Toots Hibbert is the voice of Jamaica. Grammy-winning artists Toots and the Maytals are credited with coining the word “Reggae” on their 1968 single “Do the Reggay.” “Until that time Reggay was a dance fad in Jamaica and was not associated with the style of music played by bands we now consider Reggae musicians.” (TootsandtheMaytals) They are considered legends of ska and reggae music. The group are all natives of Kingston. Jamaican music was in transition from ska in the early 60s to angry violent music and then to reggae, when the group formed, and they’re accredited for much of the latter transition.

This band has done more concerts with The Rolling Stones in the past 5 years than any other group. They’ve also toured with the Dave Matthews Band. Their latest album, “Light your Light,” has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 2007. They won a previous Grammy for “True Love.” This is the fourth time they are being considered for a Grammy since the initiation of the Reggae category.

The youngest of seven children, “Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the leader of the group, was born in May Pen in the Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica.” (Wiki) He started his singing career by singing in the church choir at age seven. Hibbert served 18 months jail time between 1966-67 for smoking and possession of Ganja (Jamaican term for pot). His voice has often been compared to Otis Redding due to his soulful style.

”The Maytals began their career at Studio One, the headquarters of Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, in Kingston, Jamaica. The group's debut release, HALLELUJAH, was an immediate hit throughout the island, and featured a mix of Jamaican rhythms and gospel vocal influence that would mark much of the Maytals music.” (Myspace)

The band disbanded in the 1980s and later reformed in the 1990s.

Toots and the Maytals hold the current record of number one hits in Jamaica with 31 number one songs. They’re music can be heard on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, on the K-JAH station. Also, Scarface: The World is Yours. The group has redone Radiohead’s Let Down album as a tribute. Sublime has recorded cover versions of some Maytal songs in the 1990s as well. Other bands have also done cover songs of this band.

TatM also hold the Guiness World Record for shortest time between the recording and release of a live album. (Myspace)

Occasionally, the Maytals would record with other producers, who perhaps to keep from having to pay royalties, would put different band names on the labels such as the Vikings, the Royals and the Flames.

    LP Discography:
  • Hallelujah (Jamaica Recording Studios 1966)
  • Sweet and Dandy (Beverley's 1969)
  • Monkey Man (Beverley's 1970)
  • From the Roots (Trojan 1970)
  • Funky Kingston (Mango 1973)
  • Live at Reggae (Sunsplash Mobile 1975)
  • In the Dark (Trojan 1976)
  • Reggae Got Soul (Mango 1976)
  • Funky Kingston (Trojan 1976)
  • Pass the Pipe (Mango 1979)
  • Just Like That (Mango 1980)
  • Live (Island Records (ILPS 9647) 1980)
  • Knock Out! (Mango 1981)
  • Hour Live (Genes 1997). Recorded in 1982
  • An Hour Live 'Straight from the Yard' (Dedicated to Robert Nesta Marley) (Sus 1990)
  • Sensational Ska (Jamaican Gold 1995)
  • Ska Father (Alla Son 1998)
  • Live in London (Trojan 1999)
  • Monkey Man (House Of 1997)
  • Bla. Bla. Bla. (Lagoon 1993)
  • Never Grow Old (Heartbeat 1997)
  • Recoup (Alla Son 1997)
  • True Love (V2 2004)
  • Roots Reggae (The Early Jamaican Albums) (Trojan 2005), contains 6 CDs
  • World Is Turning (XIII Bis 2005)
  • Light Your Light (Concord 2007)

If you have never heard of this band, first off, shame on you, but second, take a moment and go to their myspace page and listen to some tunes. Their profile has 600,000 profile views.

Current band members listed on their MySpace page: Toots Hibbert-Lead Vocals Leba Thomas-Backup Vocal Marie "Twiggi" Gitten- Backup Vocal Paul Douglas- Percussion Carl Harvey- Lead Guitar Jackie Jackson- Bass Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan- Rhythm Guitar Charles "The Bulge" Farquarson- Keyboard Norris "Computer" Webb- Keyboard.


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