‘No Woman No Cry’ Songwriter Vincent Tata Ford Died
By: Brittany Somerset, Intrepid Reporter
Vincent Tata Ford, the songwriter credited with composing the Bob Marley roots reggae classic mega-hit “No Woman, No Cry” died in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday, December 28th. He was 68. Ford suffered from a life long struggle with diabetes, lost both his legs to the disease and required the use of a wheelchair. A spokesman for the Bob Marley Foundation stated that Ford had died from complications caused by diabetes.
Despite his disability, he remained a gentle, upbeat, caring soul. Ford, known affectionally as Tata, ran a soup kitchen in his native Jamaica. He was frequently seen at the Bob Marley Museum and at various events held in Bob’s honor.
Ford’s timeless, international classic hit song ‘No Woman No Cry’ appeared on Marley’s Natty Dread album in 1974 and was re-released on the 1975 album, Live! No Woman No Cry’ garnered further international acclaim when it appeared on Bob Marley’s greatest hits compilation, Legend in 1984. Legend remains the best selling reggae album of all time.
Ford is also credited with three songs on Marley’s album, Rastaman Vibration, released in 1976:
While Marley is the most world renowned, revered performer of reggae music, and is credited for helping spread Jamaican music on a global scale, Ford lived in relative anonymity until his death. He discontinued writing songs after Marley’s death in 1981.
Both Marley and Ford were friends who lived in the Trench Town ghetto in Kingston in the 1960s, when Marley was still performing with the original Wailers. Some detractors claim Marley wrote No Woman No Cry himself, for his wife Rita, but gave Ford the songwriting credit to ensure that his friend would be financially supported by the song’s royalties.
That rumor is unlikely; however, considering Ford is also credited as the writer for “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” on the soundtrack to the dismal 2003 J.Lo and Ben Affleck flic Gigli. Vincent Ford also dabbled in acting, appearing as a team captain in the 1986 movie, “FDR: A One Man Show.”