Toots Hibbert

Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert, December 8 1942 –September 11 2020, May Pen, Jamaica

Hibbert was born on 8 December 1942 in May Pen, Jamaica, the youngest of his siblings. Hibbert grew up singing gospel music in a church choir because both of his parents were strict Seventh-day Adventist preachers. By the age of 11, Hibbert was an orphan living with his brother John in Kingston’s Trenchtown neighborhood. While working at a local barbershop, he met his future bandmates Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Matthias. Toots heralded the new sound with the seminal, complex groove monster ‘Do the Reggay’ advertising ‘the upcoming dance. “During the winter of 1968, rocksteady gave way to a faster, brighter, more danceable sound. Reggae was born from ‘dancing around’. Toots wanted ‘to do reggae with you!’ …From ’69 to ’71, Toots could do no wrong recording for Leslie Kong. With the consistent nucleus of musicians, the Beverley’s All-Stars (Jackie Jackson, Winston Wright, Hux Brown, Rad Bryan, Paul Douglas, and Winston Grennan) and The Maytals’ brilliant harmonizing, Toots wrote and sang in his unmistakable voice about every subject imaginable.

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