Toots And The Maytals – live at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz, California -February 7, 1978 – KUSP-FM –
Toots And The Maytals tonight – in concert from Santa Cruz Auditorium in Santa Cruz California and recorded by KUSP-FM on February 7, 1978.
In what seems like one continuous memorial since the start of this year, add one more name to the roster of names and faces we won’t be forgetting anytime soon, but have left behind so much. Toots Hibbert was the originator and driving force behind the genre known as Reggae – he coined the term and he owned the style.
This from the band’s site and Twitter page:
“It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica…”
Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, were a Jamaican musical group, 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 by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Singers. 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.”
The Maytals were part of a scene that included soon-to-be legends, such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff; and they recorded with everyone from the Skatalites to Prince Buster.
“It was competitive and friendly, a golden time,” Hibbert recently recalled in a profile for Rolling Stone.
The group scored a UK hit with Monkey Man in 1970, and, in 1972, Hibbert appeared in the ground-breaking film The Harder They Come.
The cult classic starred Jimmy Cliff as Ivan, a young man who travels to Kingston to seek his fortune as a singer. The first time he enters a recording studio, The Maytals are recording a song – and his eyes light up with wonder.
The Maytals’ song Pressure Drop was featured on the film’s soundtrack – which introduced many US fans to reggae – and it was later covered by the Clash, cementing the group’s reputation in the UK.
Toots Hibbert’s death was announced on the band’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. “It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica,” read the statement.
The cause of death was not revealed, but his Facebook account confirmed on Aug. 31 that Hibbert was tested for coronavirus in the last two weeks and placed in intensive care.
And once more, heavy hearts – and once more, a remembrance.