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The Maytals

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Biography

Toots and The Maytals, originally called simply The Maytals, are one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock.

For those who’ve always wondered what “Maytal” means: it is Hebrew for “dew water”. Thus, the name of the group can be loosely translated as Toots & the Dew Drops.

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the leader of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica. He was the youngest of seven children. He grew up singing gospel music in a church choir, but moved to Kingston in 1958 at the age of thirteen. In Kingston, Hibbert met Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” McCarthy, forming in 1962 a group whose early recordings were incorrectly attributed to “The Flames” and “The Vikings” by Island records in the UK.

The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd’s house band, the legendary 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 1965. With Lee, the Maytals won their first Festival Popular Song Competition with “Bam Bam”. However, the group’s musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned.

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  • Elyssyan

    Love that Big Monkey Man. ♥

    27 Sep 2013 Reply
  • BWoolmore

    If you haven't heard their "Reggae Got Soul" album, get it - great melodic reggae.

    19 Feb 2012 Reply
  • LFireproof

    Yea, good stuff here!

    4 Jun 2011 Reply
  • Akchab

    yeah, classic

    27 Apr 2011 Reply
  • nicoinfurs

    Pressure Drop, what a classic.

    28 Dec 2009 Reply
  • LastSpaceMonkey

    eee good))

    27 Oct 2009 Reply
  • simonpunk77

    excelente band!!! this is punk ! this is rocksteady

    20 Feb 2009 Reply
  • JonKanon

    This page should be merged with Toots and The Maytals...

    30 Jan 2009 Reply
  • TurtleSpartan

    maytals ska lol

    30 Jan 2009 Reply
  • drjonze

    CHhck them out on the album Radiodread, by the Easy Star All Stars. They do a cover of 'Let Down'. Its beyond words

    23 Jan 2009 Reply
  • fat_fleshy_fingers

    pressure drop is the best ska song i've ever heard

    2 Sep 2008 Reply
  • Thankuol

    The Maytals Emo??? What the fuck??? xDDDDD

    21 Aug 2008 Reply
  • runabeat

    The Mighty Sparrow will be appearing at The Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, London, E1 0HX, England on 19th July 2008 at 8pm. The show is called 'Soca Invasion' and other artistes include the Jamesy P and Shurwayne Winchester. More artistes to be confirmed. Tickets on sale 3rd June 2008. Call 08707 602603 or visit stellatickets.co.uk.

    26 May 2008 Reply
  • grantfaceclaw

    The original version of pressure drop is so much vastly better than any of it's many covers.

    7 Feb 2008 Reply
  • Lesnoi_Kot

    Who tagged them as 'emo'?! Hey you! Listen here! FUCK YOU! :D

    31 Jan 2008 Reply
  • zippyhead

    I Miss the fantabulous version of Louie Louie, much better than the original

    16 Oct 2007 Reply
  • azfad

    'pressure drop' is fine just as it is thanks. and toots is an under-praised legend.

    7 Sep 2007 Reply
  • 666Ways

    lol @ jellyfish; good band, 54-46 is a sick song, sorta prefer Sublime's cover tho.

    28 Jun 2007 Reply
  • SaloMusic

    It great singers! Wow!

    19 May 2007 Reply
  • Bomber_Man

    loooove them!

    28 Apr 2007 Reply
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