Toots and the Maytals
Toots and the Maytals
Performing at the Summer Sundae festival, Leicester, August 2011
|Members||Frederick "Toots" Hibbert|
Marie "Twiggi" Gitten
Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan
|Past members||Henry "Raleigh" Gordon|
Nathaniel "Jerry" Matthias
Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, are a Jamaican musical group and one of the best known ska and rocksteady vocal groups. The Maytals were formed in the early 1960s and were key figures in popularizing reggae music. Frontman Toots Hibbert's soulful vocal style has been compared to Otis Redding, and led him to be named one of the 100 Greatest Singers by Rolling Stone. Their 1968 single "Do the Reggay", was the first song to use the word "reggae", naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. As Island Records founder Chris Blackwell says, "The Maytals were unlike anything else ... sensational, raw and dynamic."
- 1 Career
- 2 Awards, Recognition and Accolades
- 3 Museums and expositions
- 4 Discography
- 5 Saturday Night Live parody
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Formation and early success
Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the frontman of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica, in 1942, the youngest of seven children. He grew up singing gospel music in a church choir and moved to Kingston in the late 1950s.
Hibbert met Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" Mathias in Kingston in 1962 and formed The Maytals as a vocal trio, a group whose early recordings were incorrectly attributed to The Flames and The Vikings in the UK by Island Records. The first instrumentalist members added to the group included Jackie Jackson, Hux Brown, Rad Bryan, and Paul Douglas. In 1972, the group changed its name from The Maytals to Toots and the Maytals, with "Toots" referring to frontman Toots Hibbert, and "the Maytals" referring to the group's instrumentalists and background vocalists. In November 2016, Jackie Jackson described the formation of the group in a radio interview for Kool 97 FM Jamaica. Accompanied by Paul Douglas and Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan in studio, Jackson explained,
We're all original members of Toots and the Maytals band. First it was Toots and the Maytals, three guys: Toots, Raleigh, and Jerry. … And then they were signed to Island Records, Chris Blackwell. And we were their recording band. One day we were summoned to Chris’ house. And he says, "Alright gentleman, I think it's time. This Toots and the Maytals looks like it’s going to be a big thing". By this time he had already signed Bob (Marley). So in his camp, Island Records, there was Toots and the Maytals / Bob Marley; we were talking about reggae is going international now. We kept on meeting and he (Blackwell) decided that the backing band that back all of the songs, the recording band, should be the Maytals band. So everything came under Toots and the Maytals. So we became Maytals also. And then we hit the road in 1975 ... we were the opening act for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Jackson Browne. We were the opening act for The Who for about two weeks.
The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd's house band, the Skatalites, the Maytals' close-harmony gospel singing ensured success, overshadowing Dodd's other up-and-coming vocal group, the Wailers. After staying at Studio One for about two years, the group moved on to do sessions for Prince Buster before recording with Byron Lee in 1966. With Lee, the Maytals won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their original song "Bam Bam" (later covered in a Dancehall style by Sister Nancy, and also by Yellowman in 1982). The group's musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was jailed for 18 months for possession of marijuana. He stated that he was not arrested for ganja, but while bailing a friend. Hibbert reportedly wrote "54-46 That's My Number" about his time in jail.
Following Hibbert's release in 1967, the Maytals began working with the Chinese Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, a collaboration which yielded a string of hits throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. These included "Do the Reggay", released in 1968, which was the first song to first use the word "reggae" and gave the developing genre its name.
Reggae is listed in the dictionary as:
reggae [reg-ey] (noun) – a style of Jamaican popular music blending blues, calypso, and rock-'n'-roll, characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and lyrics of social protest. Origin of reggae: Jamaican English, respelling of reggay (introduced in the song “Do the Reggay” (1968) by Frederick "Toots" Hibbert)
The Maytals are responsible for some of the biggest hits in reggae history, including "Pressure Drop," "Sweet And Dandy" and "54-46 (That's My Number)", the winner of the 1969 Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition.
In 1970 "Monkey Man" became the group's first international hit. By 1971, they signed a recording contract with Chris Blackwell's Island Records, become the biggest act on the island, and had become international stars.
In 1972 the group won the Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition for a third time with "Pomps and Pride". The group was also featured twice in the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, the 1972 film starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair's top 10 soundtracks of all time.
