While pursuing a prolific solo career, Jacob Miller became the lead singer for reggae group Inner Circle with whom he recorded until his death in a car accident at the age of 27.

As a youth in Kingston, Miller began spending time at popular studios including Clement Dodd’s Studio One. He recorded three songs for Dodd, including “Love is a Message” in 1968, which the Swaby brothers, (Horace, later called Augustus Pablo, and Garth) played at their Rockers Sound System. While the song did not garner much success nor maintain Dodd’s attention in Miller, it resulted in Pablo’s sustained interest in Miller.

After the brothers launched their own label in 1972, Pablo recorded a version of “Love is a Message” named “Keep on Knocking” in 1974. In the next year and a half Miller recorded five more songs for Pablo, “Baby I Love You So,” “False Rasta,” “Who Say Jah No Dread,” “Each One Teach One,” and “Girl Named Pat”, each of which became a Rockers classic with King Tubby dubs on their b-sides.

Bob Marley was a close friend and associate of Bob Marley.  In March 1980, Jacob Miller went with Bob Marley and Chris Blackwell to Brazil to celebrate Island opening new offices in South America. On Sunday, March 23, 1980 Miller was killed at age 27 in a car accident on Hope Road in Kingston, Jamaica. Miller and Inner Circle had been preparing for an American tour with Bob Marley and the Wailers, and the next album, Mixed Up Moods, had been recorded before his death.

Jacob Miller was UK reggae artist Maxi Priest’s uncle.

According to friend of the blog and photographer Rebbecca Gottlieb-Walker, who I recently spoke with about Miller:

“Jacob Miller was so much fun to photograph…he was warm and funny and gregarious and was obviously beloved in Jamaica and his death only a few years later was a real tragedy.”

Forward Ever, Backward Never (1978 Rehearsal)
Forward Ever, Backward Never
Ital Light
Laughing Babylon
Mixed Up Moods (Alternate)
Mixed Up Moods (Version)
Eli’s Move
Jolly Joseph
Jolly Joseph (Version)
Hungry Town Skank
False Rasta
Baby I love you so
King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
Tired Fe Lick Weed In A Bush
Chillum In A Gully
Forward Jah Jah Children
80’000 Careless Ethiopians