Toots and the Maytals

Gambit | October 22, 2012
Toots and the Maytals, we call them, but to the island of Jamaica, they were and always will be simply the Maytals: the rah-Jah Temptations of ska, reggay champions before there was reggae music, the most soulful and sensational vocal group to come out of the Caribbean in the 1960s.   Led by the restive rasp of Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the original trio (Hibbert, Henry "Raleigh" Gordon and Nathaniel "Jerry" Matthias) fell short of the stateside chart heights and pop-cultural impact of Bob Marley and the Wailers, though a handful of its Jamaican-record 31 No. 1 hits — chiefly "Sweet and Dandy," "54-46 (That's My Number)" and "Pressure Drop," all products of a fertile, rapid-fire recording period from 1968-70 — became ubiquitous cover selections and worldwide rocksteady standards...


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