After Kong's death in 1971, the group continued to record with Kong's former sound engineer, Warrick Lyn. Their re-instated producer Byron Lee renamed them Toots & the Maytals. The group released three best-selling albums produced by Lyn and Blackwell of Island Records, and enjoyed international hits with Funky Kingston in 1973 and Reggae Got Soul in 1975. Music critic Lester Bangs described the album Funky Kingston in Stereo Review as "perfection, the most exciting and diversified set of reggae tunes by a single artist yet released". Chris Blackwell had a strong commitment to Toots and the Maytals, saying "I've known Toots longer than anybody – much longer than Bob (Bob Marley). Toots is one of the purest human beings I've met in my life, pure almost to a fault."”
On 1 October 1975, Toots and the Maytals were broadcast live on KMET-FM as they performed at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. This broadcast was re-mastered and released as an album entitled Sailin' On via Klondike Records.
Toots and the Maytals' compositions experienced a resurgence of popularity in 1978–80 during the reggae punk and ska revival period in the UK, when the Specials covered "Monkey Man" on their 1979 debut album and the Clash covered the group's hit "Pressure Drop". During this period Toots and the Maytals were also included in the lyrics to Bob Marley & the Wailers' song, "Punky Reggae Party": "The Wailers will be there, the Damned, the Jam, the Clash, the Maytals will be there, Dr. Feelgood too".
Guinness Book of World Records
On 29 September 1980, the band recorded, pressed and distributed a new album (Toots Live) to the record shops all in the space of 24 hours in an attempt to make the Guinness Book of World Records. A live concert was recorded on reels of 2-inch, 24-track analog tape, then rushed by van to sound engineers. After a running order was determined, the record label was quickly designed and sent to the printers. The album masters, labels and the outer covers were then separately sped to the Gedmel factory near Leicester, and the finished product was assembled and delivered to Coventry, where the band was playing the next day, successfully meeting the 24-hour deadline. Due to record label oversight, the achievement was not successfully registered with the Guinness Book of World Records. Island Records' Rob Bell was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, the record was not included in the Guinness book, because they required prior notification that the event was going to take place, and no one at Island had informed them of the project!" The record for "fastest album release" was not officially held in the Guinness Book of World Records until 28 years later when Vollgas Kompanie claimed the honour in 2008 for recording and releasing their album "Live" in 24 hours – matching the time interval in which Toots and the Maytals recorded, pressed and distributedToots Live in 1980.
Hibbert continued to record as a solo artist throughout the 1980s.
In the early 1990s a new lineup of the Maytals was formed. In February 1990 Toots and the Maytals performed on VH1's New Visions World Beat, guest-hosted by Nile Rodgers. The group continued touring and recording successfully, with two appearances at Reggae Sunsplash in the mid-1990s.
In 2004, the group released True Love, an album of re-recorded versions of their earlier hits in collaboration with fellow musicians including Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Trey Anastasio, No Doubt, Ben Harper, the Roots, and Shaggy. The True Love album won the Grammy Award that year for best reggae album.
Donald Trump was quoted as appreciating the reggae music of Toots and the Maytals in 2004 when he said, "I heard the guest band, Toots & The Maytals, practising out on the set [of Saturday Night Live; Trump co-hosted an episode in April 2004]. They sounded terrific, and I went out to listen to them for a while. My daughter Ivanka had told me how great they were, and she was right. The music relaxed me, and surprisingly, I was not nervous." 
In 2006, they recorded a reggae/ska version of Radiohead's "Let Down" for the tribute album, Radiodread. The album was a song for song makeover of the English rock band's album OK Computer into reggae, dub and ska. In August 2007 Toots & the Maytals released Light Your Light, which featured re-workings of older songs such as "Johnny Cool Man", as well as new material. The album was nominated in 2008 for a Grammy in the best reggae album category.
In March 2009 it was announced that Toots & the Maytals would be performing alongside Amy Winehouse, for their shared record label Island Records' 50th anniversary. Winehouse had covered the band's "Monkey Man", and the act were supposed to perform with her at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 31 May 2009. However, Winehouse's performance was cancelled, and Toots & the Maytals instead played at the more intimate Bush Hall to a sell-out crowd.
