The Maytals

Toots and the Maytals, originally called simply The Maytals, are a Jamaican musical group and one of the best known ska and reggae vocal groups. According to Sandra Brennan at Allmusic, “The Maytals were key figures in reggae music. Formed in the early 1960s when ska was hot, the Maytals had a reputation for having strong, well-blended voices and a seldom-rivaled passion for their music. Frontman Hibbert’s soulful style led him to be compared to Otis Redding”.[1]
Contents [hide]
1 Career
2 Discography
2.1 Studio albums
2.2 Live albums
2.3 Compilation albums
2.4 Other Contributions
3 Contemporary usage
3.1 Covers
3.2 Samples
3.3 Soundtrack appearances
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
[edit]Career

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 1958 at the age of thirteen.
In Kingston, Hibbert met Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathias, forming in 1961[2] a group whose early recordings were incorrectly attributed to ‘The Flames’ and ‘The Vikings’ in the UK by Island Records. The Maytals first had chart success recording for producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd at Studio One. With musical backing from Dodd’s house band, The 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 1966.[1] With Lee, the Maytals won the first-ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition with their original song “Bam Bam” (later covered in a Dancehall style by Sister Nancy, and also by Yellowman in 1982).[1][3] However, the group’s musical career was interrupted in late 1966 when Hibbert was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months.[1] He stated that he was not arrested for ganja, but whilst bailing a friend.[4] He also stated that he made up the number 54-46 when writing “54-46 That’s My Number” about his time in jail.[5]
Following Hibbert’s release from jail towards the end of 1967, the Maytals began working with the Chinese Jamaican producer Leslie Kong, a collaboration which yielded a string of hits throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.[1] These included “Do the Reggay”, one of several songs released in 1968 to first use the word ‘reggae’ (spelled ‘reggay’) in a Jamaican recording;[6] “Pressure Drop”; “54-46 That’s My Number” the 1969 Jamaica festival’s popular song winner; “Sweet and Dandy”;[7] and “Monkey Man”, the group’s first international hit in 1970.[1] By 1971, they had not only become the biggest act on the island, they were also (thanks to signing a recording contract with Chris Blackwell’s Island Records) international stars.[1] In 1972 they won their third Jamaica festival popular song with “Pomps and Pride”.[7] The group was also featured twice in the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, the 1972 film starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair’s Top 10 soundtracks of all time.
After Kong’s death in 1971, the group continued to record with Kong’s former sound engineer, Warrick Lyn. Their re-instated producer Byron Lee renamed them Toots & the Maytals.[1] The group released three best-selling albums produced by Lyn and Blackwell of Island Records, and enjoyed international hits with Funky Kingston in 1973 and Reggae Got Soul in 1975. Following the release of Reggae Got Soul, Toots & the Maytals were invited to tour as the opening act for The Who during their 1975-76 North American tour.[8] The tour went poorly and Toots & the Maytals never went on to the success of Bob Marley or Peter Tosh in the U.S.[9]
Toots and the Maytals’ compositions would be given a second airing in 1978-80 during the reggae punk and ska revival period in the UK, when The Specials included “Monkey Man” on their 1979 debut album and The Clash covered “Pressure Drop”. They were also included in the lyrics to Bob Marley & The Wailers song, “Punky Reggae Party” – “The Wailers will be there, The Damned, The Jam, The Clash, The Maytals will be there, Dr. Feelgood too”. In 1982, Toots & the Maytals’ “Beautiful Woman”, reached number one in New Zealand, but the group had already broken up.[1]
They reformed in the early 1990s to continue touring and recording successfully.[1]
In 2005, the group released True Love, an album consisting of re-recorded versions of their earlier hits, alongside Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Trey Anastasio, No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots, and Shaggy. The album won the Grammy Award that year for best reggae album.
In 2006, they recorded a reggae/ska version of Radiohead’s “Let Down” for the tribute album, Radiodread, by the Easy Star All-Stars. The album was a song for song makeover of the English rock band’s album OK Computer into reggae, dub and ska. In August 2007 Toots & the Maytals released Light Your Light, which featured re-workings of older songs such as “Johnny Cool Man”, as well as new material. The album was nominated in 2008 for a Grammy in the best reggae album category.
Toots & the Maytals hold the current record of number one hits in Jamaica, with a total of thirty one.[citation needed]
In March 2009 it was announced that Toots & the Maytals would be performing alongside Amy Winehouse, for their shared record label, Island Records’ 50th anniversary. Winehouse had covered the band’s “Monkey Man”, and the act were supposed to support her at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on 31 May 2009.[10] However, Winehouse was forced to cancel, leaving the Maytals to play at the more intimate Bush Hall, round the corner from the Empire, to a sell-out crowd.
In the summer of 2009, Toots and the Maytals performed at the Mountain Jam festival at Hunter Mountain, New York.
On 8 July 2011, Toots and the Maytals played the Winnipeg Folk Festival to an outdoor dancing crowd of thousands.
In August 2011, Toots and the Maytals are due to appear at a small number of outdoor events, including Rhythm Festival[11]

