Toots & the Maytals

Proud son of Funky Kingston Toots Hibbert.
Ricard Lim
Proud son of Funky Kingston Toots Hibbert.

Toots & the Maytals have been around since reggae's very beginnings. In fact, the Kingston crew, founded by Frederick "Toots" Hibbert in the early '60s, is widely credited with giving the genre its name via a 1968 ditty called "Do the Reggay." The Maytals' ska origins live on in what remains their most famous song, "Pressure Drop," which appeared in Jimmy Cliff's definitive reggae movie The Harder They Come (1972) and, when covered by the Clash and the Specials, helped form an important bridge between original and second-wave ska as well as punk rock. Seminal '70s LPs Funky Kingston, In the Dark — including a stunning rendition of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and a remake of Hibbert's account of his time in prison, "54-46 Was My Number" — and Reggae Got Soul further cemented the Maytals' status as reggae royalty, and (albeit with different rosters) the group has never left the road for very long ever since. New album Flip and Twist revisits In the Dark's heavily spiritual tone.

 
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