In 2011, director George Scott and producer Nick De Grunwald released the documentary Reggae Got Soul: The Story of Toots and the Maytals, which was featured on BBC. Described as "The untold story of one of the most influential artists ever to come out of Jamaica", it features appearances by Marcia Griffiths, Jimmy Cliff, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Anthony DeCurtis, Ziggy Marley, Chris Blackwell, Paolo Nutini, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare.
The 2012 live album Unplugged on Strawberry Hill gained Hibbert his fifth Grammy nomination.
In May 2013, Hibbert was struck in the head with a 1.75-litre vodka bottle while performing onstage at a Richmond, Virginia, festival. His injuries resulted in a concussion and treatment required six staples in his head. After the injury, the singer canceled all subsequent performances, citing fear of his audience and no longer feeling safe performing.
In 2015, Vogue listed the song "54-46 Was My Number" by Toots and the Maytals as one of their "15 Roots Reggae Songs You Should Know"; and in an interview with Patricia Chin of VP Records, Vogue listed the group as part of an abbreviated list of early "reggae royalty" that recorded at Studio 17 in Kingston, Jamaica which included Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, The Heptones, and Bunny Wailer.
In 2016 Toots and the Maytals announced a return to the stage with their first tour in 3 years, and on June 15 at The Observatory North Park in San Diego the group returned to the stage for the first time since 2013.
Toots and the Maytals have been cited as inspiration for other music artists when it comes to career longevity. Jamaican artist Sean Paul explains this by saying, "I've seen some great people in my industry, you know, people like Toots … Toots and the Maytals. Toots he's a great reggae artist and he's still doing it … He's up there in years and he's doing it. Those kind of artists inspire me. I know I’m just going to keep on doing music as long as I can."
On June 24, 2017 at the Glastonbury Festival, reggae group Toots and the Maytals were slotted for 17:30 with BBC Four scheduled to show highlights from their set. When they did not show it was suspected they missed their time slot, and BBC broadcaster Mark Radcliffe apologised on their behalf stating, "If you were expecting Toots and the Maytals – and, frankly, we all were – it seems like they were on Jamaican time or something because they didn't make it to the site on time." The group credited with coining the term "reggae" in song was subsequently rescheduled by the Glastonbury Festival organizers giving them the midnight slot, with all other acts being shifted by one hour.
In 2018, Toots and the Maytals launched a 50th anniversary tour with concert appearances in North America from April to August, moving to dates in the UK starting in October.
On July 25, 2018 Toots and the Maytals debuted an original song entitled "Marley" in a live performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. During The Tonight Show performance, they also played their classic hit song "Funky Kingston".
On August 24, 2018 Toots and the Maytals performed at Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, VA. It was the first time the group has returned to perform in the state of Virginia since the incident in 2013 at a festival in Richmond, VA which lead to the group's 3-year hiatus from live performances. At Lockn’ Festival Toots and the Maytals invited special guest Taj Mahal to accompany them on the song “Monkey Man”.
Awards, Recognition and Accolades
- 1981 Toots Live! nominated for Grammy Award
- 1989 Toots in Memphis nominated for Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of the Year
- 1998 Skafather nominated for Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of the Year
- 2004 True Love won Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of the Year
- 2010 Toots Hibbert named one of the 100 Greatest Singers by Rolling Stone
- 2013 Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged On Strawberry Hill nominated for Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album of the Year
- Record holder for most number one songs in Jamaica (31 #1 songs)
Museums and expositions
From April 2017 to August 2017, Toots and the Maytals are part of the Exposition Jamaica Jamaica ! at the Philharmonie de Paris in France for their importance in the development of reggae music.