Mustard Plug



Mustard Plug is a ska punk band from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Formed in 1991, the band’s original members were Dave Kirchgessner, Mike McKendrick, Colin Clive, and Anthony Vilchez. Currently the band consists of Dave (Vocals), Brandon Jenison (trumpet), Jim Hofer (trombone), Nate Cohn (drums), Colin Clive (guitar/vocals), and Rick Johnson (bass). The band has regularly toured throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, and South America. They have toured with the Warped Tour twice, and participated in the Ska Against Racism Tour. As of 2011, the band has released six studio albums and continues to tour actively.
Brandon Jenison stated in an interview [1] that their band name originated when “a guy in the early stages of the band was making a sandwich and that crusty stuff that forms on the mustard bottle when you put it in the fridge without wiping it off first gave him an interesting idea for a name.”

Hep Cat

 

Hepcat’s debut album, Out of Nowhere was released in 1993 on New York-based ska label Moon Records. Two years later, they followed it up with Scientific on BYO Records. In 1998, after signing with Epitaph Records subsidiary HellCat Records, they released Right on Time, scoring a modest hit with the swinging “No Worries” and scored a spot on the Vans Warped Tour. 2000 saw the release of Push n’ Shove, their first album without founding members Raul Talavera and Alex Désert, although the latter appears as a guest vocalist on two tracks.
The band went on a short hiatus after 2000, then reunited in March 2003, bringing back members of the “Scientific” lineup, sans alto sax Raul Talavera.
In early 2004, a remastered version of Out of Nowhere was released with two additional bonus tracks—an early version of “Nigel” and “Club Meditation”—both of which appeared on their first single.
Hepcat has since continued to play occasionally, with most appearances close to their home in Los Angeles. New songs have been written since their reunion, and an album is in the works.
On September 22, 2007, it was reported via the band’s MySpace profile and corresponding blog that long-time bassist David Fuentes had died. No details were given, and as such, the band has taken to grieving the loss.[1]
A few members of Hepcat have also participated in other endeavors. Trumpeter Kincaid Smith formed Soul Traffic, a five-piece funk band. Drummer Scott Abels has played with the Rancid side project Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards and the southern California reggae act The Aggrolites. Vocalist Alex Desert has had a successful career in film and television, appearing in the movies PCU, Swingers, and High Fidelity; and the television shows Boy Meets World and Becker.
The term “Hepcat” originates from an early slang term (1930–35) pertaining to an admirer or devotee of jazz, esp. swing, or one that was “hep”, or a hipster. The band is actually named after a cat once owned by vocalist Alex Desért, named “Hep.”
[edit]Discography

Out of Nowhere (1993), Moon Ska Records
Scientific (1996), BYO Records
Right on Time (1998), Hellcat Records
Push ‘n Shove (2000), Hellcat Records
Out of Nowhere (Hellcat re-release with two bonus tracks) (2004)
Live at The Whiskey a Go-Go (2011), Whatevski Records

