Toots Hibbert & the Birth of Reggae
October 16, 2020 4:10 PM   Subscribe

 
This is good.

RIP Toots
posted by Windopaene at 5:15 PM on October 16 [3 favorites]


54-46 That's My Number, Winterland 1975. Holy crap that's the stuff.

RIP Toots
posted by mookoz at 7:51 PM on October 16 [4 favorites]


He was the consummate showman, there is no doubt. Just for the record, compare and contrast an album version as otherwise you might not know the song was about serving time.

I would add this -- I saw Toots and the Maytals several times starting a decade later than the Winterland performance and as the years passed, his voice got more and more ravaged. He would reach for a high note and his voice suddenly would drop out to a husky whisper for a few seconds. I recall reading somewhere that there is a right and wrong way to scream -- Wilson Pickett who could scream on pitch, never lost a note of range. But be that as it may, I treasured everytime I saw Toots. He was always on fire.
posted by y2karl at 9:26 PM on October 16 [1 favorite]


I am still sad he is gone, such great gifts to our culture. This linked documentary was really interesting to me, I learned that "Sweet and Dandy" was actually sort of a precursor to Reggae - Rock Steady or maybe Ska? But anyways, it was out and popular before Reggae was really fully formed. And then, his two songs that I really love all the most of any Reggae songs - "Pressure Drop" and "Funky Kingston" - were basically the start of it all, the first big Reggae hits to be recorded and internationally popular. Lots of good Reggae came after that, sure, but to me it is kind of like the very very best came first, could have all stopped right after that because can't be topped. Thanks Toots and thanks y2karl for the link.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:49 PM on October 16 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to pop the link to the obituary thread here.
This is a great documentary, thanks y2karl. I really liked the emphasis between town and country.
Pitchfork writes about 1975 Toots and Funky Kingston
Same band nearly 40 years, thats more than quite an achievement.
Without Chris Blackwell at the beginning, I don't think Toots would have got the exposure he so richly deserved.
posted by adamvasco at 12:01 PM on October 17


I saw a Time magazine film review of the The Harder They Come in 1973 and marveled at the notion that subtitles were used for spoken English in the opening scenes. I saw it at the theater in Columbia City that year wherein the protectionist failed to notice a whole reel fluttered for 20 odd minutes. Which put me off for awhile..

And then I came across the soundtrack in a film music bin at Discount Records a year later, bought it and took it home and that was all she wrote. Two years later I had a reggae program on KRAB FM entitled Emphyrio Dub and had seen the movie multiple times. I loved the Maytals from the git-go.
posted by y2karl at 6:27 PM on October 17 [2 favorites]


That's wild, y2karl! At the same time you were doing that, I was a little kid listening to my dad's copy of that album, entranced.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:44 PM on October 17


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