- Never Grow Old (1964)
- The Sensational Maytals (1965)
- Sweet And Dandy (1969)
- From The Roots (1970)
- Monkey Man (1970)
- Greatest Hits (1971)
- Slatyam Stoot (1972)
- Funky Kingston (1973)
- Roots Reggae (1974)
- In the Dark (1974)
- Reggae Got Soul (1976)
- Toots Presents The Maytals (1977)
- Pass the Pipe (1979)
- Just Like That (1980)
- Knock Out! (1981)
- Toots In Memphis (1988) [Toots solo album]
- Recoup (1997)
- Ska Father (1998)
- World Is Turning (2003)
- True Love (2004)
- Light Your Light (2007)
- Flip and Twist (2010)
- Pressure Drop - The Golden Tracks (2011)
Selected live albums
- Live (1980)
- Live at Reggae Sunsplash (1983)
- An Hour Live "Straight from the Yard" Dedicated to Robert Nesta Marley (1990)
- Live in London (1999)
- Unplugged on Strawberry Hill (2012)
Selected compilation albums
- The Original Golden Oldies Vol.3 (1974) [Prince Buster productions]
- Life Could Be A Dream (1992) [Coxsone Dodd productions]
- The Best Of Toots And The Maytals (1979)
- Reggae Greats (1985)
- The Very Best of Toots & The Maytals (2000)
- Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard, 2007), performing Domino's "Let The Four Winds Blow"
Saturday Night Live parody
On Season 41 Episode 4 of Saturday Night Live hosted by Donald Trump, actors Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah played Toots and The Maytals in a sketch with Trump as he introduced musical guest Sia. Toots and The Maytals were the musical guest on the first episode of SNL that Trump hosted on April 3, 2004.
- List of reggae musicians
- List of roots reggae artists
- List of ska musicians
- List of Caribbean music groups
- "100 Greatest Singers". Rolling Stone. December 2, 2010. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- "Frederick "Toots" Hibbert Biography". biography.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02.
- "reggae". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
- “Toots and the Maytals: Reggae Got Soul”. BBC Four (documentary). Directed by George Scott. UK. 2011. 59 min. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2016. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ymljb>
- Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, pp. 178–181
- Sherman, Matthew. The Rise of Reggae, and the Influence of Toots and the Maytals. The Dread Library, n.d. Web. 18 September 2016. http://debate.uvm.edu/dreadlibrary/sherman.html
- "The Maytals: Artist Biography: AllMusic: Jo-Ann Greene". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Mikey T interview with Jackie Jackson, Paul Douglas, and Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan. Kool 97 FM. kool97fm.com. November 27, 2016. <http://www.kool97fm.com> Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- Mark Deming. "Toots & the Maytals | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "The Festival Song Winners 1966–2005". The Jamaican Cultural Development Commission. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
- Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae David Katz: Books. Jawbone Press; 2nd ed. edition. December 1, 2012. p. 90.
- "reggae". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 24 Oct. 2016. <Dictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com/browse/reggae>.
- "Toots and the Maytals." Contemporary Musicians. Encyclopedia.com. 6 Oct. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/toots-and-maytals>.
- Katz, David. "Toots and the Maytals Live: From Stage to Wax in 24 Hours". Red Bull Music Academy. Red Bull Music Academy, 19 June 2013. Web. 18 September 2016. http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2013/06/toots-and-the-maytals-live-album
- Toots and the Maytals (1975) Sailin' On. Obiterdictum. Web. Retrieved 15 November 2016. <http://www.odmcy.com/catalog/index.php/catalogue/23-klondike-cds/211-toots-and-the-maytals-sailin-on-live-at-the-roxy-theater-la-1975-cd>
- "Toots & The Maytals". Concord Music Group. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- Mojo, September 2012, pp. 32–33
- "Fastest album release". guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
- VH1 (February 1990). "New Visions World Beat". Retrieved 7 June 2017..
- Trump, Donald, and Meredith McIver. Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life. First edition. Random House, 2004. Retrieved 25 July 2017
- Marshall, Alex. Donald Trump's unexpected thoughts on music – revealed. BBC. bbc.co.uk. 9 November 2016. Web. <https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/articles/e5e4572a-0676-4120-9eb3-d34bbea34836> Retrieved 25 July 2017
- "About The Performer: Toots And The Maytals". laphil.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "Buy Island Records Tickets for All 2014 UK Tour Dates and Concerts". allgigs.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- Tootsandthemaytals. "Toots & The Maytals – Reggae Got Soul – Documentary Trailer." YouTube. YouTube, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfiNMBhnd8w>
- "Toots and the Maytals: Reggae Got Soul". Honolulu Museum of Art. Film Showing – Doris Duke Theatre. 01 July 2015. Web. Retrieved 15 Dec. 2016. <http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/15166-toots_and_maytals_reggae_got_soul>
- "Toots celebrates Grammy nod – Entertainment". JamaicaObserver.com. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
- "Man gets jail time despite "Toots" Hibbert's plea – Richmond Times-Dispatch". Timesdispatch.com. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
- Jules, Gary. "15 Roots Reggae Songs You Should Know". Vogue. 28 October 2015. <https://www.vogue.com/article/15-roots-reggae-songs-playlist> Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- Gaddis, Anicée. "The Golden Age of Reggae: An Archival Romp With Roots Pioneer Patricia Chin" Vogue. 28 October 2015. <https://www.vogue.com/article/golden-age-of-reggae-photographs-patricia-chin> Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- "Toots And The Maytals Announce First Tour In 3 Years". jambase.com. 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
- "Toots and the Maytals Return with First Tour in Three Years". jambands.com. 2016-04-12. Retrieved 2016-06-29.
