Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, are a Jamaicanmusical group and one of the best known ska and rock steady 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 first 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.”
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the frontman of the group, was born in May Pen, Clarendon, Jamaica, in 1945, 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.
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,