When Carlton "Carly" Barrett was found murdered on Good Friday, April 17, 1987, reggae lost one of its most influential drummers. Together with his older brother, Aston "Familyman" Barrett, on bass, Barrett furnished the rock steady rhythm section of Bob Marley And The Wailers from 1969 until Marley's death in 1981.
Barrett, who liked to be called "Field Marshal', was inspired by the drumming of Lloyd Nibbs of The Skatalites. After sharpening his percussive skills on a drum set that he built from old paint tin, Barrett launched his professional career in the nightclubs of Kingston in a band, The Hippy Boys, that he formed with his brother. After recording several singles as The Upsetters, for Lee "Scratch" Perry, Barrett and his brother joined forces with The Wailers. His one drum rhythm remained an essential ingredient of Marley's sound following the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston. Barrett's songwriting skills were revealed in the songs, including "Talkin' Blues" and "Them Belly Full", that he co-wrote with Marley.