acclaimed Exodus LP became Junior’s debut with Bob Marley & The Wailers. In 1999, Time Magazine declared Exodus The Album Of The Century, while “One Love” was named Song of the Millennium in 2000. Junior was lead guitarist and musical contributor on all subsequent Bob Marley & the Wailers albums and toured worldwide with the Wailers until Bob’s passing in 1981.
Since then, Junior has released four CDs with The Wailers: ID, Majestic Warriors, Jah Message and My Friends (Live), plus numerous solo projects include “Wailin’ For Love”, “Smokin’”, “To The Big M Music”, and “Lion To Zion Dub Wise”. In 2002, Junior was included in Guitar World Magazine’s “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time” for his guitar solo on “Africa Unite” from the Bob Marley & The Wailers Survival album. Junior has also been a featured player on albums by Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Beres Hammond, Culture, Joe Higgs, SOJA, The Meditations, Israel Vibration, Alpha Blondy, The Congos, and Alborosie among others.
After touring with many incarnations of The Wailers since Bob Marley’s passing, Junior has stepped out to front his own unique version of The Wailers, playing and singing Bob Marley & the Wailers hit songs the way Bob intended them to be heard.
The Legendary Wailers’ new single “Message of Love” drops worldwide in 2020; an introduction to the forthcoming album Message Of Love.