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Bunny Wailer photographed in London in 1988.

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Singer, songwriter and percussionist Bunny Wailer, an icon of reggae music, died in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday morning. He was 73 years old. Wailer was a founding member of The Wailers, alongside Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

His death was reported initially by Jamaica's Observer newspaper, which said that he had been unwell since enduring a second stroke in July 2020.

It was confirmed by Olivia Grange, Jamaica's minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, who said in a statement: "I announce with deepest sadness the passing of the patriarch, brother, friend and Jamaican music icon, the great Bunny Wailer ... We mourn the passing of this outstanding singer, songwriter and percussionist and celebrate his life and many accomplishments. We remain grateful for the role that Bunny Wailer played in the development and popularity of reggae music across the world."

Wailer was born Neville O'Riley Livingston on April 10, 1947, and literally grew up with Marley from early childhood: Marley's mother and Wailer's father joined households in Kingston, and had a daughter together.

In 1963, Wailer and Marley formed The Wailing Wailers with their friend Peter Tosh. Singers Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso and Cherry Smith joined the group, but departed within a period of months to a few years.

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Even as The Wailers rose to international success, touring England and the U.S., Wailer was also recording singles in his own right, and had formed his own record label, as had Marley and Tosh.

By 1974 both Wailer and Tosh had departed from The Wailers, in part because the music industry seemed intently focused on making Marley a solo star. Wailer's subsequent hits included the songs "Cool Runnings" and "Ballroom Floor," as well as his 1976 album, Blackheart Man.

Wailer won three Grammys in the early 1990s; in 2017, he was awarded Jamaica's Order of Merit, one of his country's highest honors.

In a 2016 interview in New York — during his first U.S. tour in more than two decades — Wailer told NPR that he hoped to "just keep on singing ska, rocksteady and reggae music. That's my legacy: to sing for you people and to teach you people of what I've known by singing this music."

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104.9 FM has been purchased by Northern California Public Media. The former KDHT is now KRCB FM. The frequency has been changed, by permission of the FCC, from a commercial station to a non-commercial station. NorCal Public Media wanted to acquire a larger, more powerful radio frequency, and Amaturo Sonoma Media Group was willing to sell 104.9 to NorCal Public Media.

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KRCB 1049 radio logoBrowse around our site and you'll see a few ways you can join in the effort to make KRCB 104.9 a great community radio station for Sonoma County. You can record a message that we play on-air, give us some new ideas, and keep abreast of what we're doing. New ways to engage with us our coming soon.
 
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“Sonoma County Baby” began in 2013 as a way to connect new Sonoma County mothers with the history of the county. In cooperation with Sutter Health, a nice book was published that featured the stories of several dozen Sonoma County families, describing how they each came to Sonoma County. The book was given to new moms. The project’s website is here: http://sonomacountybaby.com/.
 
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fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds: atowhee.blog.  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at http://www.towhee.net/.

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