- Hopkinson, Ashley. Chronixx brings roots reggae to Coachella. The Desert Sun. 24 April 2016. <https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainment/music/coachella/2016/04/24/chronixx-brings-roots-reggae-coachella/83450350/> Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- Miller, Jeff. Coachella Day 3: Toots and the Maytals, Sofi Tukker, Skepta & More Midday Highlights. Billboard. 16 April 2017. <http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/music-festivals/7760520/coachella-2017-day-3-toots-and-the-maytals-sofi-tukker-skepta> Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- Toots for Coachella fest. Jamaica Observer. 8 January 2017. <http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Toots-for-Coachella-fest_85633> Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- "Sean Paul". The Breakfast Club. Nov 21, 2016. Web. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAXhwLm3d60> Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Jones, Tim. Glastonbury festival 2017: full lineup and stage times. The Guardian. www.theguardian.com. Web. 30 May 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/may/30/glastonbury-festival-2017-full-lineup-stage-times-blossoms-dua-lipa-bootleg-beatles-noel-gallagher> Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Blumsom, White and Saunders. Glastonbury Festival 2017 Saturday live. The Daily Telegraph. www.telegraph.co.uk. Web. 24 June 2017. <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/concerts/glastonbury-festival-2017-saturday-live-foo-fighters-acts-performers/amp/> Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Slee, Fordham, Trim, Birch and Cock. Foo Fighters and David Grohl headline Glastonbury on Saturday. Somerset Live. www.somersetlive.co.uk. Web. 24 June 2017. <http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/somerset-news/foo-fighters-david-grohl-glastonbury-120932.amp> Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "reggae". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. <http://www.dictionary.com/browse/reggae> Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Womad 2017 – Toots & the Maytals, Raquel Tavares, Dayme Arocena". BBC Radio 3. 29 July 2017.
- Mike Massaro (16 August 2017). "WOMAD 2017". United Reggae.
- Tornow, Sam (26 July 2018). "Reggae Originators Toots and the Maytals Take Over 'Tonight Show' With 'Funky Kingston & Marley'". Billboard.
- "LOCKN' Festival Adds Toots & The Maytals To 2018 Lineup'". Live for Live Music. 4 February 2018.
- Kreps, Daniel (24 August 2018). "Watch Toots & the Maytals Perform 'Monkey Man' With Taj Mahal at Lockn' Festival". Rolling Stone.
- "Maytals Find Good Vibes in the Memphis Roots of Reggae". Los Angeles Times. 1989-01-25. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- "TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS". artistsonly.com. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- . grammy.com https://www.grammy.com/nominees/search?artist=toots&field_nominee_work_value=&year=All&genre=All. Retrieved 2016-06-30. Missing or empty
- "Toots celebrates Grammy nod". Jamaica Observer. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- LE PARCOURS EN MUSIQUE. Exposition Jamaica Jamaica ! Philharmonie de Paris. philharmoniedeparis.fr. Web. Retrieved 25 June 2017. <http://philharmoniedeparis.fr/fr/exposition-jamaica-jamaica/parcours-de-lexposition>
- Chardeau, Amaury. Métronomique. La Jamaïque, en attendant le reggae. France Culture. franceculture.fr. Web. Retrieved 25 June 2017. <https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/metronomique/la-jamaique-en-attendant-le-reggae>
- Anonymous. Toots Intro. nbc.com. 24 November 2015. Web. <http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/toots-intro/2933541?snl=1> Retrieved 26 July 2017.
- SNL. Donald Trump - Donald Trump Sketches. nbc.com. 26 July 2017. Web. <http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/cast/donald-trump-56891> Retrieved 26 July 2017.