The Skatalites

Before the Skatalites: 1954-1964
The founders of the Skatalites were Tommy McCook (died 1998), Rolando Alphonso (died 1998), Lloyd Brevett, Lloyd Knibb (died 2011), Lester Sterling, Don Drummond (died 1969), Jah Jerry Haynes (died 2007), Jackie Mittoo (died 1990), Johnny Moore (died 2008) and Jackie Opel (died 1970). These ten musicians started to play together from 1955, when Kingston’s recording studios started to develop. Tommy McCook was the first member of the band to record, though not for commercial release: he played with Don Hitchman’s Group in 1953. Archie Lindo asked Hitchman to play few tunes for his pioneer radio station, “ZQI”, on their new equipment. Soon after that, sound system pioneer Stanley Motta began to operate his studio, where he recorded calypso and mento that were released on 78’s. Rolando Alphonso was one of the first to record with him, probably in 1954.
Though McCook was the first in the band to record, he did not participate in the recording sessions with the other nine musicians. He left Jamaica in 1954 for a jazz gig at the Zanzibar Club in Nassau, Bahamas. He returned to Jamaica in June 1962, and began playing regular jazz sessions around Kingston.
Coxsone Dodd searched for jazz players around Kingston and was impressed by McCook’s playing. Tommy McCook heard some ska, but initially resisted Coxsone Dodd’s offers to record and to lead a studio group, because he was a committed jazzman. In 1962 Dodd released I Cover The Waterfront (Port-O-Jam) with Roland Alphonso and Don Drummond, who did the solo and brass sections. In 1963 he released Jazz Jamaica From the Workshop (Port-O-Jam/Studio One), on which McCook played for the first time since returning to Jamaica. Don Drummond has two tunes on Jazz Jamaica and McCook has one, “The Answer”.
[edit]Early years: 1964-1965
In spring 1964, The Skatalites recorded their first LP Ska Authentic at Studio One in Kingston and toured Jamaica as the creators of ska. Their producers were Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Prince Buster, Vincent “King” Edwards, Justin “Phillip” Yap, Leslie Kong, Lindon Pottinger, Sonia Pottinger and Vincent “Randy” Chin. The Skatalites led sessions with top artists and worked with young talents such as Delroy Wilson, Desmond Dekker, The Wailers, Lee Perry, etc.
They played their first show on 27 June at the Hi-Hat club, on Water Lane in Rae Town, which was owned and operated by Orville “Billy” Farnum. Coxsone Dodd helped initially: “At the formation of the band, I supplied the PA system, microphones and what ever it is. Also the guitar amplifier and other amplifier. I helped with transportation and I supplied storage for equipment and instruments. I was a part of promoting the first gigs and other gigs to get it off the ground, because I figured more or less, if I am recording the Skatalites, its good to get them popular out in the streets, yunno?”[citation needed]
In fall 1964, Don Drummond’s composition, “Man in the Street”, entered the Top 10 in the UK. Trombonist Drummond had at least 200 tunes to his name by 1965. On 1 January 1965, Don Drummond was jailed for the murder of his girlfriend, Anita “Marguerita” Mahfood. He was later convicted and remanded to the Bellevue Asylum.
In August 1965, The Skatalites played their last show. They broke up into two supergroups, Rolando Alphonso and the Soul Vendors and Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. In early 1967, Don Drummond’s ska adaptation of the theme to the film The Guns of Navarone entered the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.[2] Don Drummond died on 6 May 1969, in the Bellevue Asylum.
[edit]Reunion: 1983-1998
In June 1983, The Skatalites reformed and played Reggae Sunsplash festival in Montego Bay in July. Their show was very successful[citation needed] and the band played more concerts in Jamaica while taking offers to tour abroad. Their rehearsal sessions resulted in a clutch of new songs which were recorded in Music Mountain Studio but only released in 2007 on Motion Records (as ‘Rolling Steady: The 1983 Music Mountain Sessions’). The album included their tribute to Don Drummond, ‘Big Trombone’, with Lord Tanamo on vocals. In April 1984, The Skatalites recorded a second reunion album, The Return of The Big Guns, released on Mango Records in the U.K. On 7 July 1984, The Skatalites played to thousands at Selhurst Park during the London Sunsplash. The Skatalites played seven tunes and also backed Prince Buster on three before closing with a reprise of their theme song, “Freedom Sounds”.
Between 1985 and 1988, the core members of the Skatalites emigrated and united in the northeast of the United States. They played their first US concert at The Village Gate and began to play spotted dates in Northeast US.
In April 1989, The Skatalites supported Bunny Wailer’s Liberation Tour featuring 7 original members: Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Lester Sterling, Johnny Moore, Jackie Mittoo, Lloyd Brevett, and Lloyd Knibb with special guests Dion Knibb on vocals, Devon James on guitar, and Ken Stewart on keyboards. In January 1990, The Skatalites did their first headline tour of the US with the same lineup except Jackie Mittoo and Lester Sterling. On 16 December 1990, Jackie Mittoo died in Toronto, Canada from cancer. Between 1991 and 1993, The Skatalites continued touring the US and in 1992 did their first tour of Europe.
In 1993, Skavoovee was released in the US on Shanachie Records and in Japan as McCooke’s Book. The Skavoovee tour featuring The Skatalites, Special Beat, The Selecter, and The Toasters tours the US.The Skatalites were nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Reggae Album twice: In January 1996, for their 1995 Shanachie release, Hi-Bop Ska and in January 1997, for their 1996 Shanachie release, Greetings From Skamania.
In 1997, The Skatalites released Ball of Fire on Island Records with special guest Ernest Ranglin on guitar. On 5 May 1998, Tommy McCook died near his home in Lithonia, Georgia. On 17 November 1998, Rolando Alphonso died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
[edit]Band without McCook and Alphonso: 1999-present
On 27 March 1999, Cedric Brooks (tenor sax) joined The Skatalites and in May 2000, The Skatalites record a new album, “Bashaka”, at The Hit Factory in Miami, featuring 15 original tracks and special guest Ken Boothe on a vocal track. On 26 and 27 December 2001, The Skatalites recorded new album in Paris at Davout Studios for Melodie Records and released as From Paris with Love on 15 April 2002. In February 2002, The Skatalites began a nine month World Tour, visiting USA, Europe, Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Russia and Japan.
In April 2003, The Skatalites returned to the studio with Toots Hibbert to record a contribution to his new album, True Love. They recorded “Never Grow Old” with Terry Hall and U-Roy. The album subsequently won a Grammy in 2004. In March 2004, The Skatalites announced the beginning of their 40th Anniversary tour including Colombia, Greece and Singapore, in addition to the usual global stops. Vin Gordon and Karl Bryan joined the band.
In 2005, original member Lloyd Brevet left the band, toured briefly leading his own band, and then retired to Jamaica. In April of that year, the Skatalites started a new world tour with their new bass player Val Douglas, whose A-Team band was the primary backing band for Reggae Sunsplash Tours through the 1980s and 1990s. In October 2005, The Skatalites released The Skatalites in Orbit, Vol.1 recorded live in Buenos Aires, recorded during concerts on 23 and 24 September 2005.
In March 2006, The Skatalites played at La Bal De La Rose for Caroline, Princess of Hanover, along with Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers and Alpha Blondy. This show started the 2006 Global Orbit Tour reaching Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. In April 2006, Skatalites recorded 11 new tunes and one cover in Byron Bay, Australia at the 301 Studios. The new release “On The Right Track” is forthcoming.
In May 2007, On The Right Track was released worldwide by AIM International, Australia. In September 2007, The Skatalites contributed the track “Be My Guest”, with Ben Harper on vocals, for the Fats Domino tribute CD Goin’ Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino featuring numerous artists. This CD raised funds for all the musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina.
On the 12th of May, 2011, founding member and drummer Lloyd Knibb died of liver cancer at age 80.[3]